Dallas Cosmetic Surgeon versus Dallas Plastic Surgeon
A source of confusion for patients is the difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon. Many patients believe that Dallas plastic surgeons and Dallas cosmetic surgeons are the same thing. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Plastic surgery is more than cosmetic surgery. The term plastic surgery is derived from the Greek word “plastikos,” which means to mold or to shape. Although board-certified plastic surgeons are trained to perform cosmetic surgery, they also are trained to perform the full spectrum of cosmetic surgery, including cleft lip and palate, complex microsurgery, reconstruction after trauma or cancer, burn reconstruction, and many other things. This requires years and years of additional training after medical school.
After medical school, Dr. Jejurikar trained for nine additional years. This included training in preliminary/general surgery, training in plastic surgery, and additional fellowship training in cosmetic surgery.
Somewhat surprisingly, though, a physician does not need to do this amount of training to perform cosmetic surgery. Any doctor can legally offer his or her patients cosmetic procedures, provided he or she has a medical license to practice. It is not uncommon to see family practice physicians, internists, gynecologists, orthopedic and general surgeons, dermatologists, and physicians in other specialties offer their patients cosmetic surgery of the face, body, and breast.
As a patient, if you are seeking a surgeon who has met the most rigorous training standards, you should look for a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is one of 24 different specialties certified by the American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS). Practically, speaking, if the American Board of Plastic Surgery certifies your surgeon, you know he or she trained in plastic surgery.
The American Board of Medical Specialists does not recognize the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. That means if your surgeon markets himself as a “cosmetic surgeon” or is certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, almost certainly, he or she did not train in plastic surgery. He or she may be a gynecologist, internist, dermatologist, etc., but is not a plastic surgeon. The standards of certification for the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery are not nearly as rigorous as those for the American Board of Plastic Surgery. If your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, make sure you perform due diligence. Find out what kind of residency your doctor performed and make sure you know if he or she really is qualified to perform your surgery.