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What is Plastic Surgery?

Posted in Plastic Surgery

I like to think of plastic surgery as a blend of art, medicine, science, and imagination. But plastic surgery really is derived from the latin word plastikos which means to mold or shape. Plastic surgery as a speciality in surgery is a 20th century creation. To become a plastic surgeon, you must complete a general, ENT, or oral surgical residency which is followed by plastic surgery residency (7 to over 10 years of training). To become board certified in plastic surgery, you must pass written board examinations and a two day oral examination with examiners reviewing 6 months of your patients operations and photos. This is a very stressful and difficult examination but ensures that the plastic surgeon is safe, ethical, moral, and most importantly….talented. Plastic surgeons perform cosmetic surgery, hand surgery, and reconstructive surgery. Cosmetic surgery improves the normal while reconstructive surgery, takes abnormal to normal. Yes, there are talented non-plastic surgeons that perform cosmetic surgery(dermatologist, dentist, OB-GYN, eye surgeons, ER physicians). In fact, there are more cosmetic surgeons “popping up” everywhere because re-imbursement for their own specialities have decreased such that it is impossible to make a living. But, I would argue that they do not have the training that plastic surgeons have successfully completed nor do they have expertise to deal with some of the common complications of cosmetic surgery. Some cosmetic surgeons have only one extra year of training or non at all. Therefore, please ask your cosmetic surgeon if they are board certified plastic surgeons. Don’t be afraid to ask the difficult questions because you are spending alot of money on an elective procedure that could change your life.