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Debunking common plastic surgery myths


There are many common plastic surgery myths on the internet. It is important for patients to have legitimate medical information when choosing to have any plastic surgery procedure.

All cosmetic surgeons are "real" plastic surgeons

Reality: Unfortunately, anyone with a valid medical license can call themselves a plastic surgeon, hang up a shingle and begin treating patients! So plastic surgery has become a "buyer beware" specialty.

All plastic surgery board certifications are the same

Reality: Only the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) certifies that someone is fully trained in plastic surgery of the face and body. It takes from 6-9 years to achieve this training, and then you must pass a rigorous written and two-day oral exam.

Only real plastic surgeons can perform any type of plastic surgery or cosmetic procedures

Reality: It may be hard to believe, but anyone with a valid medical license can call themselves a plastic surgeon. The consumer must investigate carefully before he or she goes to see a physician.

All plastic surgery procedures are done in an accredited operating facility

Reality: Unless you are a board-certified plastic surgeon by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), you are not required to perform plastic surgery in an accredited facility. That may put you in harm's way if there's a problem.

It's disrespectful to ask a plastic surgeon tough questions about their experience or expertise, or to ask them to show you some results

Reality: Board-certified plastic surgeons prefer informed patients. Knowledge is power, and it's very important to make the right decisions. It will determine not only your outcome, but your safety as well. In general, an educated patient recovers better because there are no surprises and less anxiety about the procedure.


The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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