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There are a number of factors which contribute to the success of cosmetic surgery. The most important of these is the surgeon that you select. It is a little known fact that in most states, it is legal for physician who simply holds a medical license to advertise as a plastic surgeon, EVEN WITHOUT SURGICAL TRAINING. Consequently, it is essential that you understand what makes a surgeon qualified, and how to research these qualifications. Chattanooga Plastic Surgery encourages you to personally research and verify the qualifications of any surgeon that you might be considering. In order to insure that you experience the professionalism and results that you have a right to expect, ask the following questions:
Is the surgeon certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)?
Certification with the ABPS means that the surgeon has obtained an undergraduate degree and completed medical school, a minimum three year approved surgery residency and an additional two to three year approved plastic surgery residency. After completing these educational requirements, the candidate has to practice two years in plastic surgery and pass rigorous written and oral examinations administered by experienced plastic surgeons. It is important to note that the ABPS is the only nationally recognized board by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to certify the plastic surgery specialty. Do not be confused by any other official-sounding boards and certifications. Additionally, there is no separate, ABMS-recognized certifying board for cosmetic surgery. If there is confusion about a surgeon's board certification, you may consult the ABMS Directory of Certified Medical Specialists, which is available in most libraries.
Is the surgeon a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)?
Like the ASAPS, the ASPS requires its members to be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. The ASPS represents the full scope of plastic and reconstructive surgery and provides ongoing training and support to its members. Both the ASAPS and ASPS host annual meetings to discuss the latest innovations and techniques in plastic surgery.
With what hospitals is the surgeon affiliated?
All qualified hospitals have been accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO). An appointment to a surgical staff of an accredited hospital indicates that the surgeon's capabilities and performance have been reviewed and judged acceptable by medical colleagues. Be sure that your surgeon has hospital privileges to perform the specific surgical procedure that you are interested in, even if you plan to have your surgery performed in an ambulatory surgical center.
Will the surgeon speak with me personally and candidly?
After you have checked a surgeon's credentials, use the consultation appointment to ask questions about the surgery and discuss your expectations. A qualified and reputable plastic surgeon will be happy to spend time with you, answer your questions, inform you of all the possible risks and side effects, and discuss anything else relating to your surgical needs.
American Board of Plastic Surgery
American Society of Plastic Surgeons