The American Board of Surgery instead of American Board of Plastic Surgery?

I went to an office of a board certified plastic surgeon however for the procedure I want "BBL" I was told a "different" surgeon comes in to do them. This particular surgeon is certified with the American Board of Surgery but not the American board of "plastic surgery" should I be concerned?

Doctor Answers 4

American Board of Plastic Surgery

You should absolutely be concerned and DO NOT have a BBL with a surgeon who is only certified by the American Board of Surgery. While the surgeon is qualified to perform surgery because he is board certified, he does not have the special plastic surgery training required to become a board certified plastic surgeon. 

In order to become a certified plastic surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), one must complete medical school, serve as a surgical resident for at least 3 years, in which they undergo rigorous training in all aspects of surgery, and then complete a 2 to 3 year fellowship training program focused solely on plastic surgery. So a surgeon without this specific certification has not gone through this training. 

I honestly recommend consulting with a completely new group of surgeons who are all board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to ensure that you have a successful, and more importantly, safe surgery. Good luck!


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

American Board of Plastic Surgery

Hi misswallace32 thanks for your question! To answer your question in short; yes the only board that matters for a plastic surgeon is the American Board for Plastic Surgery! All others do not represent training in plastic surgery.

Hope this helps you! Have a great rest of your day!

Dr. Newall

German Newall, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Board certified plastic surgeon

You should be concerned. You should have a board certified plastic surgeon performing your plastic surgery (BBL) and have a general surgeon perform your non-plastic surgery. It sounds like the doctor at that practice who is performing liposuction and fat transfer to the buttock may not be an actual trained, certified plastic surgeon. Do more research on the surgeon and the practice before making your decision.

Best wishes,
Dr.Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 339 reviews

Board Certification

Undergoing plastic surgery is a huge and possibly life-altering decision. Doing your homework before choosing a surgeon is an important first step to making an informed and safe decision about any cosmetic procedure you may be interested in. One way to do this is by being sure to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Of course, you might be wondering: What does board-certification mean and why does it matter?

There are many valid medical boards in the United States, but surprisingly a doctor doesn’t have to belong to any of them in order to offer cosmetic procedures. Certification by a board means that a physician is recognized as having expertise in a particular specialty.

But here’s where it gets even more complicated: Even if a doctor does belong to a legitimate board, that still doesn’t mean they’re qualified to perform any sort of cosmetic procedure. Specialty boards range from Family Medicine to Psychiatry. A doctor might be extremely experienced in one field, but have no experience performing plastic surgery. In the United States, what you're looking for are physicians who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Studies have analyzed tens of thousands of patient reviews across hundreds of procedures, and the results are incredibly clear: The most reliable outcomes and highest degrees of satisfaction happen when people are in the hands of physicians who have proven experience in the field.

What’s scary is that the law doesn’t protect patients from doctors who don’t have the proper training, so it’s up to you to do your homework. There is a rising trend of “cosmetic doctors,” for example: Dentists can legally perform liposuction, gynecologists can do breast augmentation, and even psychologists are offering Botox! The problem’s only getting worse with the growth of coupon sites, group buying specials, and social media marketing, which often put pressure on consumers to buy immediately instead of encouraging research. As a diligent patient, you should not only look at board certification, but also what specific procedures a doctor specializes in.

If you want to minimize risk and have a better chance of getting good results, board certification matters. Being certified in a specialty means being recognized as an expert in that specialty and why wouldn't you want to go to an expert? When it comes to your health and your body, you should never compromise based solely on convenience or price.

Bottom line: Look for a board-certified plastic surgeon that has a proven track record with the surgery you want.

Nathan Kludt, MD
Stockton Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 26 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.