American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Plastic Surgery Clinical Privileges

This resource has information on granting clinical privileges for plastic surgical services based on the realities of medical practice and education of the specialist.

Plastic Surgery's Two Components

Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body caused by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease. It is generally performed to improve function, but may also be done to approximate a normal appearance2.

Cosmetic surgery is performed to reshape normal structures of the body in order to improve the patient's appearance.

Special knowledge and skill in the design and execution of grafts, flaps, free tissue transfer and replantation is necessary. Competence in the management of complex wounds, the use of implantable materials, and in the performance of tumor surgery is required. Plastic surgeons have been prominent in the development of innovative techniques such as microvascular and cranio-maxillofacial surgery, liposuction, and tissue transfer. Anatomy, physiology, pathology and other basic sciences are fundamental to the specialty.1


  1. The American Board of Plastic Surgery, Ind., Booklet of Information, July1, 2011 - June 30, 2012.
  2. The American Medical Association, Policy Compendium, 1999, p. 673.