Question: What qualifications does your surgeon have?
Answer: He or she should actually be a surgeon. Many dermatologists call themselves “cosmetic surgeons” but this is not a recognized qualification. To become a plastic surgeon with special qualifications in cosmetic surgery, Dr. Kirwan spent over six years training in general surgery in England, Australia and the United States. He then completed a two-year Residency in Plastic Surgery at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His teacher was Fredrick J. McCoy, one of the leading plastic surgeons in the USA. Dr. Kirwan did additional training in hand surgery and microsurgery with Dr. John Boswick at the University of Colorado in Denver. Dr. Kirwan is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of the prestigious American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. There are many other organizations, which call themselves “boards of plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery”, but these are not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties and do not require a rigorous accredited residency-training program.
Question: Is your doctor an expert in his field?
Answer: Many doctors, including plastic surgeons, claim to have expertise in cosmetic surgical procedures but how do they justify this expertise? If they have travelled overseas, have they just observed plastic surgery or did an expert in the field teach them? Dr. Kirwan visited renowed surgeon Dr. Marco Gasparotti in Rome and in Yugoslavia to learn the technique of Three Dimensional Superficial Liposculpture (3D-SLS). Dr. Gasparotti visited Dr. Kirwan’s office in Norwalk, teaching the technique personally to Dr. Kirwan, as well as participating in a symposium for other plastic surgeons.
Question: How many procedures have they done?
Answer: Are you going to be the patient on whom they are doing their first procedure or one of their first few? Do you really think it is possible to learn how to perform Liposculpture in a one or two week course? Of course not. It is important for you to find out whether your doctor is the expert he or she claims to be.
Question: Has your doctor published medical journal articles in his area of claimed expertise?
Answer: Many doctors claim to be experts and yet have never published an article or given a lecture on their area of the alleged expertise. Just because someone appears in the popular press does not mean that their professional peers regard them as an expert. Dr. Kirwan has published articles on Superficial Liposculpture, as well as the SAMBA™ technique of breast lifting and enlargement, in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal (the official journal of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery). He has given lectures and courses on Three Dimensional SLS and his SAMBA™ technique to the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. He has presented his SAMBA™ technique to the European Academy of Cosmetic Surgery in London. He was invited by Dr. Gasparotti to be Professor at the International School of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery with Dr. Ivo Pitanguy and other internationally known plastic surgeons.
Question: Does your doctor teach other doctors how to perform the procedures?
Answer: If your doctor is teaching other doctors how to perform the surgery, he is regarded as an expert. Dr. Kirwan has taught 3D-SLS with Dr. Gasparotti at a symposium in his Connecticut office and has taught the SAMBA™ technique at the national meeting of the ASPRS. He hosts an Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship with the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery to teach aesthetic plastic surgery to plastic surgeons that have completed their residency training.
Question: Does your doctor have a repertoire of techniques?
Answer: Dr. Kirwan, because of his extensive experience, international connections and exposure, understands an enormous variety of techniques, which he utilizes to individualize the result for each patient. Dr. Kirwan has an office in England where he operates on a regular basis. By traveling to Europe, he is able to use techniques and materials such as silicone gel implants and Restylane, which are not available in the USA. He is able to offer these techniques to his American patients in England.
Question: Where does your doctor perform his surgery?
Answer: Many doctors perform their surgery in a hospital. Dr. Kirwan has his own private surgical center–The Fairfield County Surgical Center–that has two state-of-the-art operating rooms for general and local anesthesia. This accredited surgical facility is licensed by the State of Connecticut to the highest level and is equipped with the most up-to-date surgical equipment. The nurses and anesthesia staff are trained specifically in the care of cosmetic surgery patients, unlike a general hospital where a cosmetic surgery case may be an occasional occurrence.