Why Do You Think a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is Better Than a Non-board Certified Plastic Surgeon?

I went to a board certified plastic surgeon and the reults were deformed breasts. Dr. Reye from 90210 is not board certified(as far as I know) and he does beautiful work with no scars.

Doctor Answers 5

Board certification in plastic surgery

Board certification is the highest level of achievement after going through residency. It sets the standard for basic training and education. It usually requires about 6 years of training and then stringent oral and written exams.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
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Board certification

There are a number of issues in your post. First off I can assure that there are scars in Dr. Reye's patients. You cannot make an incision without a resulting scar no matter how good or bad the surgeon is. The key is to minimize the visible appearance of those scars. Anyone who has had surgery will tell you that. I think you are confusing reality television (which is not really reality) and real life.

As for board certification it is not the end all be all. It is a part of a whole construct that you need to ensure safe surgery and a reliable aesthetic result. If the surgeon is not board certified the question should be did he/she fail the test, never take it or is not qualified to/cannot take it. A surgeon may be technically good but cannot take it or pass it because of ethical issues like insurance fraud.

Not knowing the details of your case with respect to what was done, what exactly was the result of surgery, what you started with or how you chose your surgeon it is impossible to say more.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Board certification does not guarantee extraordinary talent in a plastic surgeon.


Dr Rand gave you a wonderful answer.  Also, even a great surgeon will have an occasional bad result.  Here are some tips on picking a plastic surgeon:

1) Is the surgeon a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery? Members usually do a lot of cosmetic surgery.

2) Did you sense a commitment to excellence in the office. Did the surgeon spend a lot of time with you? Someone who rushes through the consultation may rush through the surgery.

3) Were you treated as an individual? Did the surgeon present you with a surgical plan tailor made for you?

4) Plastic surgeons have to have a good eye and meticulous technique.  Did the surgeon show you A LOT of before and after pictures, and did you love the results?

5) Talk to other doctors you know. Established plastic surgeons have a reputation in the community, good or bad.

6)  Ask to speak to a patient who has had the procedure you want.  You are looking for a surgeon who does a lot of what you want.   Many  patients are eager to share their experience.  Privacy is preserved by having the patient call you.

7)  If you are having breast augmentation, ask if the surgeon has a large inventory of different size and shape breast implants available in the operating room.  A surgeon who does a lot of breast surgery will have an inventory.  This way, the final implant choice does not have to be made in advance.

8)   With office surgery, make sure the surgical facility is ACCREDITED.   Very important safety assurance.

9)   Make sure the anesthesia is given by a BOARD CERTIFIED ANESTHESIOLOGIST.  Another very important safety factor.

10)  Make sure the office has trained nurses available for hands-on post operative care.  This can really speed recovery.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Importance of Board Certification

Physicians upon finishing medical school receive their medical license or MD degree.  In many states after one year of residency a Physician can legally practice medicine or surgery. While medical licensure sets the minimum competency requirements to diagnose and treat, it is not specialty specific. Medical specialty certification is a voluntary process. The American Board of Medical Specialties is the pre-eminent entity (often considered the Gold Standard) overseeing the certification physician specialists in the United States.  Whenever you choose a physician to care for your problem it makes sense to make sure he has the background, training and experience to provide your specific care.  Board Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons a part of the American Board of Medical Specialties shows the Plastic Surgeon has met those standards.  Simply put would you knowingly get on a plane and fly with a pilot who failed the FAA exam for pilots and is not certified?  Would you knowingly have surgery by a physician claiming to be Board Certified rather than checking on their credentials.  Most states Board of Medicine have web sites which can offer you this information or ask the physician. 

Best of luck to you! 

Dean L. Johnston, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or not?

To be Board Certifed, you need to have completed several years of formal plastic surgery traiing and rigorous written and oral exams.  That doesn't mean that you are the very best surgeon around though.  That is where the talent, artistry, and eye of the individual come into the choice of the right doctor.  So, I guess that there are some non-Boarded surgeons who may be more talented than some Boarded ones but you have to wonder why, if they are good, they aren't Board Certified.  It is either because they don't have sufficient training, their program directors did not recommend them to the Board after training them, or that they flunked the exams either at the written phase, the oral phase, or were found to have questionable ethics. 

Also, all surgeries involve scars, even on 90210!

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.