Choosing an accomplished and experienced plastic surgeon is important not only for the procedure results, but also for the patient’s health.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) member surgeons are required to meet rigorous standards. Board certification is granted by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) in the United States and in Canada by The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. All surgeons must complete at least 6 years of surgical training following medical school, with a minimum of 3 years of plastic surgery residency training. Additionally, they must pass comprehensive oral and written exams and graduate from an accredited medical school.
Each year, surgeons complete continuing medical education, including patient safety courses. Finally, member surgeons are required to perform surgery in accredited state-licensed or Medicare-certified surgical facilities.
The ABPS is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which has approved medical specialty boards since 1934. There are no ABMS-recognized certifying boards with the words “cosmetic surgery” in their name.
The ASPS offers many questions for patients to ask plastic surgeons considering a procedure:
- Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
- Were you specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery?
- How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
- Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure? If so, at which hospitals?
- Is the office-based surgical facility accredited by a nationally- or state-recognized accrediting agency, or is it state-licensed or Medicare-certified?
- Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
- What will be expected of me to get the best results?
More questions and additional information on choosing a plastic surgeon are available on the ASPS website.