Choosing a Plastic Surgeon: Why Experience and Board Certification Matter

October 15 2015

There are many factors to consider when choosing a plastic surgeon. Your plastic surgeon should be professional, friendly, but above all else, board-certified. Board certification means the doctor holds a certain standard of education, knowledge and skill. Additionally, working with a plastic surgeon who has years of experience performing the procedure you seek can ensure that you are in good hands. In this blog post, the Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists discuss the importance of board certification and experience when choosing a plastic surgeon.

About Board Certification

The plastic surgeon you choose should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), or board-eligible. This is the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to govern plastic surgeons. Not all doctors who perform plastic surgery are board certified by the ABPS. Those who are certified have voluntarily met standards set out by the board. Being board-certified means the plastic surgeon is:

  • Educated: All board certified doctors have earned an undergraduate degree and a medical degree (MD) or osteopathy degree (DO) from an accredited university. The ABPS also requires plastic surgeons to regularly continue their education, ensuring that the plastic surgeon is knowledgeable on the latest advances in plastic surgery.
  • Trained: Before becoming board eligible, the surgeon must complete six years of surgical training after medical school. A minimum of three of those years must be dedicated to plastic surgery residency training. This training covers plastic surgery procedures for the face and body and it also teaches the surgeon how to prevent and handle complications.

Additionally, board certified plastic surgeons must adhere to strict safety and ethical standards. They must be licensed by the state in which they work and and operate in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facilities. This ensures the facility has met strict standards for equipment, operating room safety, personnel and surgeon credentials. Choosing a plastic surgeon who does not adhere to the same strict standards of the ABPS can be a risk that can lead to botched, or even deadly, outcomes.

Experience Counts

Your plastic surgeon should have not only all the surgical training and skill needed to be board certified, but also an extensive and impeccable track record. Having years of experience means the surgeon has put into practice the knowledge and skills they acquired during their training. A board certified surgeon with decades of experience knows how to minimize risks and resolve complications better than a surgeon with little to no experience. Choosing a plastic surgeon who regularly performs the procedure you seek can give you the peace of mind that you will be properly taken care of before, during and after your surgery.

About Our Plastic Surgeons

At Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists, our plastic surgeons are board certified, and have over 25 years of experience helping thousands of Atlanta patients achieve their aesthetic goals. If you are interested in learning more about our specialized team of surgeons or about any of the surgical procedures we offer, schedule a consultation today. Please call our Atlanta office at (404) 255-2975.