Premiere Facelift Specialist David Santos, MD, FACS
Call Us: 425-227-4000 12301 NE 10th Place Suite 101 Bellevue, WA 98005

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Category: Dr. David Santos

How to Choose “The Best” Plastic Surgeon

Surgeon with arms crossed looking at camera with colleagues performing in background

Did you know that any person with the title M.D. after his or her name can legally perform plastic surgery procedures? It’s a scary fact. While there are some circumstances that prevent underqualified “surgeons” from performing surgery, it still happens on a regular basis. Just perform a Google search on “botched surgery” and you’ll find plenty of recent news about plastic surgery gone terribly wrong.

The truth is, there are many excellent, well-qualified surgeons available. One must simply take the time to do a little research. We have created a fool-proof guide for choosing a surgeon who truly is the best of the best.

Step 1: Choose a surgeon…

…that performs your procedure.

First, you must choose a surgeon that performs the procedure you are considering. Many surgeons perform face, breast, body, and skin treatments, while others specialize in one particular area. Dr. Santos has dedicated his education and career to all aspects of the face. He has received special training to perform facelifts, brow lifts, eyelid lifts, nose jobs, and other procedures specific to the face.

…that is geographically close to you.

You likely want to choose a surgeon that is geographically close to you so that you don’t have to travel during your recovery. Remember that pricing will vary significantly depending on where you undergo surgery. Typically, a procedure performed in a more populous area will cost more than one done in a rural area.

Step 2: Evaluate their claims for accuracy.

Just because a surgeon’s website states that he or she is “the best” “top plastic surgeon” who is “well-trained” and “board certified,” it does not mean that he or she really is.

Board Certification

To find out if your surgeon’s claims for board certification are true, you can simply enter his or her name in this database or search on the website of the board certification he or she is claiming.


If your surgeon claims to have “years of experience,” take a look at before and after photos of previous procedures performed. Surgeons who are proud of the work they have done will take the time to share their results.

Other Accolades

Odds are, if your surgeon claims to be well-respected by his or her peers, you should be able to find positive mentions of him or her on other websites that are not directly associated with the surgeon. If your surgeon serves on staff at a college or university or frequently travels to speak at seminars that train other plastic surgeons, your surgeon is likely reputable.

Step 3: Evaluate their credentials for relevance to you.

Once you have verified all your surgeon’s claims, you should make sure these claims are going to benefit you in particular. If you are looking for a body procedure, you should look for a surgeon who is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), which ensures that the surgeon has had training in all cosmetic surgeries of the body. If you are considering rhinoplasty, which is a very complex procedure, it may be in your best interest to consider a specialist. Surgeons like Dr. Santos who are double-board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery have very specialized training in surgeries of the head and neck. Fellowships and associations with “Head and Neck” in their title also indicate extra specialized training in this area.

Step 4: Schedule a consultation.

Once you complete steps one through three, it is time to meet your surgeon in person. During a consultation, you will discuss your goals and expectations, your health history, and the details of the procedure you are considering. By the end of the appointment, you should feel completely confident in your surgeon’s ability and have no questions unanswered.

Dr. David Q. Santos strives to provide the most comfortable atmosphere for his patients at his practice in Bellevue, Washington. With over 10,000 facial surgeries performed, he has gained the experience necessary to provide the most optimal surgical results. If you are considering facial cosmetic surgery, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Santos by calling (425) 455-8160. For your convenience, you may also fill out our online contact form.

Houston meeting

Met with Dr Carlos Farias and Gordon Quick Lifestyle Lift CEO in Houston



Very nice day in Whistler


I Have What Looks Like A Rope Around My Neck Following Facelift/Necklift

Patrons1 in Henderson, NV asks:

I had a face lift and a neck lift a month ago. As a result, I now have what appears to be a small rope around 1/2 of my neck. Additional my right side of my face is far more doopy than my left, ( which is good). I go back to the Dr. in 10 days for my 6 week evaluation. Is this something that he should fix? 

It has been approximately five weeks since the procedure and generally at this time healing issues, bumps and lumps and “ropey” appearance problems have resolved.  However in a small percentage of individuals this can be a persistent manifestation.  Bumps and lumps and ropey appearance can last longer than five weeks, even into the three month mark.  Generally, according to the appearance of the picture, there is no evidence of infection and this is simply an area that is going to take longer to heal.  The reasons this happens is sometimes unexplainable, sometimes related to the way bandages are placed or it can occur with slow accumulation of fluid and/or blood into the tissues underneath the skin.  Ongoing observation is still the mainstay of treatment.  Massage can be beneficial I believe and sometimes ultrasound treatment to the area can help accelerate the wound healing process. 

David Q. Santos, MD

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon

I Had a Facelift 4 Years Ago and Don’t Want Another One What Can I Do to Help Sagging?

Photo from here

Sharla DeCelle in Las Vegas, NV asks:

I had a facelift approximately 4 years ago and have started to get the deep fowls around my mouth. I’m 60 years old and want to look vibrant for my age but do not want a another facelift. Are there other alternatives that will help the wrinkles and jowls?

Several options for nonsurgical facial rejuvenation:

If your areas of concern are the “deep frowns” around your mouth; so often the nasolabial folds and marionette lines around the mouth contribute to the sagging and contribute to the aged appearance.  Without doing “surgery”, injections into these areas, particularly with fat transfer or other materials can provide good resolution/good improvement, without undergoing a repeat facelift.  Specifically for wrinkles on the other hand; wrinkles are nicely treated with expert fractionated laser treatment.  If you are concerned about the sagging jowl; in some instances laser lipolysis can provide some tightening in this area although this has to be done with great expertise and care.

Nonetheless there are options to help rejuvenate the face that don’t entail or require facelift surgery.  But there is not a single procedure that will provide resolution for the areas you are concerned about, but a combination of these treatments can remedy the problem.

David Q. Santos, MD

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon


Who Should Consider a Lifestyle Lift?

Photo Courtesy of

A good candidate is someone who is motivated

Overall I think a good candidate for Lifestyle Lift is an individual who is motivated; motivated simply to make a positive difference in their appearance. Through the ravages of time, simply as we get older things change; we don’t look as good and refreshed and youthful as we did in our 20s and early 30s. Lifestyle Lift specifically addresses the major concerns, which is the lower part of the face, the jowls, the laugh lines, the marionette lines, the sagging, the fullness, the aging appearance issues. The best patient for a Lifestyle Lift is the individual who is motivated to look better. There tends to be an assortment of ages, all the way from late 30s to early 80s and each individual has unique anatomy and specific concerns. Nonetheless, addressing the major areas of aging in the lower part of the face provides significant improvement in one’s overall sense of youthfulness and looking better.

David Q. Santos, MD

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon

TLC for Skin Below the Chin

Article from The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

If you’re a woman of a certain age, a glance at your exposed chest may show that you need more than a pushup bra. Women in their fifties begin to show wear in exposed areas. According to the June 2011 issue of More magazine, “Your skin below the chin needs TLC.”

Nora Ephron, author of “I Feel Bad About My Neck” is not alone. Necks are frequently left unprotected with moisturizer and sunscreen. But, if you’re starting to look jowly, there’s a surprising and effective treatment for loose skin under the jawline. A plastic surgeon or dermatologist can skillfully inject Botox into the vertical muscles under your jaw, relaxing them so that they loosen their downward pull on the skin. Cost is $250 and up.

You may also have loose neck skin, sadly but aptly referred to as “turkey neck.” Tighten up before Thanksgiving with Thermage, a skin tightening treatment that uses radio-frequency energy to heat the skin’s deepest layers and stimulate collagenproduction. Cost is about $1,200. You can also boost Thermage effects with Fraxel, a resurfacing laser. If your knees are also sagging, the same skin tighteners used on the neck are also used to lift and tighten this hard-to-fix area.

Your chest, which is so evident in today’s scooped out styles, may be striated with lines and discolored with mottling. Mottling can be treated with glycolic peel laced with retinoic acid for about $100 to $200 a session. Pigment-targeting lasers will take care of your brown spots in about 3 sessions at $350 each. A hyaluronic acidfiller, such as Restylane, could even be used to plump up the lines in your chest for about $500 a treatment.

To prevent further damage, slather your chest with sunscreen, especially in the frequently-exposed clavicle area.


Celebrity Plastic Surgery:  Lynne Curtin from the Real Housewives

Lynne Curtin from The Real Housewives

Are Steroid Injections Worth the Travel?

Photo from

Brown123 asks:  

“I’m from Alabama. I got rhinoplasty performed in Flordia 2 & half months ago. My nose is still very swollen. My doc told me I can come back to Flordia & get steroid injections or I can go to a local doc. He advise me that he feels that he’s a better doc than my local doc. But Florida is 14 hours away & I really don’t want to travel that far for shots. But this is my face & money isn’t an option. But I was thinking how hard could it be to perform shots. do u think the local doc could do the job?”

After many facial type procedures, particularly facelift surgery, lumps and bumps and areas of bruising can be somewhat aesthetically unacceptable, particularly in the early postoperative period. This also occurs in the nasal region as well. Steroid injections are quite beneficial when utilized in a judicious and expert manner. Many plastic surgeons will utilize steroids in small doses, utilizing a small 30-gauge needle to improve the contour of areas that are still healing. There is a small risk with this endeavor, but generally speaking it is quite safe in expert hands. I personally perform thousands of injections with essentially no untoward effects. But nonetheless there is more to assessment of the areas that comes with a doctor visit, so traveling is worth it in regards to assessment of the areas of healing, as well as the need for injections. So often I will strongly urge my patients to follow-up even if it does mean a several hour journey. Essentially it is not just for an injection, it is also for assessment and for understanding of where we stand on the healing process and the need for revision which occurs on an infrequent basis.
David Q. Santos, MD

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon

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Is it possible to make my smile not as wide?

Photo courtesy of

Jonass in Dallas asks:

“Hi I am 20 years old, when I smile or laugh my mouth opens very wide so it seems that my smiel goes from ear to ear! is there anyway to fix it so when I’m laughing, my mouth won’t open as much?”

This is a significantly delicate and tricky proposed concern.  Overall there is not a recommended surgical procedure.  However, based on your anatomy there is a possibility that some expertly placed small degree of Botox can diminish some of the widening of the smile.  However, nonetheless this has to be done, performed and assessed by a physician who does a significant amount of Botox treatments.  Overall, I think that it is important to get a good opinion from a physician as to whether anything, if at all, should be done.  Try to trust the opinion of the physician that you consult with and if you have a trustworthy physician and a physician who is well recommended and if this physician says don’t have any procedures done then importantly you should listen to this recommendation.

David Q. Santos, MD

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
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