How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon- we are not all created equal ( part 1 )

How To Find a Plastic Surgeon: 

  1. Make sure he is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon ( not just a Board Certified... doctor; or not just a Cosmetic Surgeon )
  2. Make sure that he has surgical privileges at area hospitals ( hospitals do your homework in terms of credentialling for you )
  3. Never have breast or body surgery by an Oral Surgeon, Dermatologist, Gynecologist, or ENT Otolaryngologist.
  4. Review before and after pictures particularly since we tend to post are average to better results.

How Does the American Board of Medical Specialties ( ABMS ) help you?

The American Board of Medical Specialties is a professional not for profit organization which is recognized as the gold standard in ensuring the qualifications and certification of physicians. It oversees 24 approved medical specialty boards in the development and use of standards in the ongoing evaluation and certification of physicians.  It believes that higer standards for physicians means better care for patients. Importantly, hospitals approve physicians to work at their facilities based on whether the physician is certified by one of the specialties represented by the ABMS. This means that in order for a physican to work at a given hospital, that physician is required to have completed a residency in a given field represented by the ABMS and that physician must have passed an "Board" exam which proves the physicians aptitude in that field.  How is this relavent to cosmetic surgery patients? It is relavent because patients should know that hospitals is done some of the homework for them. If the prospective doctor does not have privileges at an area hospital for the procedure he wants to do for you, this generally means that a hospital would let him do it because they were not qualified to do so. This includes Dermatologists doing liposuctions and facelifts, Oral Surgeon Dentists and Otolaryngologists doing breast augmentations and tummy tucks.  Believe me when I say that this happens. There are some doing this in Leesburg and Lansdowne.

*** Note that the Amercian Board of Cosmetic Surgery is NOT recognized the The ABMS. And hospitals will in general not grant privileges based on this pseudo-credential. It is a Board used by the unqualified for purposes of advertising.

Blog by Dr. Phillip Chang MD:  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at Aesthetica with Offices in Loudoun and Fairfax Virginia

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.