Why It’s so Important for Your Plastic Surgeon to be Board Certified

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Why board certification is important for plastic surgeryIf you are searching for a plastic surgeon in Sacramento, you likely have an idea of some of the qualities you are searching for. These probably include experience, good post-operative care, affordable pricing and reliable patient references. While all of these are certainly important, there is perhaps one quality that plays the most decisive role in the success of your plastic surgery experience: board certification. Plastic surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery have met high standards on education, surgical knowledge, skill, ethics and safety set forth by the board.

Read on as Sacramento plastic surgeon Dr. Debra Johnson explains why board certification is a critical distinction that should not be ignored.

What Does Board Certification Really Mean?

In order to be certified by the ABPS, a plastic surgeon must meet the following criteria:

  • Earn their medical degree from an accredited medical school.
  • Complete at least six years additional training as a resident surgeon under direct supervision. Of these six years, at least three of them must have been devoted solely to plastic surgery.
  • Pass rigorous two-day written and oral examinations testing their surgical knowledge, including how to prevent and handle surgical emergencies.
  • Take ongoing continuing education courses throughout their career in order to stay up to date with the latest advances in plastic surgery and patient care.
  • Adhere to strict ethical standards set forth by the ABPS.
  • Operate in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facilities.

A Word of Caution on Non-Board Certified Plastic Surgeons

Any physician with a medical license can practice plastic surgery. However, this does not mean all doctors are qualified to safely and successfully perform plastic surgery. For example, a dermatologist may market him- or herself as a cosmetic surgeon but may not have undergone the specific plastic surgery training to perform cosmetic procedures. The same goes for a surgeon who specializes in obstetrics and offers vaginal rejuvenation or labiaplasty. Board certification is a voluntary, additional credential. Simply put, plastic surgeons who are board certified have completed years of additional training that makes them more qualified to safely perform cosmetic procedures than surgeons who are not board certified.

When meeting with potential plastic surgeons, don’t hesitate to ask questions about their credentials. You can also verify a surgeon’s certification by visiting the American Board of Plastic Surgery’s website.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Johnson and learn more about your plastic surgery options, please contact our Sacramento office today.