Do you know the crucial difference between a cosmetic surgeon and a board-certified plastic surgeon?
Cosmetic surgeons are not as qualified as plastic surgeons. Most cosmetic surgeons are often doctors who were originally trained in other specialties but took a fast-track course in cosmetic surgery so they could perform those procedures.
Cosmetic surgeons do not complete the long residencies required by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which is itself a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties. These boards have demanding standards for the doctors they certify, including years of residency training under senior surgeons.
None of the cosmetic surgery boards are a member of the ABMS, so even a board-certified cosmetic surgeon is not the same as a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Cosmetic surgeons advertise lower prices than plastic surgeons. This is partly because cosmetic surgeons don’t have the training to qualify to do surgery in a hospital or accredited surgery center.
A slew of reports have surfaced recently of malpractice by barely-qualified cosmetic surgeons, including gross negligence, botched surgeries, and even deaths. See Some non-plastic surgeons disciplined for disastrous results in USA Today.
Angelo Cuzalina, president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, estimates that cosmetic surgery is being done in the US by 50,000 to 100,000 doctors who are not board-certified plastic surgeons.*
At Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery, our doctors are board-certified plastic surgeons. After medical school, they completed eight years of training, residencies, and fellowships. To maintain their board certification, they must continuously update their training and education.
Wherever you choose to have plastic surgery, please verify that your doctor is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery by going to the ABPS website.
*Citation: Lack of training can be deadly in cosmetic surgery USA Today.