If you’re considering plastic surgery, one of the most important decisions is choosing your plastic surgeon. With all the media, marketing and internet information about cosmetic surgery, it is not always easy to identify which surgeons are qualified to perform which procedures. Board certification is one attribute to look for, but what exactly does that mean?
The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the only board that certifies plastic surgeons. ABPS certification is an indication that the physician has satisfied a comprehensive and vigorous educational and training program, including residency and fellowship training, and has passed examinations which attest to his or her ability to practice plastic surgery. The ABPS is one of 24 medical and surgical boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The ABMS is the entity which oversees the certification of physician specialists, and its mission is to show that “a physician specialist certified by a Member Board of the ABMS has successfully completed an approved educational program and evaluation process which includes components designed to assess the medical knowledge, judgment, professionalism and clinical and communication skills required to provide quality patient care in that specialty.”
As discussed in a recent report in USA Today, lack of training in cosmetic plastic surgery can have serious, even fatal consequences. Patients seeking discounted rates for elective aesthetic surgery may be having these services performed by surgeons who are not properly educated or trained, and in facilities which are not accredited for surgery, without adequate consideration for patient safety. Although complications and untoward events are always possible after plastic surgery, risks due solely to lack of physician knowledge and proper training are avoidable.
Prior to undergoing any type of aesthetic surgical procedure, be it liposuction, breast enhancement (breast implants, lift or reduction), or tummy tuck, it is paramount for you as a patient to know if your plastic surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Dr. Olivia Hutchinson is a female board certified plastic surgeon in NYC. Please contact us or call us at (212) 452-1400 to schedule a consultation or discuss any of your concerns.
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