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Difference Between Board Certified and Just Licensed?

Is it safe to use someone who is not Board Certified for a face lift and what is your opinion of using the Lifestyle Lift procedure?

Doctor Answers (30)

Board Certified vs Licensed; Lifestyle Lift, Redoing LifeStyle Lifts

+5

"Licensed" means the doctor has a medical license, which every single practicing doctor in the country has. 

Board certified in plastic surgery is tough to get.  You have to be an actual surgeon.  You have to train in plastic surgery.  You have to pass tough examinations by an AMA sanctioned entity, the American Board of Plastic Surgery. 

"Cosmetic surgeon" "Aesthetic surgeon" are wastebasket terms that anybody can use, even a doctor trained yesterday at the worst medical school in the country who finished at the bottom of his class.  Weekend course not even required to use those terms.

The patients we have seen in our office who have had the LifeStyle Lift have been uniformly dissatisfied.  They have all the scars of a regular facelift, clumsily performed.  They have had none of the benefits of deep tissue restructuring, platysmal improvement, let alone the high skill level required to make scars virtually invisible.  And they are facing redoing their work entirely, if they can now afford it after spending their hard earned money on the minilift.


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Board Certified Plastic Surgeons are so much more that just "licensed"

+4

All practicing doctors, whatever field they may be in, are "licensed" to practice medicine.  So this tells you nothing about them and does nothing to separate out where you want to go for surgery ON YOUR FACE!  The LS Lift is a heavily marketed branded procedure done usually by surgeons who are not Board Certified in Plastic Surgery.

It is essentially a mini facelift and has a notably poor patient satisfaction rate when you look at the reviews posted on line and on RealSelf.  A properly done real facelift (you would benefit from one because of your heavy neck features) by a real plastic surgeon has a satisfaction rate that exceeds 90-95% vs what I have seen at about 38% for the LS lift. Check my photos to see what I mean.

So, don't let the marketing, the price, and the claims steer you away from doing the right procedure with the right surgeon.  Again, it is your face after all!

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Difference Between Board Certified and Just Licensed?

+2

I have a drivers license. but I am not a professional race car driver who has dedicated his life, energy, education, personal time to becoming the best at what I do, knowing that one wrong turn can mean the difference between victory and a fireball of a crash.  is that too dramatic? there is no substitute for an expert (board certified plastic surgeon or board certified facial plastic surgeon).

Interestingly, Lifestyle sent me a solicitation form letter offering me a position as one of their doctors.  It actually stated, "don't worry if you don't know how, we will teach you'. scary, isn't it?  thery are bottom feeders looking for weak doctors and vulnerable pts. they were fined for lying to pts by the state of NY. For the record the salary they offered me was so low i can't believe they ever get anyone to become a "Lifestyle doctor".

good luck

Rafael C. Cabrera, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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Board certification vs. license.

+2

Surgeons who are board certified in Facial Plastic or Plastic Surgery have gone through rigorous training in plastic surgery and have taken an exam to become certified. You want to trust your face to an EXPERIENCED plastic or facial plastic surgeon to get the best result possible. Look for excellent results and talk to the surgeon's patients!

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Facelift and Board Certification

+2

When deciding on who to have your Facelift with, choose a locally respected Surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS), or American Board of Plastic Surgery. Make sure that it is Surgeon you like, whose office staff treats you respectfully, and who has an excellent local reputation.  Ask if your Facelift will be performed in an accredited surgical facility (AAAASF, AAAHC, JCAHO, or ACHA are the only names you need to know).  Reputation and experience are much more important than marketing and sales. Ask yourself: can a well performed Facelift can be performed in about an hour?  Ask yourself:  how did I hear about Lifestyle Lift, through marketing or because you have friends who have had the procedure and are happy a year later?  There is no revolutionary new procedure as claimed, nobody has invented a way to make a patient "heal faster" after a Facelift, and a one hour procedure may make you happy for 4 months, while a well performed Facelift will last 10 years or longer.

Please note that any claims to volume of procedures made by a company is no guarantee of quality or improved outcomes.  The studies performed on Cardiac Surgery outcomes based on volume, due to a huge array of variables, makes a similar statement about Facelift surgery very difficult to make.  LSL has had a large number of Surgeons come and go.

Be Careful!

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Licensed, Board Certified and Life Style

+1

Thank you for asking about Board Certification, licensure and face lifts.

  1. A medical license means an MD or DO passed the 3 USMLE examinations and a 1-3 year residency and was given a state medical license. 
  2. Board Certification means completion of ABMS specialty training and examination. Most well-trained specialists have Board Certification.
  3. Lifestyle lift is a company trademark for its face lift - it hires doctors to do the surgery. Many people end up disappointed by such commercial face lifts. It is better to see a specialist - you pay for good care, not pricey marketing.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Difference Between Board Certified and Just Licensed

+1

Being Board Certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery is the standard for finding a fully trained plastic surgeon that performs plastic surgery on both the face and body. Unfortunately, in the United States any licensed MD can perform any type of procedure they desire if they are licensed in that specific state. Plastic surgery has become the “buyer beware specialty” so choose your surgeon wisely. Finding a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery or a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery is the main goal.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Licensed versus board certified

+1

Every graduate of a medical school who passes Part II of the National Boards is eligible to receive a medical license.  The license makes the holder eligible to practice "medicine and surgery".  It doesn't make him or her qualified or trained to do either.  Board certification in plastic surgery comes after lengthy residencies (in my case, general surgery followed by plastic surgery), a written board examination and a two-day, oral examination involving case presentations.  Plastic surgeons are not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery until they have been in practice for at least two years, which basically puts them 9 years past medical school.  The ABPS is one of the official, national boards under the aegis of the American Medical Association.  It is not a "do it yourself" kind of board which invites and certifies all comers.  So, there is a vast difference between the holder of a medical degree who may have trained and even been certified in pediatrics, internal medicine, etc., etc.  and a board certified plastic surgeon.  As for the Life Style lift, which is basically a superficial face lift, I do have issues with it.  First, my patients describe hard sell techniques, spending much more time with the selling patient coordinator than with the doctor, being unable to reach the physician in the evenings or on weekends, physicians who do not have local hospital privileges, etc.  Some doctors who work for this company fly in and fly out.  Their facilities in New York are not accredited by the Joint Commission, which means that they cannot offer sedation.  One size does not fit all in facial cosmetic surgery so I would be wary of any facility which offers just one or two procedures and is not community based.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Importance of Certification by a Recognized Board of Plastic Surgery namely The American Board of Plastic Surgery can not be und

+1

It is extremely important to have your Plastic surgery by a Plastic Surgeon who is certified by American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Licensed doctor is anyone who has a basic licenese to practice general medicine, and such doctor will certainly lack any specialized skills that are acquired only through very vigorous training.

I believe that all plastic  surgeries including Facelift surgery should be sought in an individual personalized manner rather than in a Franchized setting.  However, if you are looking for a cheap deal then Franchized approach to facelift can not be matched elsewhere.  Read between these lines and you have your answer about second part of your question.

Good luck. 

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Board certified vs just licensed

+1

Board certification is by one entity with a set standard issued to qualifying physicians nation wide, while licensing laws differ from state to state  It is important to make sure that a board certified facial plastic surgeon is performing your facelift.  Look for someone who is in private practice who has an excellent track record and review many of their before and after photo galleries from that specific surgeon’s patients.  It is also important to make sure there is good communication between the surgeon and the patient.  A comprehensive facelift cannot be performed in 1 hour over a lunch break.  It is also important to make sure the facility where the procedure will be performed in is licensed.  It is important to note that the facial plastic surgeon is board certified, the anesthesiologist who is putting you to sleep is board certified, and the operating room is certified or licensed.  

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

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.