What's the difference if a surgeon is certified by the American Board of Surgery vs. American Board of Plastic Surgery?
Doctor Answers 12
Board certification for plastic surgeons
the American Board of surgery is for general surgeonsThe American Board of plastic surgery's certification of plastic surgeons. This whole issue of certification it is confusing for the public. The American Board of medical specialties determines which boards are approved. As an example the American Board of cosmetic surgery is not an approved board and is made up of a number of doctors and surgeons who have not trained in an approved plastic surgery residency
Plastic Surgeons do Plastic Surgery, General Surgeons should do General Surgery
Lack of ABPS certification should worry you.
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Plastic surgeons versus others...
ABS certification means that the surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Surgery, and ABPS means that the surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. They are not the same. When a surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, this means that he or she has completed a rigorous training process and testing process that deemed him or her capable of performing plastic surgery procedures. Plastic surgery procedures are not included in the American Board of Surgery certification.
I recommend choosing a plastic surgeon that is either board certified or eligible in Plastic Surgery, to perform your plastic surgery procedure.
Manish Champaneria, MD
It is mostly about the training
American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and American Board of Surgery (ABS)
The ABS certifies surgeons in general surgery, which does not include plastic surgery procedures in its testing or Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process. Many plastic surgeons, including myself, are certified by both the ABS and the ABPS because we completed a full general surgery residency prior to completing a full plastic surgery residency as well and then passing the rigorous testing of both ABMS boards. Some surgeons will choose a shorter, less rigorous route of doing a "cosmetic fellowship" and then becoming "board-certified" by a non-ABMS board called the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, rather doing a formal plastic surgery residency and becoming eligible to take the ABPS boards. I know it's confusing to the public, but not all boards are the same.
Your plastic surgeon should be at least ABPS certified, the ABS is a bonus which tells you the surgeon is also competent with the field of general surgery.
As far as becoming a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), a surgeon has to be board certified by and ABMS surgery board, be an ethical member of the community, be nominated by another fellow, submit a case log for review, undergo an interview process and be voted into the membership.
Sure, a general surgeon could probably "figure it out." But there is a reason most plastic surgeons seek training in plastic surgery and then go through the testing required to be ABPS certified and that is for your safety. Good job on doing your home work. Best wishes.
ABS vs. ABPS Certification
Someone who who is certified by the American Board of Surgery (ABS) is trained as a general surgeon, not a plastic surgeon. Someone who is certified by the ABPS, like myself is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has undergone much further and rigorous training to learn procedures specific to plastic surgery. Many of us are fully trained in both general and plastic surgery. It is possible that a well seasoned general surgeon could achieve good results with cosmetic surgery, however, I'm not sure why you would put yourself in the hands of someone doing procedures outside their scope of practice. If you have arable my or complication you will probably be kicking yourself for having done so.
Just as an exampl- as a fully trained general and plastic surgeon, I could technically very easily perform say, a C-section. But chances are you'd rather have someone specifically trained in the field of OB perform your section because they a re trained in all the aspects of care of the field of obstetrics and gynecology. Using a plastic surgeon should not be any different.
Best of luck to you.
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