FAQs for the Doctor
Are you a board-certified plastic surgeon?
There are many people who call themselves plastic surgeons. Unfortunately there is no law in this country preventing someone from advertising as such. Only those who have completed a course of study (residency) in plastic surgery for a minimum of 6 years after medical school and passed both a written and oral board examination over a 2-year period may call themselves board-certified plastic surgeons. There are facial plastic surgeons who typically have good training as well. These are otolaryngologist (ENT)-trained surgeons who have completed additional cosmetic training and can be board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is a recognized board belonging to the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Do you have hospital privileges?
For a physician to request admitting and specifically operating privileges at a hospital, they must undergo scrutiny by the medical staff office. The chief of plastic surgery at the hospital typically has a responsibility to evaluate whether a physician is qualified to perform the procedures requested. In a physician-owned operating suite, there is no such evaluation required and a minimally trained or inexperienced surgeon can build their own operating suite and perform surgeries with impunity. All board-certified plastic surgeons are required to maintain admitting privileges at a hospital and only operate in accredited ambulatory centers. Dr. Levesque has privileges at these area hospital and ambulatory surgery centers.
What experience do you have performing this procedure?
This is a very legitimate question. You wouldn't get on a plane with an inexperienced pilot. A surgeon can still learn new procedures after completing their training, but doing so safely requires seeking out additional training courses and written and video course review to safely incorporate new techniques into their skill set. This is why it is important to ask about your surgeons (CME) continuing medical education activities such as attending national meetings and courses periodically to keep up with the changes in plastic surgery.
What are the potential risks of surgery and what happens with complications?
There is a saying in surgery that if you don't have any complications, it means you're not operating enough. Complications happen to every surgeon regardless of skill and experience. It is our job to inform you of the risks and do everything possible to decrease this risk. If a complication does occur, you want to know that your surgeon has successfully managed it before and will not stick their head in the sand. Any of my patients with complications typically will see me as frequently as needed and many have become friends, not just patients, through the process of managing the complication.
What is the revision policy?
This will be different between surgeons. A typical policy is no professional charge if patient has followed all instructions and appointments and the appropriate amount of time has passed to assess the result and both surgeon and patient are not satisfied. Coming in 5 years after a procedure will typically not be considered a revision to the original procedure.
How much does the procedure cost?
This can vary widely based on region, surgeon experience, and patient anatomy. Contact our office to get an estimate.
What is the usual recovery expected?
This will vary with the procedure being performed and the patient's activities. My philosophy is to listen to your body and not try to push through any pain. Walking after surgery is of paramount importance and needs to occur regularly and as soon as possible after surgery to help prevent blood clots.