How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon
Today, credentials are confusing to the public and to other medical professionals.
Did you know that anyone fresh out of medical school can start a medical practice and state that they are a COSMETIC SURGEON? In the United States, there are over 100,000 MD’s, DO’s, Gynecologists, General Surgeons, Dentists, etc., who are performing cosmetic surgeries. Only 5% are Board Certified in Plastic Surgery.
Plastic Surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery are the only doctors and surgeons trained in all aspects of cosmetic surgery to treat all areas of the face and body. Their training usually includes 5 years of general surgery residency after 4 years of medical school and 4 years of college, followed by 2 or 3 years of plastic surgery residency. As such, Board Certified Plastic Surgeons have one of the longest and most intensive training programs of any medical or surgical specialty! They are Board Certified after they have started their medical practice by passing rigorous oral and written tests.
What to Look For in Choosing a Plastic Surgeon:
- Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery: This is certifying board of Plastic Surgeons.
- Membership in the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. This is the group of Board Certified Plastic Surgeons specializing in cosmetic surgery of the face and body. View Dr. Yarinsky’s ASAPS profile here.
- Check your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon’s track record with the procedure(s) which you desire.
- See your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon’s before and after photos of his patients.
- Does your surgeon offer patient references? Calling patients in a doctor’s cosmetic surgery patient phone referral network is helpful to confirm that his patients who have had the procedures you desire are happy with the results. His patients can also answer your questions about pain, returning to work, returning to exercise, and if they feel their results are worthwhile!
What to Beware of:
Any of the following doctors may be listed under plastic surgery in the yellow pages!
- A Facial Plastic Surgeon is trained in ear, nose, and throat medicine (ENT or Otolaryngology Specialist). He may refer to himself as board certified in facial plastic surgery” but this doctor has not been trained in an accredited plastic surgery residency program.
- An Oculoplastic Surgeon is trained in Ophthalmology (eye care). He is an eye doctor.
- A Dermatologist is an internist trained in skin care. He usually has no formal surgery residency training.
- An Oral Surgeon is trained as a dentist. He has not gone to medical school and has not attended a plastic surgery residency program. Yet, the dental societies in many states have legislated to allow some dentists to do cosmetic surgery of the face and neck. Some oral surgeons refer to themselves as plastic surgeons and take emergency room call in area hospitals for facial injuries. However, they are not medical doctors unless they have completed medical school and have an MD after their name.
While doctors in these other specialties may gave advanced training in some areas of cosmetic surgery through courses given at conventions (weekend crash courses) or through short (up to one year) fellowship programs, they do not have the breadth or intensity of training of a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. They also have not gone through the same difficult board certifying and testing process as a Plastic Surgeon! Why do so many unqualified doctors and dentists perform cosmetic surgery–because cosmetic surgery is one of the most lucrative fields in the medical profession.
Watch for Deceptive Advertising
- Before and after pictures of patients may be touched-up. In some cases, the after picture are not even the same patients!
- The Ad uses photos of models who have not had plastic surgery, but the ad implies that they are the surgeon’s patients.
- The ad notes that the surgeon is a Board Certified Cosmetic surgeon but not a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
- The ad notes that the surgeon is Board Certified, but does not tell you in what specialty. There is no Cosmetic Surgery Board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
- In the ad, the listing of the surgeon’s name is close to the world plastic surgery implying that the surgeon is a Plastic Surgeon when he or she is not. The doctor may be listed as an expert without supporting credentials.
- The ad states or implies that the surgeon knows some new technique, which no other surgeon knows about or that he is the surgeon doctors go to for their surgery when in reality they do not.
Above all, choose your Plastic Surgeon with care to minimize the chance of having complications and a poor result!
Choosing the right surgeon is all about trust. You want a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is skilled. Choose someone you feel comfortable with someone who is friendly, professional, and understanding; someone who listens closely to you to find out your needs and who cares about what you want.
*Note: Dr. Yarinsky is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon specializing in cosmetic surgery of the face and body. He is also a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. He has experience and expertise in performing a wide range of cosmetic procedures. He and his staff are dedicated to providing you with the results you desire in a warm, comfortable, and caring environment.
Information provided to you as a public service by Steven Yarinsky, MD.
Saratoga Springs Plastic Surgery, PC. Call us toll free at 1-888-884-4448 or at (518) 583-4019.