The decision to undergo plastic surgery involves many choices, and the most important is selecting a plastic surgeon that you can trust. Last year alone nearly 16 million minimally-invasive and surgical cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States, and while the vast majority of these procedures achieve excellent results, there is always a possibility that complications may arise. Unfortunately, more and more health care providers are trying to capitalize on the increasing popularity of plastic surgery by taking it upon themselves to perform those procedures with substandard training. Doctors in specialties like anesthesiology or family medicine, while undoubtedly highly skilled in their particular specialty, may have minimal or no training in surgical procedures, but can still purchase a liposuction machine, complete a brief training course offered by the manufacturer, and then call themselves a “cosmetic surgeon.” When it comes to something as important as your health, it is best not to take chances. The best way to ensure that your doctor has the specialized training and experience to deal with any circumstance that may arise is by insisting that they are board-certified plastic surgeons. Why is this important..?
Approved Training and Education
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) works in collaboration with 24 specialty Member Boards to determine and maintain the official standards for physician certification in the United States. The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) has been one of those medical specialty boards since it was officially recognized in 1941 and today it is still the only organization recognized by the ABMS for certifying plastic surgeons in the United States. Board certification by the ABPS requires extensive training in plastic surgery beyond that undergone during medical school, including residencies and fellowships that are certified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the body responsible for accrediting the majority of graduate medical training programs. Board-certified surgeons must pass rigorous oral and written board exams to demonstrate that their training and education have successfully prepared them to practice plastic surgery.
Broad Versatility and Experience
Before being board-certified, plastic surgeons must spend thousands of hours performing a variety of surgical procedures and so are better able to adapt to changing conditions or address unforeseen complications. While training in performing cosmetic procedures is an integral part of this process, it is only one of many such components and is not recognized as an accredited discipline unto itself. Other organizations, not recognized by the ABMS, may offer limited training in specific cosmetic procedures. For example, liposuction or Botox® and other facial injectables may only require a few hours or days of training in order to become certified in their use, but certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery ensures that a plastic surgeon can perform not only the cosmetic procedure in questions, but any additional procedure that may become necessary.
Most plastic surgery procedures go smoothly and result in very satisfactory results, but we have all seen what can happen when things go wrong. Often doctors with substandard training are able to perform a specific procedure, but are not equipped to make revisions when the outcome is flawed. Board-certified plastic surgeons adhere to a strict code of ethics that ensures that they maintain the highest standards of patient care and safety and have surgical privileges at accredited, state-licensed, or Medicare-certified surgical facilities so you can be certain that they will be there after your surgery to address any problems that may arise.
At Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C., all of our providers are board certified in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and some are even additionally certified by other ABMS member boards as well. If you are interested in learning more about any of the plastic surgery procedures we perform, or about how the variety of financing options, including Alphaeon® and CareCredit®, that we provide can help you, please contact Atlanta Plastic Surgery P.C. at one of our Atlanta, Alpharetta, Cumming, or Newnan offices. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest news in plastic surgery.