Men and women who want to give their appearance a boost often consider cosmetic surgery, an elective type of surgery that covers a range of procedures for the face, breast and body. Once you’ve made the decision to pursue cosmetic surgery, the next step is to choose the best cosmetic surgeon. There are several factors that can help determine which cosmetic surgeon is right for you, and arguably the most important are their training and credentials.
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Practicing Cosmetic Surgery
It may surprise you to learn that any physician is allowed, by law, to perform cosmetic surgery. As a result, many doctors whose background includes little to no training in cosmetic surgery may perform aesthetic procedures.
While it’s not illegal for a physician who’s not a board certified cosmetic surgeon to perform cosmetic surgery, it’s risky business to undergo a procedure that your doctor may not have training or experience in. You could end up dissatisfied with your results or even require revision surgery. That’s why it’s crucial for you to understand exactly what your doctor’s background is. Just because someone offers cosmetic surgery procedures is not enough to ensure that they’ll also offer excellent results.
Board Certification in Cosmetic Surgery
A doctor must be licensed to practice in their state, but that doesn’t mean they’re board-certified cosmetic surgeons. Being certified by a medical board means that a doctor has exceeded their basic licensing requirements and has additional training in their area of specialty. There’s a wide array of medical specialties, ranging from allergy and immunology to pediatrics to urology, so a doctor can be board-certified yet still lack any cosmetic surgery training.
There are only 4 states in the country where a doctor must specify which board certifications they have. In Florida, Texas, California and Louisiana, men and women interested in cosmetic surgery can be sure that a board-certified cosmetic surgeon does indeed have board certification in cosmetic surgery.
Elsewhere in the United States, many practitioners get by simply by saying that they are board-certified, without indicating which specialty their certification is in. It’s that kind of sleight of hand that can lead to botched cosmetic surgeries.
Board-Certified Cosmetic Surgeons Have Advanced Training
After medical school, all doctors must go on to do a 3- to 5-year residency program. During a cosmetic surgery residency, a cosmetic surgeon undergoes comprehensive training in breast surgery, face surgery, tummy tuck, liposuction and other cosmetic surgeries. A board-certified cosmetic surgeon may complete their residency in general surgery or another specialty, and then continue on to hone their skills with additional cosmetic surgery training.
Once a cosmetic surgeon has completed their residency, they go on to do a 1- or 2-year fellowship program in cosmetic surgery in order to become certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. During the fellowship, they receive extensive training in all cosmetic surgery procedures of the face, body and breasts, as well as non-surgical med spa treatments. Fellowship requirements include that a cosmetic surgeon must perform at least 300 cosmetic surgery cases, and the majority typically complete many more by the time their fellowship has concluded.
Becoming board-certified in cosmetic surgery isn’t like crossing a finish line. While the achievement speaks to a cosmetic surgeon’s specialized training and considerable experience, board certification is an ongoing process that holds cosmetic surgeons to the highest of standards. In order to maintain certification, cosmetic surgeons must stay apace with advancements in the field of cosmetic surgery and engage in lifelong training.
Additional Cosmetic Surgery Credentials
In addition to board certification, look for a cosmetic surgeon with additional memberships and credentials that speaks to their professional dedication and skill level. One example is maintaining an active membership in the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, an educational platform that provides resources, ongoing training and workshops. The AACS helps its members to advance their skill set through clinical fellowship programs and other educational opportunities.
At Castellano Cosmetic Surgery, we pride ourselves in upholding the highest standards in the field of cosmetic surgery. Dr. Joseph Castellano is dedicated to offering men and women the utmost satisfaction in their cosmetic surgery experience.
To learn more about the benefits of plastic surgery and the importance of choosing a board-certified cosmetic surgeon, please request a consultation or call our Tampa-St. Petersburg cosmetic surgery practice at 813-872-6093 today.