Plastic surgeons are trained to perform surgery. It may sound obvious, but
many people don't realize that only some of the 24 medical specialties
recognized by The American Board of Medical Specialties include surgical
training. Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty.
Plastic surgeons are experts in both facial and body procedures.
Board-certified plastic surgeons complete a minimum of five years of surgical
training following medical school, including a plastic surgery residency
program. In-depth training encompasses surgical procedures of the face and the
Plastic surgeons are trained to prevent and, if necessary, handle emergencies.
A comprehensive education, including a sound foundation in anatomy and
physiology, provides plastic surgeons with an understanding of all body
systems-including ventilation, circulation, fluid and electrolyte
balance-which is vitally important to patient safety.
Plastic surgeons' training develops technical skill and aesthetic judgment.
Experience gained during years of training in complex reconstructive surgery
provides plastic surgeons with outstanding technical skills. Additionally,
however, the continuous attention to form as well as function provides these
specialists with a finely tuned sense of aesthetics-a unique qualification
that is critical to the success of cosmetic surgery where judgments of balance
and proportion are called upon.
Plastic surgeons have access to a wide range of potential treatments. Of all
the different medical specialists, plastic surgeons have the training to offer
their patients the entire scope of cosmetic treatment modalities. Their
recommendations are not limited by lack of training or inability to obtain
hospital privileges to perform complex procedures when necessary.
state laws permit any licensed physician to call him - or herself a "plastic" or
"cosmetic" surgeon - even if he or she has not been trained as a plastic surgeon
or has had no surgical training at all - prospective patients must select their