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Choosing Your Plastic Surgeon

Although there is no way to guarantee the results of any surgical procedure, you should at least make sure that your doctor has had appropriate plastic surgery training when selecting who performs your surgery. Unfortunately, there are many doctors, many of who have had virtually no formal surgery training, masquerading as plastic surgeons. They lure in unsuspecting patients with unscrupulous advertising on the internet, TV and radio or in the phone book, newspaper or magazines; none of which make any effort to evaluate a physician’s knowledge, training, ability or skills. Anyone with ‘M.D.’ or ‘D.O.’ after their name can legally advertise as a plastic surgeon, even if they have no plastic surgery training at all.


At this time there are numerous physicians performing plastic surgery in Central Ohio who have little more than weekend training in cosmetic surgery. This includes dermatologists, ENT surgeons, family practice physicians, emergency room doctors and even radiologists and a psychiatrist! Plastic surgery is not something that you can learn in a weekend course or by reading about it in a textbook; you have to study for years, work with trained, qualified surgeons and learn from watching, assisting and performing procedures under the watchful eye of other plastic surgeons. That’s what happens in a real plastic surgery residency.

Proper Surgery Training

Plastic surgery is a surgical subspecialty, not a medical one. Would you really want a non-surgeon operating on you? Someone who is not even trained in surgery? Family practice, emergency medicine, dermatology, etc. are all medical subspecialties, not surgical ones. Their path of training centers around seeing patients on a hospital ward, not spending time in an operating room. If you are having chest pain, you see a cardiologist, not an orthopedic surgeon. You wouldn’t have an internist perform your knee surgery. So why would you even consider having a non-plastic surgeon perform your cosmetic procedure. It is a lot harder to fix someone else’s mistake than to do it right the first time; and the cost may be a lot more. This is also true of traveling abroad to have ‘cheap’ plastic surgery. Foreign countries don’t have the training or operating room requirements that we have in the U.S. What happens if you have a problem and your surgeon is not even in the country?

True Board Certification

The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only legitimate plastic surgery board which formally evaluates a surgeon’s education, plastic surgery instruction and practice performance. They also require successful completion of comprehensive written and oral examinations. The best way to find out if your plastic surgeon is actually board certified is to see if he or she is an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). A surgeon must first be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to become a member of the ASPS. You can check out your surgeon by visiting their website: www.plasticsurgery.org.

Cosmetic Specialists

If you are having cosmetic surgery, you may want to further evaluate your surgeon. Most of the board certified plastic surgeons in the United States that specialize in cosmetic surgery are also members of American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). All members of ASAPS are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, are members of the ASPS, and have a practice that is devoted to aesthetic plastic surgery. Their website is: www.surgery.org.

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