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Fernando Burstein MD, Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Fernando Burstein MD, Facial Plastic Surgeon
Just another WordPress site
Fernando Burstein MD, Facial Plastic Surgeon
Just another WordPress site
Fernando Burstein MD, Facial Plastic Surgeon
Just another WordPress site
Fernando Burstein MD, Facial Plastic Surgeon

Plastic surgery is more popular than ever.  The number of patients choosing to undergo cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, particularly those procedures associated with counteracting the effects of facial aging, has steadily increased over the years, and has more than doubled since 2000.  Unfortunately, prospective patients are often bombarded with extremely confusing messages about their choices when seeking a plastic surgery provider.  Many providers make extravagant claims, or offer deals that seem too good to be true, and in the flood of information it can sometimes be difficult to determine who to trust.  As a practicing, board-certified plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist with more than twenty-six years of experience, I have had the opportunity to perform thousands of facial rejuvenation and cosmetic plastic surgery procedures.  Here are some of the most important things that patients should ensure before they undergo cosmetic plastic surgery.

What to Look for in a Plastic SurgeonBoard Certification

The term “board-certified” carries a great deal of weight in the medical profession, but when it is misused it can often be misleading.  The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) recognizes and oversees certification in 38 distinct medical specialties and 88 subspecialties and the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the only organization recognized by the ABMS for certifying plastic surgeons in the United States.  Cosmetic surgery is just one component of the comprehensive training board-certified plastic surgeons receive, but it is not a recognized and accredited discipline unto itself.  Other organizations, not recognized by the ABMS, may offer training and even some form of certification in “cosmetic surgery” without requiring the years of specialized training beyond medical school and residency or the thousands of hours of hands-on surgical experience that define a board-certified plastic surgeon.  The American Board of Plastic Surgery helps to ensure that certified plastic surgeons adhere to the highest standards of patient care and safety.

Hospital Privileges

In order for any surgical procedure to be fully successful, follow-up care and a carefully-managed recovery are essential.  Regular post-operative visits can often catch and correct problems before they become serious and the complications that could potentially arise may require access to emergency medical services and hospital facilities.  Not all physicians have privileges at fully-accredited hospitals, and so must sometimes perform procedures under less than optimal conditions.  While certain procedures can certainly be safely performed in an office setting, making sure that your plastic surgeon has privileges at accredited hospitals ensures that issues can be fully addressed in a timely manner and in an appropriate setting.  The best plastic surgeons want to make sure your plastic surgery results remain exceptional for years to come, not just until your check clears.

Experience and Recognition

Most of those who become involved in medicine aren’t in it for the accolades, but often the best way to determine the skill of a plastic surgeon is to find out how they are regarded by their peers and patients.  Look for a doctor who is a member of a number of highly-regarded professional organizations, who has published articles in peer-reviewed medical journals, and who ideally is sought out as an expert instructor in his or her field.  While some awards may simply be bought, those that are the result of a peer-nomination process are frequently a sign that a plastic surgeon is highly respected by other experts in their field of medicine.

Cosmetic plastic surgery is not something that should be taken lightly.  Although fully researching your options can be time-consuming, doing your homework may significantly reduce your risk and aggravation in the long run and improve your overall results.  If you are interested in discussing how to best approach your specific facial rejuvenation needs, I would welcome you to contact my office and schedule a consultation.  Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.

Even with the wide array of options available today in facial rejuvenation, traditional face lifts are still considered one of the best methods for dealing with the classic signs of facial aging.  Last year alone, according the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, nearly 130,000 men and women underwent face lift surgery, making face lifts one of the most frequently performed plastic surgery procedures in the United States.  Still, many of my patients have questions about this extremely popular plastic surgery procedure.  Here are answers to some of the more common questions I have received about face lifts.

upper facial cosmetic surgery atlantaAm I a good candidate for face lift surgery?

When evaluating whether face lift surgery is appropriate for a particular patient, there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration, including the patient’s age, facial shape, and condition of their skin.  Optimal candidates for a full face lift procedure are non-smokers who are in general good health and who do not have medical conditions that impair healing.  While a face lift can generally improve many of the visible signs of aging in the face and neck, it cannot change your fundamental appearance, nor can it stop the aging process.  Patients who have consulted extensively with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon prior to the procedure, and who have realistic expectations about the outcome, usually enjoy the highest degree of satisfaction from their face lift results.

At what age should I consider getting a face lift?

Every patient is different and the progression of facial aging differs from face to face, so every patient needs to be assessed individually to determine what procedures are most appropriate to their particular needs.  Moreover, it has always been my philosophy on facial aesthetics that minor facial rejuvenation procedures, like laser skin resurfacing, chemical peels, and injectable cosmetic treatments like Botox® and Juvéderm® can effectively maintain the face’s appearance and effectively delay the point at which more extensive facial cosmetic surgery may become necessary.

Will my skin appear stretched out after I have facelift surgery?

No, not if the correct techniques are used.  I believe that the key to a successful facelift is producing a natural, youthful look without over-tightening the skin and creating a “wind-blown” look.  Most patients are seeking a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance, but still want to look like themselves.  Instead of offering a one-size-fits-all facelift, I like to look at each patient’s individual concerns and focus on those specific areas where they need rejuvenation.  This allows me to customize every procedure and consistently achieve subtle and natural looking face lift results.

What is a mini-face lift?

A mini-face lift is a less invasive cosmetic facial procedure designed to address only the upper, middle, or lower region of the face using smaller, usually hidden, incisions.  The specificity of the approach allows the procedure to be tailored to the individual patient’s needs, achieving customized results with a shorter recovery period.

Why would I get a mini-face lift if I could just get a full face lift?

Facial aging can vary dramatically from person to person, and the different areas of the face usually do not age at precisely the same rate.  Very often, one specific facial area or feature may need rejuvenation while other areas require no alteration whatsoever.  By using a mini-face lift to address only those key areas of concern as they arise, I can achieve significant results with less overall surgical downtime and discomfort.

About Dr. Fernando D. Burstein, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.P.

Dr. Fernando Burstein is a well-respected Atlanta facial plastic surgeon with board certifications in both plastic and reconstructive surgery and otolaryngology (head and neck surgery.)  With nearly thirty years of experience specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery procedures, Dr. Burstein has served as the chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and as a clinical professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Emory University.  He has authored and published more than 100 articles and book chapters on facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and has been honored as one of Atlanta Magazine’s Top Doctors, a peer-nominated award in the field of plastic surgery, for the past seven consecutive years.

Seeing the Possibilities of Facial Plastic Surgery

September 21st, 2015 | Posted by drburstein_marketing in Blog | Frequently Asked Questions - (Comments Off on Seeing the Possibilities of Facial Plastic Surgery)

Even after having worked as a board certified plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist in Atlanta for more than twenty-five years, I am still amazed by just how much facial plastic surgery can accomplish.  By combining my expertise in the intricacies of facial anatomy with the most advanced facial rejuvenation technology and the latest facial plastic surgery techniques, I can shape and contour the face in a variety of subtle and natural-looking ways.  Ultimately, this can help to minimize the effects of facial aging and reveal the beauty that lies beneath.  Here is a visual breakdown of just some of the many things that can be accomplished with cosmetic facial plastic surgery procedures.

Facial Plastic Surgery Infographic

The most effective and long-lasting cosmetic plastic surgery results are those that work in harmony with the face’s natural features, keeping them balanced with tiny, barely noticeable alterations.  By mixing and matching those procedures designed to specifically address your individual areas of concern, you can achieve the look you desire without anyone realizing that you have had any work done at all.  If you are interested in discussing how facial plastic surgery can help you, or have any questions about any of the procedures that I perform, I would welcome you to contact me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, to schedule a consultation.  Don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.

The Rising Popularity of Adolescent Facial Plastic Surgery

September 16th, 2015 | Posted by drburstein_marketing in Blog | Frequently Asked Questions | Pediatric Plastic Surgery - (Comments Off on The Rising Popularity of Adolescent Facial Plastic Surgery)

When most people mention cosmetic facial plastic surgery, they think about face lifts, Botox® injections, or any of the many procedures that can be used to address the signs of facial aging.  However, as advancements in plastic surgery techniques and technology have made procedures more safe and effective, there has been a growing trend of adolescents seeking facial plastic surgery procedures as well.  According to statistics published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 63,538 cosmetic surgical procedures were performed on people age 13-19 in 2014, while 160,541 cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures were also performed.  Adolescence is a critical period of development both physically and mentally, and self-image can play a vital role in long term happiness and well-being.  Anything that can help improve that self-image, like correcting imperfections in the facial features, can go a long way towards improving a patient’s quality of life for years to come.

The Rising Popularity of Adolescent Facial Plastic SurgeryThe single cosmetic plastic surgery procedure most commonly performed on patients between the ages of 13 and 19 is rhinoplasty, or nose surgery.  In fact, procedures to reshape the nose account for more than half of all adolescent facial plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States.  Rhinoplasty procedures require a great deal of surgical skill and experience in order to perform well, as the folds that make up the nose can be extremely intricate and complex and procedures performed before the nose is fully grown can potentially hinder the nose’s ongoing development1.  However, as a board certified plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist (head and neck surgeon) with more than 25 years of experience, I have worked extensively with the anatomical structure and developmental characteristics of the face and have developed insights that lead to exceptional rhinoplasty results.

Many adolescent patients are also interested in other plastic surgery procedures to subtly improve the contours and balance of the facial features.  Otoplasty, or ear surgery, can help improve the shape, position, or proportion of the ears by correcting defects in the ear’s structure that were present at birth or caused by injury.  By the same token, genioplasty, or chin surgery, can either shape and reduce or augment the size of the chin through various techniques to complement the other features of the face and enhance a patient’s profile.  By using natural cartilage and bone taken from the patient’s own body, I can achieve long-lasting, natural looking facial contouring results.

Non-surgical cosmetic procedures have proven to be extremely popular with younger patients as well.  In 2014 nearly 100,000 teens sought out laser skin resurfacing treatments to either correct skin imperfections (like acne, acne scars, and irregular pigmentation) or to remove hair.  The Sciton® Erbium laser uses light energy to gently exfoliate the upper layers of skin, removing dead and damaged skin cells while encouraging collagen production like a chemical peel to treat severe acne, post-trauma scarring, and pigment irregularities.

While any of these procedures can be safe and effective for teen-aged patients, any adolescent prospective patient should have an honest, open discussion with their parents about their concerns and aesthetic goals.  From there, a thorough preoperative evaluation and discussion of expectations, along with computerized imaging to help avoid the misunderstandings that lead to postoperative disappointment, is an absolutely essential first step before undergoing any cosmetic plastic surgery procedure.  If you are interested in discussing what approach would be best suited to your teen’s specific needs, I would welcome you to contact me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, to schedule a consultation.  Don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.


  1. Burstein, F.D., Bauer, M.D., Bruce S.: “Primary Aesthetic Rhinoplasty in Adolescents: Indications and Techniques.” Principles and Practice of Pediatric Surgery. Quality Medical Publishing, Inc. St. Louis, MO., Vol 2, 34:945-966, 2008.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate

September 2nd, 2015 | Posted by drburstein_marketing in Blog | Educational | Pediatric Plastic Surgery | Reconstructive Surgery - (Comments Off on Frequently Asked Questions about Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate)

Every parent expecting a new baby hopes that their child will be born healthy and perfect, but unfortunately that is not always the case.  According to estimates conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year in the United States about 1 in 1000 babies are born with either a cleft palate, a cleft lip, or both, making isolated orofacial clefts, or clefts that occur with no other major facial abnormalities, one of the most common types of birth defects in the United States.  Advances continue to be made in the treatment of people with clefts, and today most children with clefts are able to reach adulthood with a good sense of self, an acceptable appearance, and healthy social skills.  Still, almost all parents have many questions when first encountering this condition.  Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about orofacial clefts can often help alleviate a great deal of anxiety.

reconstructive surgeonWhat is cleft lip and cleft palate?
Between the 8th and 12th weeks of fetal development, special cells from each side of the forming head grow toward the center.  As the face nears its final form, this space closes and the left and right halves of the upper lip and palate (the roof of the mouth) join.  However, in children born with a cleft lip or cleft palate, the space does not fully close and a small gap, or “cleft”, remains.  This cleft can form in the lip, causing a split in the upper lip and base of the nose, in the palate, causing a split in the roof of the mouth and back of the nose, or in both.  A cleft is not usually dangerous or a medical emergency and causes no pain for the baby.  Clefts may occur on one side of the face (unilateral) or both sides (bilateral), but both types can be eventually repaired thorough a gradual treatment process.

What causes cleft lip or cleft palate?
The exact causes of cleft lip and cleft palate among infants are often unknown, but the condition may be inherited from one or both parents.  Furthermore, groups or clusters of problems, called syndromes, can sometimes appear together in newborn infants.  A cleft lip or palate may be only one part of one of these larger syndromes.  A number of clinical studies reported by the CDC over the past several years also suggest that certain environmental factors may increase the chance of having a baby with an orofacial cleft.  Specifically, infants born to women who smoked during pregnancy, who were diagnosed with diabetes prior to pregnancy, or who used certain medications to treat epilepsy, such as topiramate or valproic acid, during the first trimester were shown to have an increased risk.  Scientific research into the specific underlying causes of cleft lips and palates is still ongoing and a geneticist can tell you more about the risk of clefts in an individual case.

cleft palate photoHow can cleft lip and cleft palate be treated?
Treatment of a cleft palate requires a team of medical professionals who play different roles in the child’s care.  This “craniofacial team” generally includes a craniofacial surgeon, an orthodontist, and an otolaryngologist, but may also include geneticists, speech/language pathologists, nutritionists, and occupational therapists as necessary to meet the child’s specific needs.  Craniofacial surgery needs to be specifically tailored to the overall health of the child and the severity and location of the cleft, but initiating treatment as early as possible is highly recommended.  The first surgery to repair a cleft lip usually takes place between the third and sixth month and cleft palate surgery, or palatoplasy, can be completed between the ninth and twelfth months.  Both involve reconstructing the features to help with appearance and function while helping to insure that the patient will maintain both form and appropriate use as he or she grows.  Multiple surgeries and long-term follow-up care are necessary in order to achieve optimal facial reconstructive results.

Every child’s case is unique, and requires individual assessment and diagnosis in order to formulate a treatment plan that best meets their specific needs.  If you have additional questions about orofacial clefts, or about any of the facial plastic surgery procedures that I perform, I would welcome you to contact me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, to schedule a consultation.  Don’t forget to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.