In a field that was recently dubbed “the wild west of medicine”, we plastic surgeons are continuously striving to educate people on why it’s so important to research your practitioner’s credentials. There have been countless articles surfacing about the harmful (and at times, deadly) aftermath of cosmetic procedures being performed by unqualified doctors – in some cases, the person performing the procedure wasn’t even a physician or medical practitioner at all. At CPS, safety comes first. Period. And in response to the alarming numbers of those who are putting a premium on convenience or cheaper prices rather than their own health and safety, we’d like to take a moment to explain why certification and experience is paramount.
It’s unfortunate that “imposter doctors” seem to favor the field of plastic surgery, an alarming trend for those in the field who really are certified in this specialty. With that being said, it’s more important than ever to check up on your potential surgeon. So what sets us apart?
- Board certification. To acquire board certification, surgeons must go through further testing and analysis of surgical results. Plastic Surgery is one of the 24 medical specialties recognized by the American Board of Specialties (ABMS). If a doctor is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) or the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), you can be ensured that they are a board certified plastic surgeon.
- Expertise. When you consult with physicians, it’s important to know about their qualifications. How many years they’ve been practicing? How many times have they performed the procedure that you’re inquiring about. You should also request to view a collection of before and after photos or speak with staff members who have had plastic surgery themselves.
- Hospital privileges and facility accreditation. “Hospital privileges” means that a physician has an alliance at a local accredited hospital and can access and utilize the hospital should it be necessary. Be certain that the office-based surgical facility that has one of the three following accreditations: AAAASF, JACHO, or AAAHC. Accreditation by one of these groups validates that their standards of care are determined and investigated by a third party.
Of course, when pursuing a cosmetic, elective procedure, everyone wants a great result. But risking your safety and compromising on the expertise of your surgeon will not only likely impact that result (negatively) but also puts your overall health and well-being at risk. For a positive experience, we urge you to take the necessary time and due diligence to be absolutely certain you’ve chosen a qualified surgeon. You owe it to yourself and the investment you’re making – we all want to see happy patients and positive outcomes!