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What Does Board Certified Mean, and Why Does It Matter? (Updated 2024)

You’ve probably heard before that it’s important to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon. But what does board certification really mean, and why is it important? When you visit Weiler Plastic Surgery Group for cosmetic surgery in Baton Rouge, Metairie, or another of our Louisiana locations, you can count on us to create exceptional results and keep you safe and comfortable. Our board certifications represent the training, education, and credentials that make this possible.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at board certification and discuss why it’s a qualification worth looking for as you select your plastic surgeon.

What Does Board Certified Mean?

A board-certified plastic surgeon has been carefully vetted by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), and they have a high level of expertise and competence in their field. Board certification involves a certain level of training and rigorous written and oral examinations.

Board certification from the ABPS shows that the surgeon has demonstrated:

1. A comprehensive knowledge of plastic surgery

The certification exams measure a surgeon’s knowledge of plastic surgery procedures, ethics, and protocols. This extensive testing requires a keen understanding of how procedures are performed and how to uphold the board’s high safety and ethics standards properly.

By choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon in New Orleans, Lafayette, or Hammond, you’re choosing someone you can depend on to deliver exceptional results while keeping your risk of complications or undesirable outcomes as low as possible.

2. Hands-on experience performing procedures

Board certification requires 6 years of residency covering all areas of surgery, with at least 3 years dedicated specifically to plastic surgery. This hands-on experience gives a surgeon a deep understanding of how to create attractive, natural-looking results—not only in theory but in practice.

This real-life experience also develops a surgeon’s eye for aesthetics across a wide range of body types, ethnicities, and ages, which makes all the difference when customizing a procedure to flatter each individual.

3. Ongoing commitment to education

In addition to graduating from an accredited medical school, board certification requires a surgeon to stay up to date on techniques and technology as the field of plastic surgery evolves.

As implants, safety protocols, and other aspects of plastic surgery develop, you can be sure your board-certified plastic surgeon is following the recommended guidelines and providing the most advanced care possible.

In terms of breast augmentation, for example, this means offering the safest recommended breast implant options in line with the latest guidelines. It also means using updated techniques and equipment to minimize downtime and maximize results to the most significant possible degree.

How To Check If a Plastic Surgeon Is Board-Certified?

For plastic surgeons in the United States, the ABPS is the only certifying board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. You can visit the ABPS website to verify your plastic surgeon’s certification status. As surgeons need to get re-certified every 10 years, knowing whether your plastic surgeon still has active certification is vital for peace of mind.

Board-Eligible vs. Board-Certified: What’s the Difference?

Board-eligible plastic surgeons have completed their residency training but have not yet passed their board certification exams. In other words, they are eligible to receive board certification. Meanwhile, board-certified plastic surgeons have passed the certification process and are recognized as experts in their specialty.

How To Choose a Plastic Surgeon

Checking for board certification is a significant first step when narrowing down your choices for plastic surgeons. Looking for professional society memberships and specialist training can also signal expertise. We also encourage you to read reviews and testimonials to get the patient’s perspective and to view before-and-after photos to see the types of results that that surgeon can achieve.

When you’ve identified your top choices, scheduling a consultation with the surgeon(s) can help you establish a rapport, get your questions answered, and see how comfortable you are working with a provider. Not sure what to ask? We’ve put together a list of questions in our related blog post.

Trust Your Surgery to the Experts

When it comes to your safety and satisfaction, there is little that is more important than choosing a surgeon who meets and exceeds the highest standards of medical practice. To see examples of the results of our board-certified plastic surgery creations, please visit our before-and-after photo gallery.

If you would like to learn more about our plastic surgery specialists here in Baton Rouge, Slidell, or elsewhere in Louisiana, please request a consultation using the online form or call (225) 399-0001 to get started.

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