This day and age, many healthcare providers are performing a variety of plastic surgery procedures. For this reason, it is important to note that just because a doctor or surgeon offers a particular cosmetic procedure does not necessarily mean he or she is qualified to perform plastic surgery. The key to ensuring your surgeon has the proper qualifications to perform plastic surgery safely and effectively is to identify whether or not they have received certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).
Board certification from ABPS is a strenuous and time-consuming process following residency. Compared to other plastic or cosmetic surgery organizations, training for ABPS certification is more extensive, the examination process is more rigorous, and the code of ethical conduct is more stringent. Additionally, ABPS is approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties to certify physicians in plastic surgery of the face and all areas of the body whereas other organizations are not.
If your plastic surgeon is certified by ABPS, you can be assured that he or she has at least six years of training in an accredited program with actual experience in surgery, and that at least three of those years were specifically devoted to plastic surgery. Furthermore, board-certified plastic surgeons are also required to have fulfilled strict education requirements that include patient safety techniques.
In summation, surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery are extensively trained in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures of all types and their experience is often broader as a result. Some physicians can claim a certificate from a weekend course for procedures like liposuction or breast augmentation, but if something goes wrong, few of these doctors are capable of comprehensively taking care of the patient.
For more information about choosing the right plastic surgeon, read my next blog post in which I will reveal other credentials to look for in addition to board certification.