Is Being a Fellow of The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery a Good Credential?

Would this distinction along with his dermatolgy credentials make my dermatolgist acceptable for performing procedures such as Sculptra injections and blephoplasty? I want to have him perform these procedures for me but am afraid becasue he is not a facial plastic surgeon.

Doctor Answers 6

American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties

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The AACS was created by mostly non-plastic surgeons to have a credential that made them look to the public like they were equal or even better that a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon or Facial Plastic surgeon.  A Dermatologist can do injections but in no way in my opinion are they qualified to do blepharoplasty.  A bleph can lead to complications such as inability to close your eyes, the corners ofthe lower lids pulling down, dry eyes, and even rare blindness.  Do you really want a doctor who has no board certified surgical training taking that on with your eyes?

Dermatologists performing blepharoplasty

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Thanks for your question -

There is little in a Dermatologist's training that qualifies them to perform blepharoplasty.  The vast majority of hospitals would not allow a dermatologist perform this procedure in their facilities but your doctor may be offering this in his surgical suite.  You should ask yourself (and then ask your doctor) - is this a procedure that you have privileges to perform at a local hospital?  If the answer is no, be concerned.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery is one of a handful of "independent" groups that are NOT recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties - the official "board certified" issuing organization.  It can be confusing and some of this (in my opinion) is intentional to allow people without the training that most people would accept to perform these procedures to trick the public into signing up for surgery.

Stick with a board certified plastic surgeon for your surgical procedures.

Cosmetic surgery and credentials

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It is important to find a surgeon such as a facial plastic surgeon that has done thousands of eyelid surgeries. A dermatologist would be a very acceptable physician to perform injectables such as Sculptra, Restylane or Juvaderm. A blepharoplasty is not an office procedure, it is a surgical procedure that needs to be done in a Medicare certified ambulatory surgery center with general anesthesia. A board certified physician anesthesiologist should administer anesthesia.

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American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Credentials.

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It appears you already know the answer to your question otherwise you would not be afraid to have that doctor do the procedure. You even give the answer why in your post. Is it a good credential is a moot point. A colo-rectal surgeon can have good credentials but I would not recommend that surgeon for work on the other end of the body.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon


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The ONLY way to assure yourself of getting a Plastic Surgery trained and ABMS Board certified Plastic surgeon is to see surgeons of are members of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Each one of their members had to :
- fully train IN Plastic Surgery in an ACGME approved Plastic Surgery program (not in other medical fields and then claim expertise in Plastic Surgery)

- Pass and become certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery - the ONLY American Board of Medical Examiners (ABMS) authorized to certify surgeons in Plastic Surgery of the Face and Body

- Board RE-certify by passing another board examination in Plastic Surgery every 10 years

- be recommended for membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgery and pass scrutiny

- adhere to the strict Code of Ethics of the ASPS which is stricter than all other medical societies (Google it on the ASPS web site).

Tough economic times and dwindling insurance reimbursements have convinced a lot of doctors trained in other fields that they should PRACTICE Plastic Surgery. There are plenty of "boards", "Academies" and "Societies" which cater to these needs and in exchange for fees issue them beautiful certificates.

Educate yourself BEFORE you have surgery.

To REALLY understand EVERYTHING you need to know about BOARD CERTIFICATION AND QUALIFICATION IN PLASTIC SURGERY, read the link below -

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Board certification: What defines a Board?

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There are a limited number of Board which are considered recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the AACS is NOT one of these boards. Furthermore,  the Americal Board of Plastic Surgery certifies Plastic surgeons only whereas the AACS certifies many different specialties without a focus on any particulary residency.

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.