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How to Choose a Facial Plastic Surgeon

Choosing a doctor is an important decision. Ultimately, you have a choice to make among many options. This section is intended to provide guidance as to where to start and how to make an informed decision.

Facial treatments are offered by a variety of individuals and businesses, each of which can offer varying degrees of safety, experience and expertise. Many states do not require that treatments or procedures be administered by a physician. In some states, including California, a physician need not even be present during procedures performed under that physician's supervision.

At our practice, all procedures are personally performed by Dr. Pearson.


Some considerations . . .

Is the provider a physician?
For any invasive procedure, the minimum requirement that should be sought is a license to practice medicine in the state of California. While this may be presumed, it is not assured. If there is any question, ask.

  • If the provider is not a physician, what type of formal training has that he or she undergone?
  • Is there a physician supervising the provider and is that physician on site during all procedures?

Is the doctor board-certified in his or her field?
Board certification demonstrates that a doctor has met the high standards set by the national certifying board within their specialty. Criteria required for board certification include appropriate training, passage of certifying examinations to demonstrate competence and proficiency, active licensing, demonstrated experience, a record of safety, and continuous education and training.

Dr. Pearson is among a select group of surgeons who are double board-certified by both the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology (Head & Neck Surgery).

If the doctor is board-certified, then which board has issued the certification?
This is important because a doctor may be "board-certified" in a general medical field, which does not require training or competence in aesthetic or facial treatments, invasive procedures or surgery.

Both of Dr. Pearson's certifying boards require appropriate training, proficiency, and demonstrated experience in invasive facial procedures and surgery.

For how long as the doctor been in practice ? For how long as the surgeon been performing the services in question ?

Dr. Pearson has over 20 years of surgical and patient care experience. He has maintained his current private practice for over 10 years.

Does the doctor focus on a particular area of plastic surgery ? Or does the practice offer a little of everything ?

Dr. Pearson's surgical practice is focused entirely on the face.

Contributions to the Field
Has the doctor contributed to his/her field with regard to academic publications and/or presentations at surgical conferences ?

Dr. Pearson has written and published numerous plastic surgery articles and textbook chapters which have appeared in respected international journals and well-regarded plastic surgery textbooks. Below is a selection of recent publications by Dr. James Pearson.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Pearson's publications..

Giving Back
Does the doctor perform any humanitarian work ?

Philanthropy is a cornerstone of Dr. Pearson's practice.

Dr. Pearson is an active pariciant in humanitarian surgical missions to deliver medical care to children and adolescents challenged by a wide array of physical conditions remedied through surgery. Dr. Pearson performs pro-bono remedial surgery on children in developing countries who have microtia, a congenital condition, facial burns and other health conditions.

During nearly two dozen surgical missions to Asia, Central America and South America over the last decade, Dr. Pearson has treated hundreds of patients and has helped to educate and train local surgeons.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Pearson's humanitarian work..

After the above have been established, consider intangible qualities such as:

  • Do you feel comfortable with the surgeon you have chosen ?
  • Is the surgeon candid, professional and easy to converse with ?
  • Did the surgeon take the time to get to know you, and your particular preferences and goals ?
  • Does the doctor provide you with treatment options and explain the relative benefits and drawbacks of each option ?
  • Does the doctor demonstrate artistic sensibilities, with an eye for form, proportion, beauty, and a natural look ?

Additional considerations:

  • Before and After photos: Are you able to view before and after photos of the surgeon's work? Are photos abundant ? Do photos encompass the range of major services in which you are interested ? Does the doctor have an established track record of delivering outstanding results and satisfied patients ?
  • Patient Resources: Are there patients of the doctor who you can speak with about their experiences?
  • Don't focus on advertising: Effective advertising does not compensate for deficiencies in any of the above areas. You must still consider all of the items listed above and formulate your own judgment.

American Academy of
Facial Plastic Surgery

American Board of Facial Plastic
& Reconstructive Surgery
American College of Surgeons
Dr. Pearson Castle Connolly Top Doctor
Castle Connolly

Dr. Pearson sees patients from around the world including the following Southern California locations: Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Burbank, Culver City, El Segundo, Glendale, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Marina del Rey, Newport Beach, Orange County, Pacific Palisades, Palos Verdes, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, San Pedro, Santa Monica, Seal Beach, South Bay, Torrance, Venice, Ventura, Westchester, West Hollywood, Woodland Hills