Board certified cosmetic surgeon?

There isn't many options where I live on doctors to see, but I found one with a really nice facility and I felt comfortable at my consultation but he is a board certified COSMETIC surgeon. Is this someone I should trust to do my breast implants?

Doctor Answers 15

Cosmetic surgeon vs plastic surgeon

You are wise to s question. A plastic surgeon has completed at least 6-8 years of training after medical school with a focus on all aspects of reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgery procedures. A cosmetic surgeon is a title just about any other provider can claim after training in any specialty (Family practice, pediatrics, general surgery, Internal Medicine, OB, etc). Their training in cosmetic surgery can range from a few weekend courses to spending time with another cosmetic surgeon. The fact that the provider you are considering is board-certified means they are certified in the residency they attended (see above). I would recommend you strongly consider traveling if necessary to see a board-certified plastic surgeon.
I hope this helps
Dr. Edwards

Board certified cosmetic surgeon?

Thank you for the important question.  Best to have your procedure performed by a appropriately trained/certified (board-certified) plastic surgeon. Unfortunately, differentiating the credentials of the variety of physicians who wish to provide "cosmetic surgery" services, can be very confusing to patients. Also unfortunately, there is no strict regulation set up to protect the consumer by state or national medical regulatory organizations. Therefore, patients must take the responsibility to ask the question: what are you board-certified in?

The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only board recognized by the American Board of medical specialties. Confirming that your surgeon is certified by the American Board of plastic surgeon is very important; this will assure you that your surgeon's undergone rigorous training, testing, and continued medical education necessary to become and remain board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. 
Plastic surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery are then potential candidates to join the American Society of Plastic Surgery and/or the Aesthetic Society of Plastic Surgery. These societies will have lists of their plastic surgeon members; these lists may be helpful when patients are seeking a board-certified plastic surgeon. In the process of selecting a plastic surgery I also encourage patients to ask to SEE lots of examples of their work AND preferably speak/see patients who have had similar procedures done.
Be very careful with your decision-making. You will find, while doing your due diligence, that there are many different “specialties” who will offer their services to you; again, I strongly recommend you concentrate on surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Again, I cannot overemphasize the importance of careful selection of plastic surgeon when it comes to concerns such as safety, achievement of the desired outcome, and ability to manage complications that may arise (even in the best of hands). Keep in mind that revisionary surgery may be more costly in many ways. I hope this, and the attached link, helps. Best wishes.

Buyer beware

"Cosmetic" surgeons are usually residency trained in another area of medicine, not plastic surgery, but now imply they are plastic surgeons doing plastic surgery procedures, but call themselves "cosmetic surgeons".  Plastic surgeons trained in plastic surgery are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc. and are members of either or both the ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) or ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons).  If they don't display these certificates, they are not a plastic surgery residency trained and board certified plastic surgeon.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Cosmetic Surgeon vs. Plastic Surgeon

Thank you for your question! Many people are not aware of the difference between and board-certified cosmetic surgeon and a board-certified plastic surgeon. A board-certified cosmetic surgeon does not have the training or certification as a board-certified plastic surgeon. The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the only board that certified plastic surgeons. Cosmetic surgeons utilize boards that are not recognized by the American Board of Medical Subspecialties and do not have strict requirements for certification and membership. Many cosmetic surgeons are trained in general medical fields (i.e. internal medicine, emergency medicine, etc) and have supplemented their training with some cosmetic surgery courses. A board-certified plastic surgeon has a rigorous and intensive training requirement. There really is no comparison and I would recommend having aesthetic breast surgery only by a board-certified plastic surgeon. I understand the difficulty with finding a surgeon that is right for you, which can be more limited in certain parts of the country. Many offices do try to help accommodate out-of-town patients if you were open to looking further away from home. It is important to make sure you are in the safe hands of a board-certified plastic surgeon when deciding to have any body makeover procedure. I wish you luck in your search!

Tom S. Liu, MD, MBA
Los Gatos Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Board certifications

A “board certified cosmetic surgeon” is NOT the same as a board certified plastic surgeon. This can be extremely misleading to the general public, so I am glad that you are inquiring about it. For reasons already addressed by previous answers, I too believe it is worth traveling out of your area to find someone who is a legitimate board certified plastic surgeon. Best of luck!

Dustin L. Reid, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Buyer Beware

Dear samanthalliu:      "Cosmetic" surgeons are usually residency trained in another area of medicine, not plastic surgery, but now imply they are plastic surgeons doing plastic surgery procedures, but call themselves "cosmetic surgeons".  Plastic surgeons trained in plastic surgery are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc. and are members of either or both the ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) or ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons).  If they don't display these certificates, they are not a plastic surgery residency trained and board certified plastic surgeon. There are board-certified facial plastic surgeons who are trained in ENT, Plastic Surgery or both. For facial aesthetic work this is a legitimate board and they will be certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery. Please do your homework and consult ABMS if needed. Good luck and I hope this helps.

What does board certification mean? What is the board of cosmetic surgery?

Great question! "Board certification" in the traditional sense of the term indicates a rigorous training program in a particular field of medicine, which is regulated by the American Board of Medical Specialties. The "real" boards often begin with "American Board of..." for example, the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This indicates that the individual in question has had 6-8 years of training after medical school in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery as well as been examined by his or her peers including a rigorous case review and deemed a safe and knowledgeable surgeon. There is no such regulated board of cosmetic surgery. With the board of cosmetic surgery the doctor can be any medical specialty and the level of training varies considerably between physicians (often these physicians are dentists, oral surgeons, or emergency room doctors by training). The easiest way to tell if your physician is truly "board certified" is to ask if they have privileges to do the same case in the hospital rather than a private facility.
That said, board certification is not the only qualification to look for in your surgeon. It is often helpful to examine before and after photos and meet with several doctors before settling on one.

Meghan Nadeau, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Bard certified "cosmtic " surgeon? Bull

Hi samanthalliu
Board of "cosmetic surgery" is a sham.  Go to to The American Board of Medical Specialties  web site.  This is the organization that determines if a medical/surgical specialty is legitimate, and meets stringent requirements to be granted status.
Notice that there is NO board listed as cosmetic surgery.  Cosmetic surgery is the domain of the plastic surgeon.  Plastic surgery by the way, has two arms- the cosmetic and the reconstructive.
I personally resent doctors hold themselves out as cosmetic specialists without training.  It is disingenuous and deceptive.  Frequently these "cosmetic surgeons" receive only a weekend training course, and are an expert.
You deserve a properly trained and certified plastic surgeon, no matter what procedure you choose, so chose wisely.  Some damage cannot be undone.

Is a "Cosmetic" Surgeon the SAME as a "Plastic" Surgeon?

Great question.Some Plastic surgeons are Cosmetic surgeons but not all Cosmetic surgeons had the training and clinical maturity of Plastic surgeons who focus on Aesthetic/Cosmetic surgery - a sub-specialty of Plastic Surgery dedicated to surgery which improves appearance.In picking a Plastic surgeon you should review 
- His Medical School training (the more competitive and prestigious the school, the better)
- His Surgical training AFTER Med School (Where has he trained and for how many years?)
- his PLASTIC SURGERY training (Was he trained in a Plastic Surgery program AFTER training in Surgery OR has he/she trained in another specialty (such as Family Practice, ObGYN, Dermatology, General Surgery, etc)
- Is he certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, an ABMS (American Board of Medical Specialities) board? The ONLY ABMS board certifying surgeons in Plastic surgery IS THE AMERICAN BOARD OF PLASTIC SURGERY. You can EASILY check both abmsorg and plasticsurgeryorg to see which board your "cosmetic" surgeon is certified by AND if he is indeed certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery.
- is he a member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS  plasticsurgeryorg)? This society represents over 99% of American and Canadian real Plastic surgeons and as a condition of membership we MUST MAINTAIN our certifications by The American Board of Plastic Surgery AND adhere to a VERY strict Code of Ethics AND a culture of Patient Safety. The website plasticsurgery org lists ALL its members. Please check it. - Does he have PRIVILEGES IN PLASTIC SURGERY (NOT OBGYN or Family Practice etc) at a local hospital. To limit lawsuits, hospitals will NOT allow specialists to work outside their "scope of practice". You can only practice what you trained in. As such, nonPlastic surgeons do NOT get to perform Plastic operations (which they can in their offices).To read a VERY comprehensive review please refer to my website page below. Reading it may save you a lot of heartache.
Dr. Peter A. Aldea
Memphis, TN

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Finding the right surgeon

Hello and thank you for your question. It is very important that you thoroughly research your surgeon before committing to surgery.  You should look for a surgeon board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. It is a good idea to research your surgeon's educational background, online reviews, before & after pictures, and speak with anyone who you may know who has had surgery with that surgeon. During your consultation, make sure that you don't feel rushed and make sure that you have adequate time with your surgeon and not just their patient coordinator or nurses. If the majority of your consultation is spent with someone other than the surgeon, this is usually not a good sign. The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified expert surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 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.