Do you know what “plastic” or “cosmetic” means when it comes to facial surgery? Whether it’s your nose, your chin, or the march of time sneaking up on your face that stands out in the mirror, at some point you may decide to improve your appearance through facial surgery.

In the information age we live in, virtually anyone can access the research they need to plan their procedure. Many people spend countless hours reading up on the facelift, rhinoplasty, or eyelid surgery they want. They scan numerous facial plastic surgeons’ before and after photos and try to determine which expert they should see.

In Toronto, the best plastic surgeon or cosmetic facial surgery expert for you will depend somewhat on your needs. We’ll give you some tips to help figure those out, but in the meantime, what’s the difference between cosmetic and plastic?

Facial surgery terms and definitions

Only physicians certified in plastic surgery can be called plastic surgeons or facial plastic surgeons. This guideline doesn’t apply the same way to “cosmetic surgeons”, so the variability in skill and education is broader under that title. You may see dermatologists or dentists presented as cosmetic surgeons. That isn’t common knowledge for many seeking facial surgery, so it’s possible to select someone less than ideal for your procedure.

What’s the meaning of plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery, or reconstructive surgery?

Plastic surgery generally encompasses both the aesthetic and repair aspects of changing appearances. A facial plastic surgeon is adept at repairing damaged and malformed features, but they usually focus on just a few areas. Some plastic/reconstructive work is covered by medical insurance, while cosmetic procedures are considered entirely elective (by choice) and not necessary. For example, rhinoplasty costs in Toronto are usually completely out of pocket unless the procedure is done to improve breathing and not change the appearance. In that case, it’s termed “septoplasty”.

Cosmetic speaks of ideal proportions, contours, and appearance. Without the need for functional changes and without any damage or malformation present, cosmetic improvements simply take “normal” and make it “better” or ideal. Examples of cosmetic facial surgery include face lift, brow lift, or tip rhinoplasty.

Reconstructive surgery describes the improvement or correction of features that are considered abnormal. The abnormality may be congenital, due to an injury, or due to previous surgery. Breast reconstruction and cleft lip repair fall into this category.

Essential tips you need before a facial surgery consultation

While there’s no guaranteed way to ensure a risk-free procedure, we can offer guidelines to eliminate a large number of contenders right off the bat. The crucial first qualification that you should insist on when considering facial plastic surgeons in Toronto is that they be members of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons. This membership guarantees that they’ve undergone thorough and proper training to perform reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery.

As well, in the U.S. and abroad, people often check for the designation “board-certified”. However, the various boards that issue certification range in their criteria and reputation, so that’s a less than ideal measuring stick. In Canada, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons is the only certification for physicians and surgeons in their specialties. The fact that there’s just one helps limit confusion. Your surgeon should be accredited by the Royal College (www.rcpsc.medical.org).

You can refer to the college online to ensure that your surgeon is fully licenced and to see if any disciplinary action is held against them.

These are the basics that you’ll want to establish before undergoing any cosmetic procedure with any practitioner. Medical experts who are well educated and accountable to the high standards of the College may have numerous titles such as ear, nose, and throat surgeon (ENT), otolaryngologist, head and neck surgeon, facial plastic surgeon, and plastic surgeon.

Is your physician specialized in facial surgery?

The next step is to narrow down whether the practitioner you’re interested in spends considerable time working on your desired procedure. Just as with most challenging skills, practice makes perfect. It makes sense to find out what your surgeon is really good at. It’s possible to find very well-trained and renowned plastic surgeons who won’t be the best facial surgeon for you. If that doctor spends the majority of their practice operating on breasts, for instance, they may be the ideal choice for a breast augmentation, but not for chin augmentation.

It takes serious dedication both in studies and in practice to develop the in-depth, innovative skills that make you an expert. The surgeons who focus on cosmetic surgery for the face will be better equipped to deliver your goals.

Do you need facial reconstruction?

Reconstructive cosmetic surgery requires an industry expert, not someone who focuses most of their work elsewhere. When it comes to complex and unique corrections after accidents, cancer treatment, or burns, the level of education and experience that your surgeon possesses will have great significance. In those cases, choosing a professional with a keen eye for aesthetics and artistic skill should be matched with regular, hands-on reconstructive plastic surgery in a hospital setting. Toronto’s top facial plastic surgeons are typically in high demand, but well worth the time it takes to meet with them and receive an assessment.

Here are the best facial surgery consultation questions

Ask the surgeon:

  • How often do you perform the procedure, and what are the complication rates?
  • Do you have hospital admitting privileges and where?
  • Is your on-premises private operating facility fully accredited and certified to the highest standards?
  • What special techniques and innovations have you developed to improve results, decrease recovery time and discomfort, and minimize risks?
  • What are your pre-operative and post-operative protocols for patients?
  • How often would I be scheduled for follow-up visits or other communication?
  • What does the surgical quote entail? Please explain all items listed and the total.
  • Do you offer medical financing?
  • Would my procedure be a day surgery, allowing you to leave the same day?
  • What type of anaesthetic do you use, and do you have a fully licenced anaesthesiologist?
  • Would I be a good candidate for my desired facial surgery, or would another procedure be more appropriate?
  • What should I expect from the recovery period, and how much time should I take off?
  • What are the possible risks or side effects to consider?
  • Could you please clarify the consent forms and read them completely?
  • What contingency plans do you have for care and safety in the event of a complication?

Though the various terms, qualifications, and titles for medical practitioners may feel overwhelming, if you start with the essentials listed above, you’ll be able to narrow your choices down quite a bit. This is where you begin the journey to facial harmony and proportion, which improves your confidence, or a natural-looking facelift, which keeps you vibrant for years to come. In Toronto, facial surgery may involve corrective, reconstructive improvements, or it may be purely cosmetic but life-changing. No matter your reason for seeking a change, Dr. Cory Torgerson is a warm and talented facial plastic surgeon who can help you make it a reality. He more than surpasses all basic and advanced requirements for education and specialty training, so you can be confident that there’s no procedure his skill won’t match.

Dr. Torgerson- Facial Surgery Expert

With 18 years of post-secondary education, Dr. Torgerson is one of the few people in his field to hold such comprehensive and esteemed training. Graduating from one of the top medical schools in North America, the University of Toronto, he’s collected numerous awards and scholarships for his dedication and excellence. A surgical residency in otolaryngology and a fellowship in cosmetic facial surgery have led Dr. Torgerson to specialize in facial plastic surgery. He is adept in all procedures for the head and neck. He has prestigious privileges at Sunnybrook Hospital and operates his own level-3 out-of-hospital premises (OHP) advanced surgical centre in beautiful Yorkville, Toronto.

Trust in your facial surgeon is essential

During the initial consultation, you should feel at ease with the surgeon. They’ll sit down with you in person; explain their approach, recommendations, and concerns; and take the time to listen to you. Understanding your goals and expectations is a crucial element of planning a satisfying experience.

Though surgeons are generally busy people, they know that the consultation is vital for education and getting on the same page, so they won’t rush you. If you discuss your wishes, yet you don’t feel that the surgeon understands what you’re saying, it may be best to move to the next consultation. While their qualifications, specialization, and patient reviews are necessary to consider, ultimately you should feel like you can trust this person to have your best interests at heart and that they “get you”.

They’ll be completely honest about both the pros and cons of any procedure. They’ll want you to prepare for the realities of recovery and to be patient for results. Dr. Cory Torgerson feels that gathering the information you need to make your decision is best done without pressure, so his consultations are free of charge. He wants facial surgery patients to know their options, have their questions answered, and feel excited about the possibilities. Each client deserves a custom-tailored approach to helping them feel fabulous. Our dedicated, compassionate team looks forward to meeting you.

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Dr. Cory Torgerson
Dr. Cory Torgerson
Dr. Cory Torgerson is one of Canada’s most talented and prominent facial plastic surgeons, focusing on head & neck facial surgery. Dr. Torgerson has been frequently invited to teach and lecture on these topics across North America. He has hospital privileges at Sunnybrook Hospital, one of the premier hospitals in the University of Toronto Health Network.
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