Credentials: Why Select a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon?

  • Plastic surgeons are trained to perform surgery. It may sound obvious, but many people don't realize that only some of the 24 medical specialties recognized by The American Board of Medical Specialties include surgical training. Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty.
  • Plastic surgeons are experts in both facial and body procedures. Board-certified plastic surgeons complete a minimum of five years of surgical training following medical school, including a plastic surgery residency program. In-depth training encompasses surgical procedures of the face and the entire body.
  • Plastic surgeons are trained to prevent and, if necessary, handle emergencies. A comprehensive education, including a sound foundation in anatomy and physiology, provides plastic surgeons with an understanding of all body systems-including ventilation, circulation, fluid and electrolyte balance-which is vitally important to patient safety.
  • Plastic surgeons' training develops technical skill and aesthetic judgment. Experience gained during years of training in complex reconstructive surgery provides plastic surgeons with outstanding technical skills. Additionally, however, the continuous attention to form as well as function provides these specialists with a finely tuned sense of aesthetics-a unique qualification that is critical to the success of cosmetic surgery where judgments of balance and proportion are called upon.
  • Plastic surgeons have access to a wide range of potential treatments. Of all the different medical specialists, plastic surgeons have the training to offer their patients the entire scope of cosmetic treatment modalities. Their recommendations are not limited by lack of training or inability to obtain hospital privileges to perform complex procedures when necessary.

Because state laws permit any licensed physician to call him - or herself a "plastic" or "cosmetic" surgeon - even if he or she has not been trained as a plastic surgeon or has had no surgical training at all - prospective patients must select their doctor carefully.

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