The people of Honolulu are truly fortunate to have several well-trained and excellent Board Certified plastic surgeons living on Oahu and practicing plastic surgery in Honolulu.
Plastic surgery is a unique sub-specialty of surgery. In Honolulu, besides having several well-trained Board Certified plastic surgeons, we have several physicians, both surgeons and non-surgeons, who claim to be plastic surgeons.
Many of them claim to be Board Certified in plastic surgery. How can the public distinguish between real plastic surgeons, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and physicians in other areas of medicine claiming to be plastic surgeons?
One surefire way to determine if a plastic surgeon is truly Board Certified in plastic surgery is to go the American Board of Plastic Surgery website and check and see if any particular physician is listed as Board Certified on that website.
Isn’t it strange that there are no Oahu physicians in other specialties claiming to be neurosurgeons or heart surgeons, whereas we have several physicians in other specialties claiming to be plastic surgeons? The reason for this is obvious.
Cosmetic plastic surgery is private pay, elective, and not covered by insurance. The insurance companies will not pay physicians outside of their scope of practice. Also, most cosmetic plastic surgical procedures are done in surgery centers or even doctor’s offices, where most other surgical specialties are performed in hospitals. Hospitals rarely give out privileges for surgeons to practice outside a physician’s scope of practice.
The public often is fooled by an individual claiming to be an expert in any given field. I myself have hired a plumber who truly screwed up my bathroom plumbing. This was annoying and somewhat costly, but nothing compared to the devastation caused by the horrible outcomes I have seen from non-Board Certified plastic surgeons practicing in a unique field of medicine with minimal or no training.
Plastic surgery in the past decade has made significant advances in the quality of surgical outcomes. Board Certified plastic surgeons are required to stay up with the latest trends and breakthroughs, but these new trends are added on a strong framework made up of years of residency and in the practice of plastic surgery.
Plastic surgery has become known as retail medicine since there are no third party payers. As such, as in any retail situation, the old saw, “let the buyer beware” is very, very relevant here.