Should the Democrats recapture the Senate in the November elections, these five southern senators are in line to become chairmen of key committees. Hollings would chair Commerce; Johnston, unless he wins his expected challenge to Sen. Robert C. Byrd (W.Va.), for the post of majority leader, would chair Energy and Natural Resources; Chiles would chair the Budget Committee, Bentsen the Finance Committee and Nunn the Armed Services Committee.

Plastic surgeons and medical organizations say there are a number of considerations prospective patients should keep in mind. Among them:

Be sure the surgeon is fully qualified -- certified for a surgical subspecialty -- and a recognized, full-time expert in his or her field.

Ask the surgeon to give clear evidence of his or her background and training.

Freely discuss the problem with the surgeon.

Be aware of the potential risks as well as the benefits of the surgery under consideration.

Look into the surgeon's standing in the medical community. A hospital, the local medical association or a directory of medical specialists should be able to provide the necessary information.

Don't be excessively concerned about the risks involved. Serious complications are the exception, not the rule.

Don't expect to be able to select or be guaranteed exactly the look desired.

Discuss complete details of the fees involved in the elective surgery being considered.

Don't hesitate to ask the surgeon for a second consultation, with another plastic surgeon.

Finding a Surgeon

Family physicians, nurses and anesthesiologists often can recommend a plastic surgeon. They may be found as well by word-of-mouth, recommended by satisfied patients.

Other sources might include the local community or county medical society.

The American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPRS), 233 North Michigan Ave., Suite 1900, Chicago, Ill. 60601, (312-856-1834), and the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 1101 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20005, (202-842-4500 or 800-332-3223) will provide the names of three board-certified plastic surgeons in your area.