Importance of Certification

How to choose a properly certified surgeon & facility

As with any surgery, the single most important factor in the success of aesthetic plastic surgery is the surgeon you select. We believe that you need to come to this important decision in your life with full knowledge of all the factors involved. It is very important that you learn what you need to look for and then conduct your own research. We suggest you carefully read the following and use it to evaluate and interview our surgeons.

Following are key issues involved in evaluating which surgeon and facility is right for you:

First, check for certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery(ABPS).

Second, remember that in most states, it is legal for any physician who holds a medical license, with or without surgical training, to advertise as a plastic or cosmetic surgeon.

Third, don’t be confused by other official sounding boards and certifications created by or for these physicians.

The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) for certification of plastic surgeons. The ABMS is the only board able to provide plastic surgery recognition. ABMS can be contacted by calling 1-800-776-2378 or visit their web site at

Fourth, check for membership in The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS):

Only surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) may become members of ASPS. ASPS represents both reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgery. Continuing medical education is a requirement of membership.

Fifth, check the surgeon’s hospital affiliation(s).

The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) accredits qualified hospitals. Accredited hospitals review the surgeon’s capabilities and performance. Ask whether your surgeon has hospital privileges to perform the specific surgical procedure in which you are interested, even if you plan to have your surgery performed in an office based surgical facility.

Sixth, if you plan to use a physician who has an office-based operating room, be sure that it is accredited.

AAAASF – American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities: This organization reviews the safety of independent surgery facilities, including review of emergency readiness, equipment, and cleanliness that are critical to your safety.

Seventh, find out who will be administering your anesthesia.

We use Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. Again training, education, and experience are very important in this specialty of medicine as well.

Eighth, get to know your surgeon.

After you have reviewed the credentials of a plastic surgeon, make an appointment for an initial consultation so you can see the facility and personally meet staff members as well as the surgeon. How you feel about a doctor and his office is an important part of the plastic surgery experience. During this consultation, your surgeon will examine you, explain the operation and may give you information describing preoperative considerations and postoperative follow-up care. Be comfortable discussing your expectations and questioning your surgeon on any aspect of the surgery. A qualified and reputable plastic surgeon will be pleased to answer your questions and to inform you of the possible risks and side effects associated with surgery. Patients who schedule surgery at PSSF are given extensive written materials about the entire operative experience. Ask for patient references and look at pictures of before and after surgical results for the procedure(s) in which you are interested. If a family member or friend personally refers you to the practice so much the better.

If you would like to enhance your appearance and you would like to find out how Plastic Surgery Services of Fredericksburg can help you contact us online to request a facial cosmetic surgery consultation. Or you can call our office at 540-371-7730 and one of our staff members will be pleased to help you.