board certified facial plastic surgeon

How To Choose a True Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

Facial plastic surgery can be a transformative experience. As with any other medical procedure, it’s important to choose a qualified surgeon with the right credentials in order to minimize the possibility of adverse outcomes. Unfortunately, in the plastic surgery industry, misleading advertising and confusing certifications can be commonplace. If you’re considering plastic surgery, finding a qualified specialist may seem daunting.

This article outlines the important distinctions between certifications and gives you steps to verify a surgeon’s credentials. Your health and well-being are paramount. Carefully selecting a board-certified facial plastic surgeon ensures you receive specialized care and the best possible outcome.

What is a Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon?

A board-certified facial plastic surgeon is a specialist who has completed a rigorous training program and passed a comprehensive exam to earn certification from the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS). This certification ensures that the surgeon has the necessary skills and knowledge to perform complex facial plastic surgery procedures safely and effectively.

The ABFPRS is a board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties that certifies surgeons exclusively in facial plastic surgery. If a surgeon claims to be board-certified in cosmetic surgery, it may not necessarily mean they are qualified to perform facial surgery.

ABFPRS vs. ABPS: What’s the Difference?

When searching for a board-certified plastic surgeon, you may come across two main certifying organizations: the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS) and the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). While both boards certify plastic surgeons, there are some key differences between the two.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

The ABFPRS exclusively certifies surgeons in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. The ABPS certified surgeons in all areas of plastic surgery, including body contouring and breast reconstruction. Both boards demand rigorous training and testing. However, selecting an ABFPRS-certified surgeon offers extra assurance of their expertise in facial anatomy and surgery.

Benefits of Choosing a Surgeon Certified by ABFPRS

When it comes to facial plastic surgery, the intricacies of the face require a specialized approach. A board-certified surgeon in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery has specialized training. They learn specific techniques and nuances to safely and effectively perform these procedures. In addition, they understand the delicate balance between form and function and can create natural-looking results that complement the patient’s unique features.

Choosing a surgeon certified by the ABFPRS can also provide peace of mind. The ABFPRS mandates ongoing education and evaluation for surgeons to maintain certification. The ongoing education ensures they remain current with the latest techniques and technologies. This commitment to continuing education and excellence can give patients confidence in their surgeon’s abilities.

Benefits of Choosing a Surgeon Certified by ABPS

On the other hand, the ABPS certified surgeons in both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedures. This might appear advantageous at first. However, it’s crucial to consider that an ABPS-certified surgeon may lack specialized training in facial plastic surgery. Instead, they may have a broader range of expertise in plastic surgery procedures, including body contouring and breast augmentation.

What is the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery?

The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) is NOT a recognized medical board by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). ABMS establishes the professional standards in its member boards who certify the physician specialists. This means that the ABCS is not accredited to certify physicians in plastic surgery. Despite this, many practitioners advertise their membership or certification by the ABCS. This misleads patients into believing they have appropriate board certification in plastic surgery.

You must verify a surgeon’s credentials and certifications with legitimate medical organizations, such as the ABMS or ABFPRS, to ensure you’re working with a qualified surgeon.

board-certified facial plastic surgeon

How Many Procedures Must A Facial Plastic Surgeon Complete To Get Board-Certified

To become board-certified in facial plastic surgery, a surgeon must complete a rigorous training program and demonstrate proficiency in various facial plastic surgeries. Here’s a breakdown of the number of procedures required by the major certifying organizations:

American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS)

To become certified by the ABFPRS, a surgeon must complete a residency in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery or plastic surgery and then complete a fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Eligible surgeons must have completed at least 200 facial cosmetic procedures as primary surgeons in a 3-year period.

American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)

To become certified by the ABPS, a surgeon must complete a residency in plastic surgery and then pass a comprehensive exam. The ABPS does not require a specific number of procedures for certification, but most plastic surgery residencies require residents to perform a minimum number of procedures in each category, including facial plastic surgery.

American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS)

To become certified by the ABCS, a surgeon must complete a residency in any surgical specialty and then complete a fellowship or equivalent training in cosmetic surgery. The ABCS requires only 50 cases in each of the following: facial cosmetic surgery, breast cosmetic surgery, and body cosmetic surgery.

While these numbers provide a general idea of the requirements for board certification, each certifying organization may have additional requirements and qualifications. Patients should always verify a surgeon’s certification and experience before undergoing any surgical procedure.

How to Verify a Surgeon’s Credentials

It’s crucial to verify a surgeon’s credentials before committing to a procedure. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure you’re working with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon:

Check for Certification from the ABFPRS

The easiest way to verify a surgeon’s credentials is to check if they are certified by the ABFPRS. You can search for a surgeon’s certification status on the ABFPRS website. If a surgeon is not listed on the ABFPRS website, they are not certified by the board.

Verify with the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)

The ABMS is a non-profit organization that oversees certification for medical specialties in the United States. You can check a surgeon’s certification status with the ABMS on their website. If a surgeon claims to be board-certified but is not listed on the ABMS website, they are not certified by an accredited board.

Check State Medical Board Records

Each state has a medical board that oversees the practice of medicine within its borders. You can check a surgeon’s licensing and disciplinary record with your state medical board. This will give you an idea of any complaints or disciplinary actions against the surgeon.

Research the Surgeon’s Reputation

It’s always a good idea to research a surgeon’s reputation before scheduling a consultation. You can read reviews and testimonials from previous patients (not just on their websites), check the surgeon’s social media presence, and look for any news articles or interviews the surgeon may have done. This will give you an idea of the surgeon’s expertise, bedside manner, and patient satisfaction levels.

Schedule a Consultation

Once you’ve narrowed your list of potential surgeons, schedule a consultation with each. This will allow you to meet the surgeon, ask questions, and discuss your goals and concerns. During the consultation, pay attention to the surgeon’s communication skills, level of empathy, and overall demeanor. These factors can make a big difference in your overall experience.

double board certified facial plastic surgeon

Meet Dr. Ponsky, An Actual Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon in Cleveland

Choosing a board-certified facial plastic surgeon is essential for ensuring a safe and successful procedure. By verifying a surgeon’s credentials, researching their reputation, and scheduling a consultation, you can find the right surgeon for your needs. Remember, a true board-certified facial plastic surgeon has earned certification from the ABFPS, so verify their credentials before committing to a procedure.

Dr. Diana Ponsky is an excellent example of a board-certified facial plastic surgeon. She is a double board-certified facial plastic and head and neck surgeon, certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology. With over a decade of experience, Dr. Ponsky is committed to helping patients achieve their desired results. Dr. Ponsky achieves natural results through personalized treatment plans and advanced surgical techniques.

If you’re considering facial plastic surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Ponsky to learn more about your options and how she can help you achieve your aesthetic goals.

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