What surgical credentials are necessary for an MD doing breast augmentation and uplift?

George Commons, MD

Article by
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon

MDs that are not certified surgeons doing San Francisco Bay Area Breast Surgery

Many breast surgeries in the San Francisco Bay area are done by MDs that are not trained  surgeons. Surgical training requires a full residency in general and plastic surgery of 7 to 10 years. Unfortunately in California, MDs that have not had surgical;l training, have never been boarded by a recognized surgical board and therefore cannot become members of the American College of Surgeon (FACS) still do breast surgery. The breast surgery done by these non FACS surgeons includes breast reductions, breast uplifts, breast reconstruction, and breast augmentation. Yes, your breast surgery may have been done by an untrained surgeon in California. Is this legal? Yes!. California licenses MDs as physicians and surgeons. Many untrained doctors decide they can make more money doing your breast surgery than seeing patients for insurance reimbursements. They may have a slick approach and convince patients they are fully certified and trained surgeons. A real plastic surgeon trained to do breast surgery has certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Always look for the FACS. If there is no FACS you are dealing with a non certified surgeon. If no FACS you are dealing with an MD that self proclaimed himself or herself a plastic surgeon in the middle of a moonlit night.  These  are untrained and non certified surgeons. They have never trained in an officially recognized surgical program and have never taken or passed a recognized surgical board.They are not boarded by a recognized surgical board.  They are not Fellows of the American College of Surgeons. California authorities  know very well about these problems and do nothing.   The American College of surgeons allows membership only for doctors who have completed long and hard surgical programs and taken and passed difficult surgical testing boards.   These doctors can then put FACS after their names. 
Some often claim they had some vague surgical fellowship that disappears when traced. A weekend course in a lecture hall does not make a surgeon. Some of these non FACS MDs calling themselves plastic surgeons refer to their medical school surgery rotation as their surgical training. These non certified  surgeons that are not FACS often fly from state to state doing surgery and poor surgery at that. It takes years to bring them to a stop. The California Medical Board is afraid to act because they may get sued. The California Medical Board turns its head until a death or disaster occurs an then takes years to do anything. What can you do. Don't go to these untrained MDs. How to identify them then? Its easy. First and foremost they are not FACS members. Second they have no recognized board training. They are almost always on the low end of the price scale. Beware what seems like a bargain in plastic surgery. You may end up dead. They are elusive when you ask about credentials. They have non certified operating facilities. They do not have MD anesthesiologists at their non certified facilities. Anesthesiologists will not risk working for these doctors. They have no privileges to do the operations they advertise in a real certified JCHS Hospital. The hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area will not allow these untrained non FACS MDs to operate in the hospital operating rooms. Why? Because they are not certified and trained  surgeons with the FACS and they are dangerous. They may injure and kill people. Always choose a real FACS surgeon that is certified by the ABPS for your breast surgery. Think!. Probe. Don't fall for absurd low price deals. Extreme low prices equate to extreme low quality and danger. Look for the FACS and the ABPS. Make a doctor prove a major hospital allows him or her to operate and do breast surgery Call the hospital from  the doctor’s office and confirm that he or she has  major hospital privileges.  If there is no American Board of Plastic Surgery and there is no FACS and there are no hospital privileges and no MD anesthesiologist it is best you seek another doctor. My Best, DR C