Once upon a time, you could find a qualified plastic surgeon simply by looking in the Yellow Pages. These days, the search process is a little more complex. In this interview from the 2009 Aesthetic Meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Dr. Daniel Mills shares four quick tips for finding a board certified plastic surgeon, and explains why you should ask about hospital credentials.
In today’s Web 2.0 world, consumers considering a plastic surgery procedure frequently search the Internet to find a practitioner in their area. But, just because a doctor bills himself as a plastic surgeon doesn’t necessarily mean he is qualified to perform a cosmetic or reconstructive procedure.
“There are 70,000 people calling themselves plastic surgeons, and only 6000 to 7000 board certified plastic surgeons [in the U.S.],” notes Dr. Dan Mills, a board certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California. “You need to confirm that they are board certified in plastic surgery.”
If a doctor is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) or the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the doctor is probably certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
In addition, Dr. Mills advises those considering a procedure to cross-check information, for example by getting a referral from a family practitioner or from other patients who have seen the surgeon.
“The other thing is to find out what a physician likes to do,” he adds. For example, a plastic surgeon who specializes in hand surgery may not be the best person to perform a breast augmentation.