Cosmetic surgeons combine knowledge, surgical skill, technical expertise and ethics to achieve their goal of providing aesthetic enhancement for their patients. When choosing a cosmetic surgeon it is important to select a cosmetic surgeon who is board certified. In most states it is legal for any physician who holds a valid medical license, with or without surgical training, to practice cosmetic surgery. Board certification is important because it makes certain that your cosmetic surgeon has the training, qualifications and experience needed to perform your cosmetic surgical procedure safely and skillfully. A board certified cosmetic surgeon has greater insight into your needs, has knowledge of state-of-the-art techniques and the surgical skill and judgment to recommend and perform the cosmetic surgical procedure that will enhance your appearance effectively and safely.
Having said that, board certification does not equal quality care or quality outcomes. Having a Tennessee driver’s license does not make one a good driver—it only verifies that they have successfully completed the examination and have been issued a license to drive.
Becoming Board Certified in Cosmetic Surgery
In order for a surgeon to become board certified in any medical specialty, they must go through a long demanding process that takes years to complete. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery [ABCS] is the only certifying board that exclusively tests a surgeon’s knowledge and experience in cosmetic surgery. Surgeons develop their cosmetic surgical skills through post residency training and experience. The point is that a cosmetic surgeon’s skill and ability will depend on the surgeon’s cosmetic surgery training and experience, not on core board-certification.
The number of people seeking cosmetic surgery has grown rapidly over the past several years. As part of a greater focus on appearance, people are turning to cosmetic surgery as one means of enhancing their appearance. At the same time, more and more doctors are practicing cosmetic surgery.
Given the growing number of cosmetic surgery patients and the highly competitive pool of doctors performing cosmetic surgery, it is vital that you obtain accurate information regarding cosmetic surgery and the doctors who perform it. Before you undergo cosmetic surgery, it is important you become informed about the doctor’s education, training, experience and proven competence with respect to the specific procedure you seek.
Cosmetic surgery may be performed in various facilities such as hospitals, surgical centers and office settings. An accredited surgical facility must meet certain minimum standards to obtain and maintain its accreditation.
Research Before Undergoing Cosmetic Surgery
Before the surgery, your doctor should explain to you the risks and possible complications, and potential side effects, including the pros and cons of the procedure. In addition, ask about the surgeon’s privileges in an accredited surgery center or a hospital to perform cosmetic surgery.
As for how you should choose a cosmetic surgeon or cosmetic surgical center— You should do the research locally and online. You can perform a standard internet search with the name of the doctor or the procedure about which you would like to receive more information. What do you see online? Negative or positive feedback or reviews.
Make sure that your surgeon has a good reputation, a strong background in the surgical field, and above ALL … that he or she produces good results. Training is important; board certification is important; but skill, judgment and artistic detail are evidenced by experience and outcomes — not board examinations.