Importance of Choosing a Surgeon Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery for Your Cosmetic Procedure
When enlisting the services of a surgeon to improve the appearance of face and/or body, patients seek many characteristics, but with variable priority. Some patients seek a surgeon they trust, and feel comfortable with. Others seek a good bedside manner, a doctor who spends time explaining the procedure in understandable terms. For some, the surgeons’ aesthetic sense and technical skill are most important, as evaluated from results he or she has achieved for other patients seen in “before and after” pictures. Still others seek prestige, a surgeon with media credentials, flashy ads, and a confident, pretentious style. Many women want a good looking surgeon, to whom they are physically attracted.
Regardless of the characteristics a prospective patient seeks, in the end, the value of your procedure is associated most with the surgeon’s judgment and patient selection criteria (ethics), the quality of your result, and the safety of the operation itself. A poor result or unsafe setting may cause your procedure to become very costly, not just in financial terms, but psychologically and physically as well. To achieve consistently good or excellent results is very demanding of any surgeon. Great outcomes require innate ability, many years of solid training, and commitment to a high level of performance for every patient. The most tangible method for evaluating a surgeon’s commitment is to examine his or her past performance, and dedication to high professional standards.
The most difficult proving ground is that leading to certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the ONLY American Board of Medical Specialties recognized board to certify surgeons in cosmetic surgery. Competence must be demonstrated for longer, and more broadly than by any other route towards cosmetic surgical practice. This is no guarantee of a good result, but is a minimum benchmark that means your surgeon cares enough about your result to embrace for him or herself the most demanding and rigorous preparation available. Surgeons NOT certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery have not committed to training programs with these standards, so what does that say about their standards for their own performance?
Many non-ABPS board certified surgeons perform cosmetic surgery, and many are good surgeons. In the end however, if you want the best for yourself, seek professional services from a surgeon who has committed the most of his or her own resources to deliver the best to you. These are surgeons certified by the ABPS, the vast majority of whom are members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). They really care. They have proven themselves the most. Look for the ASPS Symbol of Excellence:
Steve Laverson, MD