If you are shopping around for someone to perform the plastic surgery procedure of your choosing you have likely seen two very different types of physician - but you likely didn't realize it.
For instance, a physician who claims to be a "cosmetic surgeon" is technically qualified to perform cosmetic surgeries, but may be doing so without having gone through the intensive training required to truly master a procedure.
It takes years of education to properly learn how to perform any give procedure, but you shouldn't assume the physician you speak with his properly educated just because they say they can give you the results you desire.
The plastic surgery industry as a whole has very few regulations and is mostly policed by people within the industry. In fact, there are no laws in the United States that require doctors to practice exclusively within their fields.
A general practitioner can administer Botox, a nose surgery specialist can perform liposuction, and a gynecologist can perform a breast augmentation. A plastic surgeon must go through five to seven years of hospital residency and experience to be qualified, while a cosmetic surgeon can receive an accreditation from a weekend course.
What does it all mean for you? It means many of the physicians that advertise themselves as capable of performing the procedure you desire will do so at a cheap price, but without the training required to ensure the procedure will be safe and effective. The horror stories from people who have lifelong disfigurements because they unknowingly chose a non-board certified plastic surgeon speak for themselves and stress the importance of choosing a physician wisely.
The answer to this problem is to be sure you visit a board certified plastic surgeon. That is the only way to be sure you will know what you are getting when you agree to a plastic surgery procedure. The process to becoming board certified is rigorous and simply impossible for a surgeon without proper training and experience.
Additionally, it is important to ensure the plastic surgeon's board certification is related to the procedure you hope to have performed. There is a board certification for plastic surgery as a whole (American Society of Plastic Surgeons), and then there are more specific certifications, such as the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
A good way to know if a plastic surgeon is board certified or not is to visit their website and check their "About Me" page. If there are no board certifications listed it is safe to assume they have no actual board certifications. For example, Dr. Jeffrey Swail at Boulder Valley Plastic Surgery is board certified and information regarding is certifications and education can be found on his "About Dr. Swail" page.
For more information regarding board certifications for plastic surgeons, visit the website for the board of your choosing and see if the plastic surgeon you are interested in is listed in the directory.