Thanks for your question regarding why you would consider a facial plastic surgeon over a plastic surgeon for a facelift. I would advise you to look at the questions differently, a facial plastic surgeon or a general plastic surgeon could be equally qualified or not-qualified to perform a facelift. It depends upon what they have chosen to specialize in. First, lets compare the difference betwen the training of a general plastic surgeon and a facial plastic surgeon.
A general plastic surgeon receives their board certification by completing medical school, followed by 2-3 years in general surgery performing abdominal surgery, trauma surgery etc, followed by 2-3 years in plastic surgery residency performing plastic surgery of the face, body, breast, hand etc. Following their residency they may pursue a fellowship in an area to further hone their skills. This may be in cosmetic breast, body or facial plastics as well a host of other specialties related to plastic surgery.
A facial plastic surgeon obtains their board certification by completing medical school followed by a 1 year internship in general surgery and a 4 year residency in head and neck surgery, aka otolaryngology. During that 4 year training the facial plastic surgeon spends their entire focus on the face, head and neck including cancer surgery of the oral cavity and neck as well as skull base surgery, sinus surgery, reconstructive facial surgery etc. Basically, a facial plastic surgeon is immersed in the anatomy and conditions of the head and neck for 4 years. Most facial plastic surgeons then complete a 1 year fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery where they further improve our skills related to the area of facial plastic surgery they are interested in. This may be free flap head and neck reconstruction, cleft lip and craniofacial surgery or cosmetics.
Having compared the training, your question should really ask on what the surgeon has chosen to focus their practice on. If the surgeon is performing mostly breast and body surgery and only performs an occasional facelift then they might not be as adept as facelift surgery. In our case we only perform cosmetic facial surgery ie. facelift, rhinoplasty and skin cancer reconstruction on the face. Therefore we have plentiful opportunity to practice our preferred procedures and master them. In choosing a surgeon I would take a look at their website. If they look like they are focusing on breast and body and only have a few facial patients you may take a look somewhere else. If they look like they have a volume of facial patients and the results are natural and significant then they may be someone worth seeing in consultation.
I hope this helps in answering your question. I encourage you to look at our before and after photos and video gallery. Please feel free to call for a consultation if you feel comfortable.