Choosing to have plastic surgery can be an exciting and empowering step for many patients, as it should be, but it’s just the first in a series of important decisions. One of the most crucial parts of planning cosmetic surgery is choosing your surgeon, and while part of this simply depends on who you’re most comfortable with, you should begin by looking at a surgeon’s specific qualifications. Unfortunately, not all medical professionals are as qualified as they lead patients to believe. In fact, any physician can call themselves a “cosmetic surgeon” or “plastic surgeon,” even if they have no actual training in any surgery, let alone plastic surgery. That’s why four specific words are extremely important to look for: “board-certified plastic surgeon.”
What does it mean to be a board-certified plastic surgeon?
In order to earn this title, a surgeon must be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), the only aesthetic surgery certification board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. In order to do so, a physician must complete at least five years of approved surgical training, including a residency specifically in plastic surgery, all after completing medical school. In my case, I completed residencies in both general surgery and plastic surgery with the Medical College of Georgia, as well as a one year fellowship in cosmetic plastic surgery with the extraordinary plastic surgeons at Manhattan Eye Ear and Throat Hospital in New York City. Once this training has been completed, a surgeon must pass rigorous written and oral testing before they become board-certified.
Why is it so important that I use a board-certified plastic surgeon?
The most obvious advantage to working with a board-certified plastic surgeon is that you know they have significant experience in cosmetic surgery and that their knowledge and skills have been evaluated, while you don’t have this assurance with any other doctor. But the other important factor many patients don’t realize is that board-certified plastic surgeons have some training in general surgery as well. For instance, another type of doctor may know the steps to completing a mini facelift, but if a complication arises, they may not know what to do and how to react, which could have dangerous consequences. In the same vein, board-certified plastic surgeons should also have privileges to admit you to an accredited hospital if the need arises (regardless of whether your procedure is performed in the hospital, in the surgeon’s office, or in another facility). Finally, the experience board-certified plastic surgeons must have in order to receive certification can refine their aesthetic judgment, allowing them to achieve more predictably successful results.
Why, Dr. LeRoy, are you listed as a “double board-certified plastic surgeon”?
In addition to being board-certified in plastic surgery, I have also attained board certification in general surgery from the American College of Surgeons. This means that I have completed additional training and testing in order to have a more in-depth knowledge of anatomy and of both cosmetic and medical surgeries. Throughout more than twenty years, I have enjoyed keeping my expertise up-to-date with the latest medical advancements while also developing my own procedures like the Band Aid Facelift to meet my patients’ needs.
The idea of finally getting an appearance which makes you feel comfortable and confident can be exciting, especially if you’ve been wanting to make a change for a long time. But it’s important to also be practical, take your time, and educate yourself in order to get the best and safest results possible. To learn more about my qualifications or to discuss how I can help you become you most confident and beautiful self, schedule a consultation with me, Dr. John L. LeRoy. Or, for more plastic surgery tips and helpful information, join me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.