Most of the women considering plastic surgery sometime in their lives. However, this is not easy to decide when we consider many things such as the quality of the hospital, surgeon, and the service. Especially they should be careful about choosing the surgeon and the quality of him/her. Choosing your Plastic Surgeon is an important decision, but it can be confusing. There are many things to consider, so today we explore four of the most important criteria:
- Board Certification
- Society Memberships
Training: Proper preparation is the foundation for any good Plastic Surgeon. Prerequisites include the obvious, finishing college and medical school, and since it’s a competitive discipline, graduating at the top of the class helps. A minimum of three years of general surgery training must be completed following medical school. Though, like me, a lot of people complete the general surgery training before they do their plastic surgery fellowship. Plastic surgery training must be done in an approved program with a minimum of two years of training related to Plastic Surgery, while my program was a three-year program. This is the time to learn how to perform surgery safely, and when not to operate.
Experience: Years in Practice is also something to remember when selecting a plastic surgeon. The experience provides recurrence and education inpatient care that training programs cannot provide. Greater experience also gives you a greater margin of safety. It is important to have a surgeon who finishes his training, but it is equally important to have a surgeon who can have a successful practice.
Board Certification: Board Certification was once the crowning achievement of successful completion of Plastic Surgery Training, but in the last few decades of my practice, it has become something more. Board certification still requires documentation of the completion of the proper training and the successful completion of both the written and oral certification examinations. However, over the decades of my practice, I have switched to certification that is re-assessed every year and re-certified every 10 years. It required ten years of ethical practice, yearly board requirements, and a final examination given every ten years. The test will soon be transitioned to an annual examination, and I am part of the pilot program for the process. The goal is to assure that board-certified plastic surgeons remain up to date as medicine changes. You should ask your Plastic Surgeon if they are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and when was the last time they re-certified.
Society Memberships: Membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) or the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) is an easy way to check all the above. To be an ASPS or ASAPS member, you must be a Certified Board member, operate in accredited facilities, and comply with the ethics set out in the company’s by-laws. If your plastic surgeon is a member, they have the correct training and board certification. ASAPS members, in general, are ASPS members who specialize in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, like our surgeons.