Face lifts are becoming commonplace these days. It's important to remember, however, that a face lift is still surgery. You should choose a face lift surgeon as carefully as you choose any other doctor involved in your health care. A good place to begin is word of mouth. Talk to people who have had face lifts about their doctors. Develop a "short list"--two or three doctors you might be interested in working with and then schedule a consultation visit with each of them.
Since any doctor can claim to be a plastic surgeon, the first things you want to look for are professional affiliations. The plastic surgeon doing your face lift should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and ideally by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstruction Surgery, as well.
Ask the doctor how many face lifts he or she has done in the last year. Were there any complications? You should also ask to see some before and after pictures.
Ask where the doctor will be doing the surgery. Some plastic surgeons operate in their own office suites; others prefer to work in the operating theater at a hospital. Since even the best planned face lift procedures can go wrong, it's a good idea to select a doctor who has a hospital affiliation in case you need to be admitted in an emergency.
Finally, how do you get along with the doctor? Do you feel a rapport? Avoid doctors who try to push you into more surgery than you feel comfortable with, or doctors who act as if your questions are a nuisance.
Take the time to ask questions until you're comfortable, and when the day of your face lift arrives, you should be able to go into surgery confident that you've chosen the best doctor for you.