Dr. Richard Chaffoo

Meet Dr. Chaffoo

Richard Chaffoo, MD, FACS, FICS is a La Jolla, California triple board certified plastic surgeon offering cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, breast, body, & skin. An artist by nature and  perfectionist by design, Dr. Chaffoo constantly strives to create exceptional and stunning results for each one of his patients. Dr. Chaffoo is  one of the select few plastic surgeons in the United States  to be Triple Board Certified, with certifications by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Board of Otolaryngology (Head & Neck Surgery), and the American Board of Facial and Plastic Reconstructive Surgery.  Consistently listed as a Top Doc by Castle Connolly and ranked amongst the world's top surgeons, Dr. Chaffoo is considered renowned in the field of plastic surgery.     

Unmatched Excellence

Dr. Chaffoo has been named a "Top Doc" by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. and U.S. News and World Report for 5 consecutive years, an honor only earned by 5% of doctors in America. He has earned the prestigious "Top Doctor" status on RealSelf, a title for the top 10% of doctors on realself.com. Dr. Chaffoo is proud of the RealSelf designation because it helps men and women across the nation get the information they need to make wise choices when selecting a plastic surgeon. Dr. Chaffoo is also honored to win the "Patient's Choice Award" for La Jolla area for 5 years. Dr. Chaffoo is a past President of the San Diego Plastic Surgery Society and former Chief, Plastic Surgery, Scripps Memorial Hospital, Encinitas. Dr. Chaffoo was honored to be named the "Number One Hair Restoration Surgeon in the USA" by Aesthetic Everything. Dr. Chaffoo is the local Fox 5 San Diego Medical Expert, and he contributes to the media for plastic surgery in major national magazines like Allure, New Beauty, US News and World Report, and Cosmopolitan.

Specialties and Expertise

Dr. Chaffoo is sought out by patients nationwide for his experience and skill with rhinoplasty, especially revision or "redo" surgery easily considered to be the most challenging of aesthetic (cosmetic) plastic surgery procedures. Several local plastic surgeons frequently refer such challenging cases to Dr. Chaffoo as he is considered by many colleagues a "Superspecialist" in Facial Plastic Surgery. Dr. Chaffoo has one of the nation's most respected and busiest hair restoration practices for men and women utilizing the latest techniques of follicular unit extraction (FUE) to avoid a linear scar and create completely natural hairlines. Dr. Chaffoo is experienced and adept in performing a comprehensive range of plastic surgery procedures for the face, breasts, and body, including breast augmentation, revision breast surgery, liposuction, tummy tucks, mommy makeovers, body lifts,  and facial rejuvenation. Dr. Chaffoo has established San Diego's busiest non-invasive center for fat reduction using Coolsculpting technology.

Love of Art and Science

Dr. Chaffoo was inspired to become a plastic surgeon by his unique upbringing, growing up in a home with a father who was a symphony conductor and a mother who was an artist. He studied music at an early age learning the cello and ultimately performing in his father's symphony orchestra where he learned the values of discipline, manual dexterity, and perfectionism.  While volunteering at a local hospital, Dr. Chaffoo became inspired by several surgeons and decided to pursue a career in medicine. He ultimately chose to pursue a career in plastic surgery as he felt it required the creativity and aesthetic eye of an artist.  

Education and Training

Dr. Chaffoo completed 9 years of surgical training following medical school including two surgical residencies and three fellowships. He completed a prestigious one year AAFPRS fellowship in Facial Plastic Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center and obtained certifications by the American Board of Otolaryngology (Head & Neck Surgery) and the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Chaffoo then completed an additional two year residency program in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland, Oregon where he received intensive training in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, breasts, and body. He then achieved certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He is San Diego's only Triple Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon who is also a board certified Plastic Surgeon. Dr. Chaffoo has been a Lecturer on facial plastic surgery techniques, including presentations for the World Congress International Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ISPRS) in Yokohama, Japan and the World Congress of Surgery in Hong Kong. Dr. Chaffoo has published numerous articles on plastic surgery in leading peer reviewed journals and lectured both nationally and internationally on various plastic surgery topics. During his career as a US Naval surgeon, Dr. Chaffoo provided training for medical students, interns, and residents at the Naval Regional Medical Centers Portsmouth, Va and San Diego, Ca. He holds a clinical faculty appointment in the Department of Surgery, UCSD Medical Center and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. and a previous faculty appointment at Stanford University Medical Center.



Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
Eastern Virginia Medical School and U.S. Naval Regional Medical Center
Portsmouth, VA

Division of Plastic Reconstructive and Hand Surgery
Department of Surgery Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU)
Portland, OR


Facial Plastic Surgery (approved by American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery-AAFPRS)
Division of Facial Plastic Surgery
Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
Stanford University Medical Center
Stanford, CA

Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery (approved by the American Society for Head & Neck Surgery)
Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
Stanford University Medical Center
Stanford, CA

Burn Surgery
San Diego County Regional Burn Center
Department of Surgery
University of California, San Diego Medical Center
San Diego, CA


Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
Wake Forest University, Bowman-Gray School
of Medicine
Winston-Salem, NC


Surgical Internship
Department of Surgery
U.S. Naval Regional Medical Center
Portsmouth, VA


Bachelor of Arts – Chemistry
Summa Cum Laude
Catawba College
Salisbury, NC


Ongoing Training

Over the years, technology and techniques in plastic surgery have advanced, so Dr. Chaffoo has continued to learn, adapt, and refine his techniques to best serve his patients. Dr. Chaffoo is particularly interested in making procedures less invasive and allow patients to recover faster, like endoscopic facelifts, NeoGraft® hair restoration, CoolSculpting® fat reduction, and facial rejuvenation. Because there are so many options and so much marketing, choosing a procedure can be confusing for patients, but our patients can be confident that Dr. Chaffoo is always investigating new technologies and embracing only those that measure up to the highest standards of medical care.  Dr. Chaffoo was invited to become the co-investigator on a ground breaking research project regarding hair loss by Sanford Burnham, an internationally renown biotech research company located in La Jolla, Ca. This collaborative study is investigating methods to create new hair follicles for men and women who suffer from hair loss.   Dr. Chaffoo's research interests were recognized during his  fellowship in burn surgery at the University of California, San Diego when the UCSD Burn Institute was awarded a research grant from Cynosure Laser Corporation Donation for the study of post-burn hypertrophic scar prevention and treatment.

Professional Societies

  • American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (Fellow)
  • American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (Fellow)
  • American College of Surgeons (Fellow)
  • American Head and Neck Surgery Society (Fellow)
  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (Member)
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons (Member)
  • California Society of Plastic Surgeons (Member)
  • San Diego Plastic Surgery Society (Past President )

Steadfast Commitment

"I believe that being a physician is a privilege. Plastic surgery includes aesthetic (cosmetic) surgery, but it is also real surgery. I don't take it lightly. I am rewarded by being able to improve a life each time I am entrusted with the enormous responsibility and privilege of helping a patient make a change to his or her appearance. You can't put a value on raising another person's self-esteem. In addition to making human connections, performing plastic surgery engages my creative spirit. Each patient is unique, so no single operation is exactly like another. Plastic surgery is never routine. In fact, I've performed the same procedure on twins, and even then, each surgery was unique."

Medical Privileges

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.