Why Is board certification so important when choosing a plastic surgeon?

I am confused,I met a doctor that was an oral surgeon who has been doing facial plastic surgeries. All his reviews are good,except one. Its says beware he is not board certified and don't let the pics fool you. Why is that so important? Should I only go to a board certified PS? This doc has hundreds of before and after pic's and only does faces. I want a face lift I live in NY, but will travel for the right doc

To find doctors in your local area, please click here. 

Doctor Answers 24

Board Certification Denotes Specialized Training and Competence

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

Any doctor can provide any treatment. The diploma and license is to practice medicine. It does not limit any physician to a specific specialty. In theory, any licensed physician can perform heart surgery or brain surgery without any specific training. Any physician can call himself a pediatrician, allergist, neonatologist, or even a plastic surgeon.  The purpose of specialty board certifications is to demonstrate that a physician has been trained in a specific specialty and is recognized by peers in that specialty as being competent. Now, here is where it gets confusing. Because everyone wants to call themselves plastic surgeons, there have been “fake” specialty boards created. These are created by physicians who have not completed accredited programs but want to call themselves “board certified.” The only true plastic surgeons are certified by “The American Board of Plastic Surgery” — not “The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.” Anything less is fraudulent, and the buyer should beware. Would you call a plumber to perform electrical work in your house? 

Why board certification is important

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

In order to become board certified, a surgeon must got through rigorous training which means that he or she is quite frankly more proficient and experienced than most surgeons who are not board certified. My bigger concern in your case is that an oral surgeon is not a plastic surgeon. A facelift requires both technical know how and artistic skill. I would definitely recommend that you think twice before getting a facelift from a doctor who hasn't trained in plastic surgery.


Kouros Azar

Find the right surgeon

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

Far more important than the technique is the skill and experience of your plastic surgeon. Choose your surgeon rather than the technique and let them explain why one technique may be better than another. 
See the below link on some suggestions on finding the most qualified Plastic Surgeon.

 Always insist on a board certified plastic surgeon.

Yes, Board Certification Is Important

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

This is a good and important question. The answer is somewhat simple: Board certification is the only designation that tells you a surgeon has the specialized experience necessary to perform safe and effective plastic surgery procedures. To illustrate the point, let's switch the procedure. Would you seek out a plastic surgeon to perform oral surgery? Probably not. You'd want the reassurance that your surgeon has the right background and training. It's the same with plastic surgery. As others have already mentioned, to become certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), a surgeon must complete years of extensive training specifically in plastic surgery. That is significant. The ABPS also now requires surgeons to maintain their certification through continuing education, which forces plastic surgeons to stay up-to-date with the latest techniques. I encourage you to find a board-certified plastic surgeon for your facelift.

Importance of Board Certification in Plastic Surgery

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

This is an excellent question.  There is a tremendous amount of misleading marketing concerning surgery.  A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is considered the gold standard when considering cosmetic surgery.  Plastic surgeons are trained in plastic and cosmetic surgery, and continuously undergo yearly educational training.  Other specialties, such as ENT, oral surgery, dermatology, general surgery, and even dentist may perform facelift surgeries.  It is important that you do your homework, and investigate training and experience.

Why is Board Certification Important

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

What a fantastic question! Board Certification of your plastic surgeon insures that the doctor operating on you has trained extensively in a plastic surgery specialty program for many years.   In addition the doctor will have taken both a written and oral examination by other senior plastic surgeons insuring that the doctor is qualified.   You should look for doctors who are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  You can read further about the importance of Board Certification at The website of the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Carlin Vickery, MD (retired)
New York Plastic Surgeon

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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

Thank you for your question. 

There are many different boards out there, but the only plastic surgery board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Certification by the ABPS is a rigorous process consisting of a mandatory of 3 years of training in plastic surgery, oral and written examinations, & peer reviews for safety and ethical standards. 

I would strongly advice seeing a board certified plastic surgeon for a procedure like a facelift. Facial rejuvenation is complex and every patient represents a completely different set of goals.

Wish you all the best!

Dr. Mentz

Board certification

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

Board certification is a rigorous process that insures that someone who has done a residency is proficient when compared with his peers. In plastic surgery, this requires  a written and oral exam. you must also keep track of all case you have done and be able to talk about the decisions you made. On average, up to 20% of applicants fail these exams so this is not an easy process for the surgeon. Before you allow anyone to touch your face, make sure they are board certified!

Why is board certification so important when choosing a plastic surgeon?

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

Thank you for your question.  Board certification within any field means that the doctor or surgeon has completed a lengthy training and residency program in his/her specific specialty and has successfully passed written and oral board exams.  In the case of board certified plastic surgeons, this should mean that your plastic surgeon has been board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery specifically.  

Now why is this important?  Over the years several other boards have been established that claim to offer board certification status even though they do not meet the same standards and requirements as the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  A plastic surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery has met a set of rigorous requirements and standards for training, practice and patient safety.  These surgeons, such as myself, are also required to perform any surgeries that require sedation or anesthesia in accredited facilities where there is additional oversight to ensure patient safety and standards of care.  Furthermore, and probably most worrisome, some states have no provisions to prevent medical doctors (MD's) from performing plastic surgery procedures, such as facelifts, liposuctions, tummy tucks, etc..., in their offices even when these procedures do not fall within the scope of their specific specialty training.  For example, a dermatologist may offer patients liposuction in their office and I have seen patients who have had tummy tucks performed by their gynecologists.  

I cannot stress the importance of board certification enough when it comes to plastic and cosmetic surgical procedures.  You would not want me as a board certified plastic surgeon to remove your gall bladder or perform your cataract surgery.  I hope you find this helpful and I would encourage you to schedule a consultation with a well-experienced American Board of Plastic Surgery board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your cosmetic goals and candidacy for a facelift procedure.  I wish you the best.

Board certification

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

Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons is the gold standard. It reflects completion of a lengthy, competitive residency program and successful results on both written and oral boards.  Oral surgeons are trained to perform dental extractions and related procedures.  In NY, it would actually be illegal for them to perform facelifts unless the oral surgeon also has an MD. I have seen these incursions into our specialty before, particularly with injectables. I can assure you that an oral surgeon doesn't have malpractice insurance to cover facelifts. Anyone can show a lot of photos that are not necessarily reflective of his or her personal work. In NY, we have one of the largest concentrations of plastic surgeons in the US with excellent credentials from which you can select a surgeon who is well trained, properly boarded, experienced and empathetic to your needs. Best wishes. 

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.