Chapter 4. Resources for plastic surgery patients

George Commons, MD

Article by
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon

Let us summarize what we know so far and then add some contact information for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.   As you begin your hunt for a plastic surgeon to do your plastic surgery, you must first determine that the doctor you are talking to is a real trained, qualified, and boarded surgeon.   Yes, there are many doctors  out there, with little or no formal surgical training, claiming to be plastic surgeons.   Amazing but true.   The first thing that must be determined is that your proposed doctor is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.....FACS.....   If the FACS is absent, go to another doctor.   Find a real trained surgeon, boarded in a surgical specialty.  Many doctors are boarded in something and for credentials they list.....only....BOARDED....in what?   Psychiatry?   Do you want a psychiatrist doing your plastic surgery?  Don't laugh because......it happens.   Most states grant licensees to doctors listing them as physicians and surgeons.   Amazing..yes!  No training but there they are.  And the consumer is left to figure it all out.   Demand your plastic surgery doctor  be FACS.  Then is the next chore, and that is to assure your  surgeon FACS is actually trained in plastic surgery.  ABPS means the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  After a 7 to 10 year residency in plastic surgery at a major university,  the plastic surgeon is board eligible.  Once the boards are taken and passed,  the plastic surgeon is now a boarded plastic surgeon.  Most do not put the ABPS after their name but I think they should.  How is the consumer to know.   Reading this resource guide will help.   So once boards are passed the,   the  surgeon is invited to join the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.   You can contact this society in the following manner.   This society has meeting and programs that assure the continuing education of your plastic surgeon.Contact information for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons is 100444 E Algonquin Road, Arlington Hts, Illinois, 60005.  Phone is 847-228-9900.   You, of course, can also contact the society and see the site on the internet by Goggling the societies name.   The internet site has a vast source of information including many pre and post operative photos supplied by the membership.   This concludes Chapter 4.   Chapter 5 will address the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery,  the cosmetic surgery arm of plastic surgery.   My Best,  Dr C