Dr Coleman
Dr Coleman

James F. Coleman, MD, a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Medical School, has office locations in Beverly Hills and Orange County California. His practice encompasses both aesthetic and reconstructive surgery. He holds dual board certification in both plastic surgery and surgery of the hand. His professional memberships include American Society of Plastic Surgeons and American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

Dr. Coleman is a native of St. Louis MO and received undergraduate training at Yale University in New Haven CT. After graduation from Yale, he matriculated to Harvard Medical School where he obtained his MD degree. He continued to train at Harvard Medical in the general surgery residency program at Boston’s Beth Israel/Deaconess Medical Center. He then traveled to Michigan where he completed a plastic surgery residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He continued his training at the University of Southern California/ Southern California Orthopedic Institute where he completed a hand and microsurgery fellowship. He concurrently held a position as a clinical instructor in plastic surgery at USC hospitals. He has been in practice in the southern California area since 2000.

His practice encompasses a broad scope of plastic surgery including aesthetic, reconstructive, burn, craniofacial, hand and microsurgery. He is an attending surgeon at multiple community hospitals and is engaged in the mentoring of medical students and residents in both Los Angeles and Orange County. Hospital staff memberships include Cedars Sinai, Olympia, Encino-Tarzana, and St. Joseph’s of Orange medical centers. His interests include college and professional sports, swimming, biking, running, fishing and traveling.

Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

Once you’ve decided to seek plastic surgery, how do you select a physician? Just as you would with any other major purchase or decision, you should do some homework. Like most things in life, there is no absolute in choosing a surgeon. Many surgeons may be sought upon referral by someone you know. This is a reasonable start but you also should have some standards that must be met. To start, is your physician really a plastic surgeon? Plastic surgery is derived from the Greek word “plastikos” which means to mold. The practice of plastic surgery to repair wounds has been performed for centuries as many current techniques were practiced by Greek scholars. From this beginning, plastic surgery has evolved into a highly specialized field of medicine. Top medical students generally compete for plastic surgery programs during their 3rd or 4th year. Most programs require three to five years of surgical training prior to beginning a 2 to 3 year plastic surgery residency. Board certified plastic surgeons are all graduates of such accredited programs which encompass the entire realm of plastic surgery. They have been trained to treat complex wounds on every part of the body in addition to aesthetic surgery. In fact, most applications of aesthetic surgery evolved from treating traumatic injuries or wounds as the pursuit of restoration of naturally appealing forms is a direct extension of such work. As the field of anesthesia became more evolved and safer, the decision to undergo elective surgery became more popular. The popularity of elective procedure has now flooded the medical market with physicians who desire lucrative aesthetic surgery practices despite being trained in other specialties. In fact, many “cosmetic” surgeons have no formal plastic surgery training. Some were trained in other specialties such as dermatology, ear nose and throat, dentistry, general surgery, or gynecology. For most of these physicians, plastic surgery was far from the focus of their specialty. As reimbursement for medical care has decreased, more physicians are becoming “cosmetic” specialists. Many have aggressive marketing techniques which don’t reveal qualifications or the fact that they were not truly trained in plastic surgery; but rather focus on specific areas of the body, untested techniques or the word “cosmetic” instead of plastic surgery. As plastic surgeons, we feel that we are the most qualified physicians to perform plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons do not deliver babies, pull teeth, or treat ear infections or acne. We choose plastic surgery as a career and feel that plastic surgery should be performed by specialists who have completed an accredited training program in that specialty. Aesthetic procedures should be performed by physicians who not only know how to perform a procedure properly, but can also handle any problems or complications which may be associated with that procedure.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeons have met rigorous training and testing requirements established by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ASPS). Search the American Board of Plastic Surgery website, (ASPS.org) to determine if your physician is a member. If so, you are at least guaranteed that your physician was truly trained as a plastic surgeon. He is board certified and fulfilled ethical standards of the society. You may then fine tailor your selection based on training, word of mouth, price, location, experience, photographs, etc. It is ill advised to find out that your surgeon is unable to manage a complication while you’re experiencing one! Medicine, like many other fields is extremely specialized. A Toyota mechanic may be able to change the oil in a Mercedes, but rest assured when there is a significant problem, he will soon surpass his or her comfort level. This is not to state that only plastic surgeons can perform aesthetic surgery. There are fine surgeons from other backgrounds who have made significant contributions to aesthetic surgery. However, how is the average patient assured that their surgeon has met standards to maximize their safety both in best and worse case scenarios? When you step on a commercial plane, you are assured that your pilot has met certain standards by a governing body, i.e. the FAA to maximize your safety both in good and bad weather. Unfortunately, this has not yet established in the field of aesthetic surgery and patients must use caution in the selection of a physician.

In my experience, if your surgeon is truly qualified to provide what you desire, the next most important thing is how comfortable you feel that this person truly has your best interest and safety in mind. This may mean telling you what you don’t want to hear such as your expectations are unrealistic. Ultimately, you will be better off for it! You are an individual, not simply a body part, procedure or case. Your meeting with your surgeon should reflect such. If you are unable to detect sincerity in the person you are paying to perform an elective procedure, then you should consider another surgeon.

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Dr Coleman is an specialist in Plastic Surgery - including Aesthetic Surgery and Reconstructive Surgery - serving patients in the areas of Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Orange County, Tustin and the whole San Fernando Valley California CA. As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon he has vast experience in procedures like breast augmentation (breast enhancement, breast enlargement with breast implants), breast lift, breast reconstruction, breast reduction, inverted nipples, gynecomastia, male pectoral augmentation, liposuction, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), hips liposuction, legs liposuction, thigh lift, flanks liposuction, mini tummy tuck (mini abdominoplasty), neck liposuction, neck lift, brachioplasty, blepharoplasty, arm lift, buttock augmentation (gluteal surgery), surgery after gastric by pass, scar revision, spider veins, chin implant, cheek augmentation and implants, face lift, eyelid surgery, fat injections, enjectible fillers, Botox, radiesse, restalyne, lipoma surgery, midface lift, nasal implants, nose surgery, otoplasty (surgery of the ear), rhinoplasty, rhytidectomy, sagging skin, submalar implants, thread lift, surgery of the hand and microsurgery and others. If you would like to schedule a consultation or have any questions regarding this or other procedures please call us to the 310-393-7668 in Beverly Hills or the 714-508-2105 in Tustin CA, or you can visit us at 8670 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 203, Beverly Hills CA and 12791 Newport Ave. Suite 202 Tustin California. Dr Coleman and his Staff are always happy to assist you.

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