Why is It Important to Have a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon?

I found a doctor a really liked to preform my tummy tuck, only to find out that she is not a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. I know she has experience with TTs, and I really felt comfortable with her. She IS a Board Certified General Surgeon. Why is this important? should I look into other doctors in the area that are Board Certified PS? Should I not get my tt done by the doctor that I like and feel comfortable with because of this? thank!!

Doctor Answers 3

Training is more than an apprenticeship or doing some tummy tucks

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The difference between a general surgeon who has done some tummy tucks and a real plastic surgeon is training, experience, and focus.  I did a full general surgery residency myself, and the exposure to plastic surgery in general surgery training was minimal, and to cosmetic plastic surgery was non-existant.  Doctors used to be trained by having them apprentice with another doctor for a while, and then they could hang their own shingle.  Fortunately, in the US at least, that stopped about a hundred years ago for doctors.  However, there are still surgeons who think that they can watch someone do a few surgeries, and then do a few surgeries themselves, and then they are an expert.

In an accredited plastic surgery residency, there is a defined course of study, lectures, exams, and progressive responsibility in surgery.  The program is reviewed by committees of plastic surgeons who make sure that the experience is good and that the residents are receiving good training.  Once a resident completes that, they go into practice, and after they have done some cases themselves, they take a written test, and then present their cases to experienced plastic surgeons.  If they succeed in convincing those surgeons that they are ready, they receive board certification.

Compare that to "she has experience with TT's", and ask yourself who you would want to be there if your case turned out to be a little more complicated than usual.

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon

Board certified plastic surgeon

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

A board certified plastic surgeon goes through rigorous training and both a written and oral exam to become board certified. You should ask your doctor if she is preparing for these exams. If she is only a general surgeon, then I would run the other way and find a plastic surgeon.

Importance of using a REAL, American Board of Plastic Surgery Plastic Surgery Plastic Surgeon

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Despite having delivered babies as a medical student, I would not attempt to help deliver a baby unless it was an "is there a doctor on the plane?" emergency. Although I did hundreds of operation and board certified as a general surgeon, I would not electively take an appendix or a colon because I no longer do so frequently. Similarly, I fail to see the logic of having your Tummy Tuck done by a Family Practice doctor or a Gynecologist.

If you want to assure yourself of having a professional plastic Surgery expert you must START your research with surgeons who are members of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Every ASPS member is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (The ONLY ABMS board charged with certifying surgeons in Plastic surgery of the face and body), who were invited to join the society and who adhere to a culture of safety and a strict ethics code which is second to no other specialty.

Getting such a surgeon assures you of a capable and ethical surgeon that NO OTHER certification can offer. From that point, review these individuals and learn as much about each and you will find one or more with whom you are comfortable and trust.


Dr. Peter A. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

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.