I strongly recommend you visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website (plasticsurgery.org), which includes all U.S. board-certified plastic surgeons. Board certification is most critical in your decision. A board-certified plastic surgeon received the education, extensive training, and passed exams and interviews. Although it may sound obvious, make sure that a physician’s board certification is specifically in “plastic”
surgery.For example, a board-certified dentist doesn’t ensure their expertise in injecting facial fillers, but my patients commonly mention such situations. You may know I am DUAL board certified, in plastic surgery and general surgery. There are only 6,700 plastic surgeons in the U.S., and a very small percentage are also double-board certified in general surgery. This not only gives me flexibility in the Operating Room, but I have a better-than- typical awareness of what is happening in your entire body, not just in the area you are receiving treatment. (BTW I have many patients from Pennsylvania.)
Also, there is a difference between “Plastic” and “Cosmetic” surgery. In order for a physician to become a plastic surgeon, they must complete an approved Residency training program in Plastic Surgery, which includes cranio-facial surgery, burn surgery, hand/microsurgery, maxillo-facial trauma, general and breast reconstructive surgery, and cosmetic surgery. Because this is so extensive, the training required to become a plastic surgeon is between 6-8 years after medical school. Any licensed physician can offer cosmetic services, but the term “cosmetic surgery” is not a recognized discipline by the American Board of Medical Specialites, so they have no Board Certification in Cosmetic Surgery.
This article was taken from the News Herald’s “Health Focus” segment.