How do I know if a surgeon is board certified?

I am doing research on surgeons and have a scheduled mommy makeover. I can't find anything online for my doctor. He is claiming to be double board certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery but nothing online says he is. He also said after my tummy tuck and muscle repair I won't be able to do anymore sit-ups or heavy lifting. Is this true?. I'm having second thoughts about this doctor. Can you help guide me to make a good choice?

ANSWERS FROM DOCTORS (2)


Answered by Vanek Plastic Surgery

It sounds like you need to look further before you engage with this person. The credentials for a board-certified plastic surgeon are found in the directory of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. For double board-certified surgeons, they are also reliably listed with the American Board of Surgery.

Membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the gold standard organization for fully trained and properly credentialed plastic surgeons. The absence of your surgeon’s name likely means that person is not a fully trained and board certified surgeon. This is not a trivial oversight.

Hospital credentials are another indicator that a doctor is fully trained to perform plastic surgery. Hospital credentials are granted only after a peer review by other board-certified surgeons, which then grants them hospital privileges to perform surgery. For example, a family physician who calls himself a plastic surgeon in his office would not have privileges to do plastic surgery at a local hospital, because he is not a surgeon and also not a member of the Department of Surgery.

As for your post-op limitations, in my practice, repair of the typical muscle separation during a tummy tuck procedure is the best pathway to a great abdominoplasty result. It takes typically 6-8 weeks to have that fascia repair properly heal together. No muscle is cut or sutured in a mommy makeover tummy tuck procedure. The fascia around the two abdominal muscles is sutured together and it then takes a few weeks to heal. I advise my patients that they should refrain from heavy core workouts for 6-8 weeks. I also tell them that they can resume heavy lifting and do whatever they want after that. There is no way I would want anyone undergoing a mommy makeover to have any sort of permanent restrictions after surgery! The notion that you permanently won’t be able to do things you want to do after healing is inconsistent with the expectations of board-certified plastic surgeons.

Published on Nov 14, 2018

Answered by Vanek Plastic Surgery (View Profile)

It sounds like you need to look further before you engage with this person. The credentials for a board-certified plastic surgeon are found in the directory of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. For double board-certified surgeons, they are also reliably listed with the American Board of Surgery.

Membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the gold standard organization for fully trained and properly credentialed plastic surgeons. The absence of your surgeon’s name likely means that person is not a fully trained and board certified surgeon. This is not a trivial oversight.

Hospital credentials are another indicator that a doctor is fully trained to perform plastic surgery. Hospital credentials are granted only after a peer review by other board-certified surgeons, which then grants them hospital privileges to perform surgery. For example, a family physician who calls himself a plastic surgeon in his office would not have privileges to do plastic surgery at a local hospital, because he is not a surgeon and also not a member of the Department of Surgery.

As for your post-op limitations, in my practice, repair of the typical muscle separation during a tummy tuck procedure is the best pathway to a great abdominoplasty result. It takes typically 6-8 weeks to have that fascia repair properly heal together. No muscle is cut or sutured in a mommy makeover tummy tuck procedure. The fascia around the two abdominal muscles is sutured together and it then takes a few weeks to heal. I advise my patients that they should refrain from heavy core workouts for 6-8 weeks. I also tell them that they can resume heavy lifting and do whatever they want after that. There is no way I would want anyone undergoing a mommy makeover to have any sort of permanent restrictions after surgery! The notion that you permanently won’t be able to do things you want to do after healing is inconsistent with the expectations of board-certified plastic surgeons.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Answered by The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery

There are numerous practitioners of cosmetic surgery. However, only a select few are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties):

"The American Board of Plastic Surgery aims to produce safe, ethical plastic surgeons with an extensive knowledge of the entire spectrum of plastic surgery, who are able to represent our specialty in the highest standards. All patients seeking plastic surgery procedures should do their homework before choosing their surgeon. Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is a qualification not easily obtained, which demonstrates a high level of training and education, necessary for optimal results and patient satisfaction."

More specifically...board certification ensures completion of a rigorous training program of at least 6 years (with at least 3 years of dedicated plastic surgery training. Board certified surgeons have also completed written and oral examinations to determine competency and participate in a continuing medical education programs as a prerequisite of maintaining certification.

With regards to your specific question, the ABPS website offers a listing of diplomats. Ultimately, certification ensures a measure of certainty when comparing surgeons. You can be assured that your board certified plastic surgeon (ABPS) has seen and treated it all before and is uniquely qualified to manage you pre-operatively, intra-operatively, and most importantly post-operatively.

Additionally, while in the immediate post operative period sit ups or heavy lifting is discouraged, most patients will return to full activity in 6-8 weeks.

Published on Nov 14, 2018

Answered by The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery (View Profile)

There are numerous practitioners of cosmetic surgery. However, only a select few are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties):

"The American Board of Plastic Surgery aims to produce safe, ethical plastic surgeons with an extensive knowledge of the entire spectrum of plastic surgery, who are able to represent our specialty in the highest standards. All patients seeking plastic surgery procedures should do their homework before choosing their surgeon. Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is a qualification not easily obtained, which demonstrates a high level of training and education, necessary for optimal results and patient satisfaction."

More specifically...board certification ensures completion of a rigorous training program of at least 6 years (with at least 3 years of dedicated plastic surgery training. Board certified surgeons have also completed written and oral examinations to determine competency and participate in a continuing medical education programs as a prerequisite of maintaining certification.

With regards to your specific question, the ABPS website offers a listing of diplomats. Ultimately, certification ensures a measure of certainty when comparing surgeons. You can be assured that your board certified plastic surgeon (ABPS) has seen and treated it all before and is uniquely qualified to manage you pre-operatively, intra-operatively, and most importantly post-operatively.

Additionally, while in the immediate post operative period sit ups or heavy lifting is discouraged, most patients will return to full activity in 6-8 weeks.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


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