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How To Verify The Credentials of Your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Is your surgeon Board Certified?

Cosmetic surgery, or aesthetic surgery, is an elective procedure to improve one’s appearance. There is no denying the many rewarding benefits such as-improved self-esteem and confidence. It is important to remember that cosmetic surgery is still surgery and patients are cautioned to learn about the procedure they are considering. Just as important is to ensure that the plastic surgeon you select is properly trained and credentialed to perform cosmetic surgery. Unfortunately, there have been cases of imposters posing as plastic surgeons and doctors performing procedures outside of their expertise.

The following guidelines will help you verify the credentials and qualifications of your plastic surgeon.

  1. Ensure your doctor is licensed to practice medicine in your state. In NY state go to: On this website you can confirm your doctor is licensed to practice in New York State. It will also list the Board Certification of your surgeon.
  2. Your plastic surgeon should be Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This is the only Board overseen by the American Board of Medical Specialties that credentials plastic surgeons for both body and face procedures. Plastic Surgeons certified by the ABPS have undergone rigorous training and examinations. Any board entitled “cosmetic” is not the same as the American Board of Plastic Surgery. If you are considering a face procedure, some surgeons Board Certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology are properly trained.
  3. Plastic surgeons who value their professionalism generally participate in the professional societies. The major plastic surgery societies are The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Only plastic surgeons who are Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery may be members of these two societies. So if your doctor is a member, she/he is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. These societies demand their members maintain on-going education, participation in scientific endeavors and adherence to safety standards. More information is available at and
  4. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery is the premier professional organization that educates plastic surgeons on Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Plastic surgeons who dedicate most, if not all, of their practice to cosmetic/aesthetic surgery are usually members of this Society. More information is available at
  5. In addition to Board Certification, you surgeon should have an expertise and/or interest in the procedure you are considering. Not every surgeon can do each and every procedure equally well. Some plastic surgeons have completed fellowships in their area of expertise. Look for fellowship trained plastic surgeons or surgeons who perform a certain operation often.
  6. Your plastic surgeon should operate in an accredited operating facility. Operating rooms are accredited by one of three organizations: American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAA), Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAA) and the Joint Commission. The certificate of accreditation should be available to you to see.
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