Choosing a Plastic Surgeon:

The history of plastic surgery dates back to as early 800 B.C, when physicians in ancient India utilized skin grafts. During the early wars of the twentieth century, new plastic surgery techniques evolved. The modern age of plastic surgeon meant that the doctor has undergone all the required training, in the field of plastic surgery, and has completed a plastic surgeon residency. The plastic surgeon residency has a minimum of three years, after graduating from a medical school. The training a plastic surgeon receives, is one of the longest training programs in medicine, including three years of in general surgery. Beyond the education and training, plastic surgeons must achieve a certificate by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS – The largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world). The requirements include, a physician practice plastic surgery for almost two years, pass a compressive written, and oral examination. Also, requires the completion of 150 hours of continuing medical education every three years, with at least one-third of those specific, to plastic surgery, and uphold ethical standards. The Board certification is a voluntary process. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is recognized for their specialty, by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which recognizes the accreditation of 23 others specialty boards. Once certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, physician then becomes a member of The American Association of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). This organization established in 1931, and recognizes specialists in the field of plastic, cosmetic, and reconstructive surgery. The ABPS maintains a website, that provides the public with information regarding plastic surgery. Answers to question provided, regarding anesthesia used, time of recovery, preparing for surgery, and statistics regarding average cost of various procedures. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) physicians are board certified Plastic Surgeons. The surgeons have trained to perform both reconstruction, and cosmetic plastic surgery. They have the right to display the logo of ASAPS membership, which is an Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, and symbolizing ageless beauty. Members must continue regular to participate in accredited continuing education, in cosmetic surgery by ASAPS. The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, provide a similar standard of excellent practicing plastic surgeons. There are physicians that practice plastic surgery, but have not gone through the years of training. However they are allowed perform this type of surgery, unfortunately without the additional years of training.

Researching a Plastic Surgeon:
Physician certifications status in any specialty of medicine can be confirmed, by contacting the American Board of Medical Specialties at: 1 – 800 – 776 – 2378.

When choosing a Plastic Surgeon, always consider the following, before deciding to proceed upon any surgery. Never select a surgeon based upon the size of an advertisement, seen in the newspaper or telephone directory, but only based upon certification status. Always be realistic in terms of the expectation, as result of surgery, are else may lead to disappointment. A Surgeon should listen to your goals, reasons for wanting surgery, and provide any suggestions for alternatives. Should explain the risks, and the possible outcomes. Never be pressured to undergo unnecessary procedures, and the final decision is yours. Further explanation maybe provided in terms of demonstrations, by computer imaging, and photographs. Always a good idea, get a second opinion. Inquiry the following: whether general or sedation anesthesia will be used, the cost of the surgical procedure, and does that include the cost for an anesthesiologist. The surgeon should be associated to a hospital, since some procedures are performed in a hospital, and in case of any emergency. Check with your state government office, if the surgeon you are inquiring, has any complaints or legal action field against him/her, and if found liable. Maybe indications of bad outcomes, which you maybe avoid this specialist. Ask the Plastic Surgeon: Before and after pictures of previous patients. Many specialists will be more then happy to show you previous results. Ask if you can talk to other patients that have undergone, the procedure you are considering. Understand that 15 – 20 Percent patients need revision surgery, and establishing if there will be an additional charge, if this will be necessary. Determine if follow up examinations will be free or charge will be applied.

Plastic Surgery includes: Two kinds of procedures. Reconstructive Surgery for repairing birth defects, deformities caused by accidents, diseases, tumors, trauma, infection, rebuilding a woman’s breast after surgery for breast cancer, and a developmental abnormalities. Reconstructive Surgery generally covered, by most health insurance companies. Cosmetic or Aesthetic Surgery procedures include facelifts (facial contouring), nose reshaping (rhinoplasty), fat suction (liposuction), breasts larger or smaller (augmentation mammoplasty/reduction mammoplasty), implants, special laser to remove unwanted hair, Tummy Tucks (Abdominoplasty), and other procedures done to enhance appearance, beauty or self — esteem. Unfortunately Cosmetic Surgery not usually covered, by health insurance companies, because that is an elective surgery. All types of surgeries have there own time of recovery, risks, and complications.

According to the Association of Plastic Surgeons, 8.7 Million plastic surgeries were completed in 2003, which is 32 percent increase from 2002. Those between 19 – 34 years old were 26 percent of the 2003 plastic surgeries. Most common reasons, why people undergo cosmetic surgery: Teens wanting to change their look or appearance, which is more acceptable to their friends, peers, and self — esteem. A study concluded by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons,
335, 000 teenagers under 18 years old, had plastic surgery in 2003, which is up from 306,000 in the year 2000. Correct physical defects, for example: Men that have excessive breast tissue (gynecomastia), that doesn’t go away with weigh loss or time, desire reduction surgery. Removal of a birth marks with laser treatment. Dermabrasion surgery a procedure that can help smooth or camouflage severe acne scars. Also, reshaping nose, and ear, and breast reduction. Surgery is normally not performed on teenagers, until they are old enough to understand the circumstances of the procedure, handle the stress of healing, and finished growing.

Locate a Plastic Surgeon: Contact the American Society of Plastic Surgeons: 1 – 800 – 635 – 0635 The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery toll – free number for patients to obtain, referrals of surgeons:
1 – 888 – 272 – 7711. Another usefull resource is the Cosmetic Surgery Directory .

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