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Choosing A Surgeon

When choosing a plastic surgeon in Vero Beach, Florida to perform your breast augmentation, liposuction, or facelift, naturally you search for the best. If you're like most people, you talk to others who have had surgery, you research physicians on the Internet, and, when you're ready, you begin setting up consultations with a chosen few.

Don't stop there. It's critical to give yourself the tools that will enable you to truly understand the background of a prospective surgeon. Why? Today, there's no requirement that cosmetic surgery be performed by a doctor who's actually trained in the discipline. In fact, cosmetic procedures of all kinds may be offered by current and former dermatologists, gynecologists, and physicians who trained in other fields of medicine.

If you're not careful, you could find yourself being operated on by someone who has had no formal education in plastic or cosmetic surgery and no requirement to prove their knowledge and skill in exams and peer reviews. But, with just a small investment of time to learn a few basics, you'll be in a great position to choose a surgeon who will deliver beautiful results and who will safeguard your health.

Which Board Certification Really Matters

As you research surgeons, many will say they are a trained cosmetic surgeon.  Make sure they are trained and certified in plastic, cosmetic and/or reconstructive surgery.   The role of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), is to oversee specialty boards and assist them in developing and maintaining physician standards. 

Dr. William H. Frazier holds a board certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).
Dr. Katya H. Bailor holds a board certification from the American Board of Otolaryngology (ABO) with a fellowship specialty in surgery of the head and neck. 
Both of these Boards are ABMS specialties.  

Dr. Frazier is also certified by the American Board of Surgeons (ABS), another member organization of the ABMS. Members (or "diplomates") pass the same kind of rigorous requirements as those of the ABPS, in this case focused on general surgery.

A surgeon with ABPS or ABO board certification has a four year college degree, has a degree from an accredited medical school, has successfully completed a minimum of five years surgical internship and residency, has completed an accredited residency specifically in his or her surgical specialty, and has passed extensive oral and written exams and peer reviews.

When a surgeon has graduated from a twelve month Fellowship, like Dr. Bailor,  she has trained and studied a specific discipline or focus within his or her specialty.  Dr. Bailor trained for a complete year in the cutting edge disciplines of cosmetic and reconstructive head and neck surgery.   

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) is an organization of board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic plastic surgery, of which Dr. Frazier is a member. With over 2,500 members in the United States, Canada, and other parts of the world, ASAPS is the leading professional organization of plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic surgery. The American Association of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS)  is an organization dedicated to those who train specifically for cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the head and neck.  These two societies are dedicated to advancing the science, art, and safe practice of aesthetic plastic surgery. 

There are many other organizations to which South Florida cosmetic surgeons may belong. They offer the chance to network with peers, some provide opportunities for further training, and some do require certification of some kind. On the other hand, some require only a membership fee.

The only way to make sure your surgeon has undergone the most rigorous certification process in the field is to make sure they have done specialty training and passed board examinations.  

Cosmetic Surgeon or Plastic Surgeon

The word "plastic" in plastic surgery doesn't refer to the versatile material you may be thinking of. It derives from a Greek word, plastikos, meaning "to mold." The discipline has been around even longer than ancient Greek civilization as the way to rebuild and improve the form and function of the body.

The field advanced through the ages and took significant leaps forward during the two world wars of the 20th century. Professional and academic societies were established and the field of study began to be formalized. The American Board of Plastic Surgery was formed in 1937, creating the standard for plastic surgeons that continues today.

The labels "cosmetic surgeon" and "plastic surgeon" are not interchangeable. A cosmetic surgeon is a doctor, any doctor, who performs procedures to enhance a patient's looks. A plastic surgeon (those who have completed a residency) is educated and trained specifically in plastic surgery. A Facial Plastic Surgeon is trained for surgeries performed above the collar bone area.  A plastic surgeon may do mostly or exclusively cosmetic surgery, and may even call himself or herself a cosmetic surgeon. But those who perform cosmetic surgery without  rigorous training and certification should not call themselves plastic surgeons.

How do you know what qualifications your prospective surgeon has? How can you find out if they're certified by the proper board? Ask. Don't feel hesitant. Your looks and your health depend on it.

Vero Cosmetic is conveniently located in Vero Beach, FL at 1255 37th Street in suite D, just west of Indian River Medical Center.  Please schedule a personal consultation simply call 772.562.2400 or request your consultation online.


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