If a Doctor is Certified by the The American Board of Surgery?

And a member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, ASPS, and a fellow of The American College of Surgeons. Is this a surgeon I can trust to do a rhinoplasty on me ? Or should I seek a different board certification and if so what type?

Doctor Answers 17

Bored with the Boards

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

The boards to consider when having any procedure are those accredited by the ACGME which is the body that accredits residencies in the US. This gives the assurance that the individual has had rigorous and accredited training in the speciality. There are two ACGME accredited boards that cover the plastic surgery of the face The American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery. Members have at least had core training in rhinoplasty. More importantly, look at the interest and expertise in the area of the surgeon and their results. As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who does a lot of breast surgery, I was trained by some of the most expert rhinoplasty surgeons in the country and maintain a busy rhinoplasty practice. I also know some very good rhinoplasty surgeons that are members of the Board of Facial Plastic Surgery. It is like spine surgery; there are good orthopedic and neurosurgical spine surgeons. You need to be comfortable with your doctor and once you have verified the board certification, look at results and how confident he/she is with your surgery and aesthetic goals. It is about the artistic sensibilities and the ability to execute this.  Do not go outside of these specialties though, as other boards are not ACGME accredited. There are a lot of posers out there. Check with your state quality assurance for any complaints and ask if your surgeon has priveliges for this procedure at a hospital. 

Board Certification in Plastic Surgeon

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
  • If the surgeon is a member of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society Plastic Surgeons, then they have the highest level of surgical training available. 
  • Membership in those organizations takes at least 5 years of surgery training after medical school, passing rigorous exams and demonstrating the highest ethical standards
  • You should also be sure that they have specific skill in interest in the procedure that you are seeking, as rhinoplasty, I believe, is best performed by surgeon with a passion for this unique operation

So many boards! Whom to choose for rhinoplasty?

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

The American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery has doctors that are best trained in rhinoplasty surgery.

The ASPS that you mention (and hopefully ASAPS as well) are organizations that require the surgeon to be board certified as a minimum requirement of their organization.  

As many have stated, this is a good minimum starting point.  It's still good to check credentials, experience, academic affiliation, publications, and of course before-after results.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 188 reviews

Choosing a surgeon for rhinoplasty

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

The American Board of Surgery and American College of Surgeons do not certify physicians to perform a rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty is the hardest operation to do in the entire field of cosmetic surgery and it is best to seek someone who has devoted an extensive amount of their practice to the entire discipline of rhinoplasty.  Look for someone who has original background and board certification in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck surgery, AND is board certified by of the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  A surgeon with these credentials usually performs a high volume of rhinoplasties and would most likely be the best option for the patient.  Also, it is important to review the surgeon’s before and after photo gallery.

Qualifications for Performing Rhinoplasty

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

The most important thing is that the surgeon has experience and expertise in rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty is the most difficult and challenging procedure in plastic surgery. At the very minimum they need to be Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and/or The American Board of Otolaryngology, or American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. This will get you into the correct area of surgeons (both Otolaryngologists and Plastic Surgeons) that perform a lot of rhinoplasties and have expertise and experience in this area.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Board certification is a starting point, not the final decision factor

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

You are on a good starting point when it comes to selecting the right surgeon for your rhinoplasty. Board certified plastic surgeons or facial plastic surgeons have the fundamental training necessary to perform these surgeries. The individual surgeon's experiences and your own level of trust are probably more critical than just board certification. Make sure your surgeon clearly understand your issues and concerns and able to provide clear and sensible solutions for you. It's important to have a discussion about revision issues even if it's not something you planned on. Before/after photos, testimonials, referrals, good standing at local hospitals are just a few ways to reaffirm your choice in the surgeon but by no mean a guarantee either. When it comes down to it, it's about trust. Take your time with the consultation process and trust your instinct.

Best Wishes,

Stewart Wang, MD FACS, Wang Plastic Surgery


Certification in plastic surgery

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

If your surgeon is a member of ASPS, they are probably also certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Rhinoplasty was a part of their training, but you need to investigate even further.  Not all plastic surgeons are comfortable with rhinoplasty.  You need to see many examples of their work to get an idea of their experience and competence.  But from what you have told me the credentials are the right ones.

Board certification is essential but you should ask more questions

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

Both board certified plastic surgeons and facial plastic surgeon are qualified to do rhinoplasty. The key question is the surgeons experience and skills. You need to get at least two consultation and find a surgeon that feel comfortable with their results.


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

Wonderful question and the responses are interesting as well. Basically you have two groups, the general plastic surgeons, and the ear nose throat surgeons, who both want to do nose jobs.  They bicker all the time.

The two board qualifications to pay attention to are Plastic Surgery, and Facial Plastic Surgery.  Both are fully certified by the American Medical Association. Both are qualified.

I am Canadian, and I have all my Canadian qualifications plus all my American Board qualifications as well. Thus I can independently state that you are best off looking for a board-qualified surgeon, as above, who has a specific interest in rhinoplasty.  If the medical office you are in seems to be most interested in breast augmentation, or wrinkles, or fillers, or seems interested in anything whatever that might generate them some income, then look elsewhere.

Douglas J. Kibblewhite, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon


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

There is overlap in who is trained to do a good rhinoplasty.  If my family was asking for a referral,  I would ask that the person be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and be a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.  This means that they do a majority of Plastic Surgery in Aesthetic Plastic surgery.  The training and breadth of training is by far the most of all the specialties.  Many facial plastic surgeons do mostly ENT (ear nose and throat) and do ear tubes, and tonsils, which do not make them the best at rhinoplasty per se.  There are many facial plastic surgeons that are very accomplished and do a wonderful job.  But for one of them to say that they do a better job because they do not do breast augmentation is inaccurate.  Just as there are dermatologists that do a lot of skin peels, there are some facial plastic surgeons that also do a very good nose job.  You have to check it out with referrals and do your homework.  But for me and my family, I would bet on a member of the Aesthetic Society first personally.

Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 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.