Does a Plastic Surgeon Have to Be Board Certified?

I recently went in for a consult with a surgeon regarding brazillian butt augmentation and breast implants and the pictures of before and after seem great but when I asked if he was board certified he said not but that been board certified is just one more star to a surgeon curriculum and that many surgeons who are board certified do a bad job. I'm very confuse as I should trust him with my surgery or not.

Doctor Answers 12


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Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is a sign that a plastic surgeon has met certain requirements, training, ethical standards, and experience. Can a board-certified plastic surgeon do a "bad" job. Of course. Can a non-board-certified plastic surgeon be a genius? Of course. But elective surgery is all about reducing your risk and increasing your chance of success. I would ask around about your plastic surgeon. Some are just out of residency and are not eligible to be board-certified. So at least he/she should be board-eligible. Inquire from actual patients. Photos in my opinion are nearly worthless since they do not say if a patient is satisfied or was treated well. Talk to your personal physician, and especially gynecologist. They know, or can find out, the reputation of local plastic surgeons.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Board certified Surgeon

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please understand that world is becoming a global village,standardization and certification has a certain value no doubt,that is not enough ,the chosen surgeon must be capable,credible and qualified and compassionate to name a few qualities.every nation has its own board, i have respect for all plastic surgeons,and doctors and the training varies from country to country but i can tell you that there are good plastic surgeons and bad plastic surgeons everywhere ,being in India iam board certified by national board of examinations New Delhi,this is done by a written and oral examination by senior plastic surgeons from different states other than the one from which i qualified.I believe this is one of the best and highest standards for practicing plastic surgery in India,but this doesnt mean that other boards are inferior.The point is board certification is a benchmark but that is not all proof.

You need a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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There are so many bogus doctors out there praying on the unsuspecting patient.  It is really a terrible shame.  If you want real, honest and excellent care first find a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (not just "board certified" as you need to know in WHAT they are certified).  Interview 2 or 3 and select the best.  But don't ever let a non-board certified doctor play down the value of being a real board certified plastic surgeon.

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Board Certification

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Thank you for your question!
One of the most important reasons to determine whether or not your plastic surgeon is board certified is for your own safety. Doctors who are board certified are held to certain standards that can help to keep you, the patient, safe. This certification also means that your physician has gone through rigorous training. This helps patients to be sure that their doctor is knowledgeable and skilled in the area of medicine they specialize in. Aesthetic plastic surgeons should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the only organization recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) for certifying plastic surgeons.

Another thing to look for is the societies and organizations the physician is actively involved in. Plastic surgeons who are active members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) achieve membership by invitation only. Only physicians who have been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery can be members of ASAPS, and they must also have significant experience in cosmetic surgery.  I hope this helps.  

Jon Paul Trevisani, MD, FACS
Maitland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Board Certification

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Unless the person is certified by a board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, ABMS, I would recommend seeking another opinion. There is no evidence to indicate competence or incompetence based on any board certification. What the ABMS certification does indicate is that the person has taken a year's long residency, and has passed rigorous testing to become board certified in a particular specialty. Finally you should ask what specialty the person is certified in and is it recognized by the ABMS. Being board certified in Family Medicine does not mean that the person is competent to perform heart surgery. There is much information on the internet about the ABMS.

Richard O. Gregory, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Very Important...

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 Thank you for the important question. 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. 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.

Does a plastic surgeon have to be board certified?

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Hello! Thank you for your question.  Cost will vary among plastic surgeons as well as with geographic location and what procedures exactly they will be providing to you.  Certainly, researching a board certified plastic surgeon well-versed in the procedure(s) you desire is recommended - checking the American Board of Plastic Surgery is a great start. Consult with two or more surgeons who you are happy with their postoperative photographs and those who you, most importantly, feel comfortable and confident with. Use the opportunity to ask questions as well as visit with staff and investigate the accredited facilities they work out of.  I believe fellowship-training, beyond the core plastic surgery residency to be important, as that surgeon has gone above and beyond to seek additional training specific to that area of interest and chosen to gain additional expertise in that area.    

Experience should not be measured solely by the age of the surgeon or how many years s/he has been in practice.  Checking the education and training is more valuable - a Board Certified MD plastic surgeon who was accepted to and completed an integrated plastic surgery residency, in today's day and age, are excellent choices. Those are the top students who have superior training at top institutes.  Plastic Surgery is NOT a is a residency. Those surgeons who have actually successfully completed additional fellowship training beyond the plastic surgery residency are also passionate about that area and will likely have the most recent, innovative, and up to date techniques. These are usually the younger surgeons, who are still readily willing and competent to continue to strive for the newest material and remain up to date on literature and conferences. 

You must decide for yourself who you are most comfortable with and confident with who will meet your goals and expectations. Cost may differ just on expertise and the aforementioned additional training ad what that additional expertise training has afforded to his/her patients.  Hope that this helps!  Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Board Certified

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Hello Good Morning , 
Absolutely it is in my opinion extremely important that the surgeon who pick is board certified as we have completed the required course of study, and have been accredited and have done the training and and have successfully passed the examination given to us and have been board certified. You must always look for a well prepared Doctor that counts with all his requirements being so board certified by not choosing a board certified surgeon you are at a very high risk for bad surgery. So be cautios this is your life , a bad Doctor can damage you for life. 


Regards !

Luis Suarez, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

You NEED a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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Hi there-

I am VERY concerned about what this surgeon said to you, and would think (based on what he said) there is probably a reason he is not board certified.

It also makes me wonder if the photos you were shown were actually his own work.

I would be very worried, and do not think I could recommend a surgeon to a family member under these circumstances.

Here is some advice on how to find a surgeon you like and CAN trust:

Board certified plastic surgeon

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If your doctor is a young plastic surgeon and going through the certification process, then it may be ok. But if he is not board ceritified and not in the process of certification, I would be cautious.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.