I am located in the East San Francisco Bay Area community of Walnut Creek (about 20 minutes East of San Francisco). The majority of my patients live within a few hours of my office; however, thanks to the Internet, I get inquiries from around the world. Since it is difficult to be exact about any procedure without performing a focused history and physical examination, I recommend a consultation appointment for anything other than general information. At a consultation appointment you are provided specific answers to your questions. Initial consultations give you time to get your questions answered and me time to formulate a plan tailored to your individual needs.
I am happy to provide general information about the procedures I perform, but this cannot substitute for an in person sonsultation. My office can help make arrangements for out of town guests; however, if I am too far away, you might wonder how to find a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your local area.
One way is to try asking your friends, family or family physician for a recommendation. Word-of-mouth referrals tend to be quality recommendations, but this isn't always an option. If you are starting from scratch, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) have doctor locators on their sites. The doctors on these sites must be Board Certified Plastic Surgeons and have had further credentialing prior to become members.
When you are investigating a doctor you should check their Board Certification with the American Board of Medical Subspecialties (ABMS). If it does not say "Plastic Surgery" then they are not a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. There are many "Boards" out there, but the ABMS is the recognized authority for medical and surgical specialties. Some boards may sound like plastic surgery (some even sound better!) but they are not ABMS recognized boards.
You should also check the doctor's license on you state's medical board web site. For example when you Google "California Medical Board" you will find: California Medical Board listed in the number one slot. Click on the "Check Your Doctor" box to check the status for the doctor's license. Any actions against the doctor's California Medical License will be listed here. If none are found, it's a good thing. If you are not in California substitute your state in the Google search and similar resources should be available.
I hope you find this information useful. There is no substitute for a face-to-face visit for both doctor and patient, but the above is a good starting point. For those of you in the greater San Francisco Bay Area or Northern San Joaquin Valley, if you would like to take the next step with me, the easiest way to schedule a consultation appointment is to call (925) 943-6353. We are open weekdays, 9 AM to 5 PM.
Joseph A. Mele, III, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Walnut Creek, CA 94598