I am scheduled to get a breast augmentation, but my Doctor is not on the American board of surgeons. Any suggestion?

I'm scheduled to get a breast augmentation with a Dr that was referred to me by a close friend. But I don't think he is board certified, is that a big concern? I felt comfortable with him and his staff and my consultation. I'm so torn..

Doctor Answers 28

I am scheduled to get a breast augmentation, but my Doctor is not on the American board of surgeons. Any suggestion

You are having an elective, non-emergency surgery. There should be no rush to have something done. I strongly suggest you choose either a American Board of Plastic Surgery or an American Board of Opthalmology Surgeon who is board certified for your eye surgery


Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

I am scheduled to get a breast augmentation, but my Doctor is not on the American board of surgeons.

If your surgeon is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, you are OK. If not, you would be wise to seek your care elsewhere.               

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast Augmentation with Non-certified Surgeon

Hello,
You are not thinking clearly.  This is an operation that has a frequent complications and a high re-operative rate. Why would you increase your risk with someone not properly trained. There are so many ABPS certified surgeons in Los Angeles.  Don't take the risk.
Best.

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

I am scheduled to get a breast augmentation, but my Doctor is not on the American board of surgeons. Any suggestion?

For me this is a very easy answer. I am board certified buy the American Board of Surgery and The American Board of Plastic Surgery. I worked very hard to obtain these credentials. I spent well over 12 years training in General Surgery and then Plastic Surgery. I sat for written exams in General Surgery and Plastic Surgery. I then appeared in front of the medical board for oral examinations in General Surgery and then Plastic Surgery. This means I have been judged and scrutinized by my peers in Plastic Surgery and General Surgery. Though I do not practice General Surgery, because Plastic Surgery is my passion and my declared specialty, I was deemed to be safe to perform operations in both specialties. I can not tell you the level of commitment it takes to obtain these kinds of certifications. I have no problem with other doctors in other specialties being certified to do these kinds of procedures as long as they sit for the boards and are judged in the same manner that I was. I personally feel it would be criminal for you to go to someone for this procedure who is not a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon designated by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Anyone else simply has not had the training that a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon has. They may be an excellent surgeon in whatever specialty they are. Let me ask you, would you want your OBGYN performing open heart surgery on you????? I am guessing not. So if a surgeon in some other specialty is performing procedures outside of their specialty you have to ask yourself what is their motivation for doing that. Is it money or love for the specialty? If it is love for the specialty then they should go back and complete a full Plastic Surgery residency and take boards like the rest of us. Sure, there are board certified Plastic Surgeons who are not good or ethical, BUT they sat before the board and passed the test. The rest is up to you, but I feel it is imperative that patients not only ask the question you ask, but seek what it means to be a board certified physician in their specialty. Whether or not you feel it is ok for Vascular Surgeon to do a tummy tuck or an OBGYN to do a breast augmentation or a dentist to do a facelift without having trained in plastic surgery and taking boards is up to you to decide! Best of luck!!

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Credentials, what is the best way to select your surgeon

Thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.

The credentialing process in the US is very extensive and not everybody who started the process gets accredited. Once in a while you may get lucky by having a non board certified plastic surgeon doing your procedure, maybe cheaper in a non accredited facility. However, a poorly done surgery will become a very expensive procedure and a real nightmare.

Certification is not always the only thing to pay attention when selecting your surgeon, but it's a start point.

Wishing you the best in your journey

Board Certification in Plastic Surgery

Just because your surgeon is not currently certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, does not necessarily mean that he or she is not qualified. Your surgeon may have recently finished their surgical training and is in the process of certification with the American Board of Plastic Surgery. However, you MUST do your homework to find this information out. Make sure that he or she completed a true residency in plastic surgery and is in the process of becoming certified. There is a reason that the certification process exists, and ultimately it comes down to patient safety and quality control. Accordingly, there is usually a reason that some surgeons ultimately do not or have not become certified. 

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Surgeon not Board Certified

Having Plastic surgery by a non Board Certified (ABPS - American Board of Plastic Surgery) is not wise, in my opinion (but I am definitely prejudiced). If your surgeon IS certified by the ABPS, that means he completed 4 years of University, 4 years of Medical School, 3-6 years of General Surgery residency, and then 2-3 years of Plastic Surgery residency, which then follows one year later by a written exam, and if passed, one year later by a 2 day oral exam.  Then and only then, is a surgeon certified by the ABPS.

If your surgeon says he is "certified", it could be from any other specialty and NOT the ABPS.  Buyer beware.

Board certification is insurance

that the surgeon was at least vetted and is considered an ethical and decent surgeon... but as we all know, it is not a guarantee of quality.

If your surgeon is truly ethical and experienced and will cover complications and can provide you a long list of patients whom you can talk to, then its unlikely you will have issues.  But there are too many fly by night cosmetic surgeons who are only doing this for the money and you must avoid them at all costs.  Dig deep into your surgeon's past to to really know what kind of surgeon he/she is and whether the facilities used are licensed.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

American Board of Surgeons

Petite Mommy thank you for your very valid question, the credentialing process in the US is very extensive and not everybody who started the process gets accredited. It is safe to say that being a board certified surgeon is advisable, I understand your concerns regarding this manner as it is a very serious surgery.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Breast augmentation by a doctor not certified as a Plastic Surgeon

The most important factor in you being happy and getting a great result is to pick an experienced Plastic Surgeon.  Only Plastic Surgeons are trained in Cosmetic Surgery and Breast Augmentation during their post medical residency.  Stay with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Christopher Costanzo, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 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.