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What is the Difference Between the American Board of Plastic Surgery and American Board of Otolaryngology?

I would like to have facial plastic surgery rhinoplasty, chin implant, cheek implants. I would like to know the difference between the american board of plastic surgery and the american board of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. I am only having facial surgery should it matter that the doctor isnt certified by the american board of plastic surgery?? ALso most of these doctors aren't members of the american society of plastic surgeons is this because they only perform facial surgery?

Doctor Answers 11

What Does Board Certification Mean?

Board certification means that a physician has passed oral and written tests, made by others in their field, and are deemed qualified to perform the care and surgeries they have been trained in. Different fields of medicine have an associated "Board" that are approved through the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). Both The American Board of Plastic Surgery and The American Board of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery (to be precise) are approved specialties through the ABMS. Both Plastic Surgeons and ENT Surgeons are trained in Rhinoplasty. That said, not all plastic surgeons or ENT surgeons are good at rhinoplasty. Look for someone with lots of experience, a good reputation and post-op pictures they can show you.

Boards can get even more confusing when you discover there are two schools of medicine in the United States and Osteopathic Physicinas (D.O.'s) have a separated board the American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists  (AOABS) which is equivelant to the ABMS for M.D.s.

Some surgeons are not certified in their field. When a physician is first in practice out of their residency, often they have to practice for a time before they can take their boards (oral and or written tests) to be certified. Additionally, some doctors let their certification expire and for reasons of their own, don't re-certify.

Certification can be confusing. I think it is important your physician is Board Certified in their field. However, it is also important to make sure you are comfortable with your surgeon. Make sure they perform a lot of the surgeries you are interested in. And make sure they have a good reputation. Good Luck!

Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Board Certified Surgeons

That's a great question. Here's the long answer. After surgeons complete their training in an accrdited training program, they can go on to become "Board Certified" in their area of training. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is the agency which has the authority to grant "Board Certification"  to applicants from the different specialties. The ABMS recognizes most mainstream specialties including Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology (aka Ear, Nose, and Throat Surgery / ENT / Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery). Plastic surgeons have gone through a different traing than Otolaryngologists. They are different but similar in some respects. Within each specialty there are areas of common ground and areas of difference. Rhinoplasty is a common ground area. Board certified surgeon of either specialty are qualified to perform rhinoplasty. Not all Board Certified surgeons however excel or have a strong interest in nasal surgery. So it's important to dig a little deeper when considering your surgeon. Ask if they are also members of specialty societies and check out their results. If someone claims to be "Board Certified" by a "Board" which is not included or recognized by the ABMS, I would be very suspicious and recommend another opinion from someone who is.

Difference Between the American Board of Plastic Surgery and American Board of Otolaryngology

Both boards are distinguished an require extensive training and commitment. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is for plastic surgeons while the Board of otolaryngology is for ENT ear nose and throat surgeons. ENT surgeons who are interested in cosmetic surgery frequently pursue additional certification by the Facial Plastic Surgery society. Rhinoplasty surgeons can be certified by either board. When choosing the appropriate surgeon, you should ensure that the surgeon is experienced, and his work demonstrates technical skill and artistic talent.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

What is the Difference Between the American Board of Plastic Surgery and American Board of Otolaryngology?

 The difference between the American Board of Facial Plastic and Recosntructive Surgery and The American Board of Plastic Surgery is that the Facial Plastic Surgery Board certifies Facial Plastic Surgeons and the latter certifies Plastic Surgeons.  Today advertising and media claims, by various organizations and surgeons, have attempted to blur the lines of this reality however, the facts remain as I have presented them.  There are other organizations that perform Cosmetic Surgery with thier own American Board of Cosmetic Surgery that certifies Cosmetic Surgeons.

IMHO, board certification with any board does not by itself guartee a desireable outcome.  Finding the right plastic and cosmetic surgeon from any of these groups should be based on three criterea, IMO.

  1. They have the proper aesthetic judgement to perform the particular surgery or treatment that you are interested in having,
  2. They have the appropriate level of training, experience and skill to perform that surgery or treatment.
  3. That they are board certified in one of these baords, which means thay have specialized in plastic and copsmetic surgery.

Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

The difference between specialties

Both specialties are accredited by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Otolaryngologists  receive an extensive amount of surgical training in the head and neck including the face. Many training programs offer broad exposure to cosmetic and functional rhinoplasty as well as facial rejuvination in addition to reconstructive surgery. There are many plastic surgeons who receive extensive training in the face as well. You can find highly qualified surgoens in either specialty. The most important point is to find a surgeon who does a relatively high volume of the type of procedure you are looking for and is very comfortable with the procedure.

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Board certification

All of the answers below are correct.  The important question, given a group of surgeons all of whom are board certified, is what is the exact training received and how much experience does the surgeon have in the area of interest?

Plastic Surgeons train in cosmetic surgery from the first day of their residency and thus incorporate a culture of aesthetics early on in ther careers.  They specialize as a group in soft tissue manipulation and thus bring a significant amount of experience to the field of cosmetic surgery. 

Board Certification

Board of otolaryngology is for ENT  ear nose and throat surgeons. 

They can do head and neck surgery but if you want one who does cosmetic.. go to an ENT with additional cerification by the Facial Plastic Surgery society

Plastic surgeons are trained in facial, breast and body surgery but you still need to go to one who is experienced 

with the procedure you desire

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Difference between being board certified facial plastic surgeon versus plastic surgeon

Surgeons certified by either of those two boards are qualified to perform rhinoplasty and chin and cheek augmentation.

American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery certified surgeons focus on facial procedures and have a background in Otolaryngology. American Board of Plastic Surgery certified surgeons have a background in performing both full body (breast, abdominal, hand for example) and facial surgery.

You can find a qualified and excellent surgeon from either specialty, but just because the surgeon has board certification doesn't necessarily mean that they have a particular interest or aptitude with the facial procedures you are interested in.

Going beyond the certification you should review surgeons' before and after photos and consult with a few to find the surgeon that is the best fit for you.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews


Unfortunately for you .this question i n real life boils down more to a turf war tha a quality war Surgeons who are certified by either board are qualified to do facial procedures. Base your descision on multiple consults and surgeon experience not a oiece of paper

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Board certification and rhinoplasty

Physicians certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and th American board of Otolaryngology are equally qualified to perform rhinoplasty. These are often referred to as "core physicians". After verifying board certification, the more important question is, "does the physician you are contemplating have a great reputation for doing noses?" Do your research, ask around.

Robert M. Jensen, MD
Medford Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 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.