Board certification is very important. There are two organizations that are the gold standards in the field of plastic surgery: the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. These organizations require surgeons to undergo rigorous initial testing as well as ongoing education in order to keep their board certifications current. I am certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
You may meet physicians who say they are certified by other organizations, but they may not actually be plastic surgeons – or “surgeons” at all for that matter. And, their organizations may not require much of them to become “certified”. When you interview surgeons who say they perform plastic surgery, be sure to determine that they are, in fact, plastic surgeons – and board certified by one of the organizations I mentioned above. Ask them to see several sets of before and after photos of their surgeries. If they cannot provide you with these, you need to find another surgeon.
I was trained specifically in the field of plastic surgery and have been practicing for 25 years. I had 5 years of general surgery training and an additional 2 ½ years in the specialty of plastic surgery.