Considering a Cosmetic Procedure? Why It's Important to Consult With a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Any licensed physician can call him or herself a “cosmetic” surgeon. This includes your OB/GYN, psychiatrist, or even child’s pediatrician. Cosmetic surgeons do not have training in an approved plastic surgery program. Many of these “surgeons” take weekend courses on liposuction, Botox injections, and other cosmetic procedures. Board-certified plastic surgeons complete a minimum of six years of surgical training following medical school. Plastic surgery residency programs are competitive. The passing of comprehensive written and oral examinations are mandatory following training in order to be a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Plastic surgeons are trained to prevent and handle emergencies, and they have a comprehensive education to ensure patient safety. This includes a sound foundation in anatomy and physiology which provides plastic surgeons with an understanding of all body systems. An extensive training provides technical skills, as well as the aesthetic judgment needed to provide the best care and results. Additionally, the continuous attention to form as well as function provides these specialists with a finely tuned sense of aesthetics. This is a unique qualification that is critical to the success of cosmetic surgery, where judgments of balance and proportion are called upon.
There are many studies showing that board-certified plastic surgeons deliver the best patient care with the fewest complications. Another reason to choose a surgeon listed with the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Board of Dermatology, or the American Board of Ophthalmology is that their surgical procedures (requiring anesthesia) may only be performed in an accredited, licensed, or Medicare-certified surgical facility. This adds another layer of confidence and safety to the patient. Check the websites of these boards to verify that your surgeon has the proper certification.