Choosing your Surgeon

Today cosmetic plastic surgery is enjoying unprecedented popularity— more doctors are trying to meet the demand for this specialty that has become an integral part of mainstream medicine. Any licensed physician can claim to be a plastic surgeon, so the importance of making sure your doctor is properly trained and certified is paramount.

When you choose a doctor who is a member of the Society of Plastic Surgeons, you can rest assured your surgeon is qualified to perform your surgery

What is the Difference between a Cosmetic Surgeon and a Plastic Surgeon?

Many people assume that a cosmetic surgeon performs cosmetic surgery and that a plastic surgeon performs reconstructive surgery, but this is quite incorrect. No matter what industry you come from, there are certifications, degrees, etc. that must be abided by. If you don’t have the correct level of qualification then you cannot perform the job – legally. Unfortunately this is not the case in the medical world. As long as you have a basic doctor’s degree, you can perform any surgery without any formal surgical qualification!

Yes, you must research the qualifications of any surgeon that you chose to perform surgery for you. Do not trust advertising – anyone can say anything they like. Spend the time and do your research.

The following will explain what you should look for:

Your surgeon’s training and qualifications are absolutely fundamental to his ability to accomplish your goals. A plastic surgeon’s training and qualifications are the gold standard in cosmetic surgery.

Plastic Surgeon’s Training
In India a specialist plastic surgeon must complete:

  • 5 years of under graduation (M.B.B.S.)
  • then complete at least one year of intern training in a teaching hospital,
  • then complete 3 years of basic surgical training.M.S(General surgery)
  • After this they must complete 3years of advanced surgical training in all aspects of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.(super specialisation in plastic surgery)

Cosmetic Surgeon’s Training

Any doctor whatsoever may decide to call themselves a “Cosmetic Surgeon”. They often have no valid training, qualifications or experience in cosmetic surgery and their only qualification is as a general practitioner.

Many have never done any surgical training at all, whilst a few are ENT (ear, nose and throat) or general surgeons, who would normally take out your tonsils or appendix. Straying far from their own areas of certification, the majority of the practitioners leap into cosmetic practices with very little if any training in cosmetic or plastic surgery .Many of these practitioners may have received certification for procedures such as injectables or laser after as little as a week end of training

Many become members of impressively titled colleges and societies, whose members are generally equally unqualified to perform cosmetic surgery.

If the doctors you are researching do not have the letters Mch (Plast Recon.Surg) behind their name they are not qualified to perform cosmetic surgery.

What does this mean to you? Ask yourself – would you hire a gardener to build your house? Of course not! You want to be in the hands of an expert and you don’t want complications.

Choosing a Qualified Surgeon

The very best way to choose a surgeon to perform your intended surgery is to ensure they are properly qualified to perform that procedure.

We recommend seeing more than one qualified plastic surgeon, before making your decision. Always ask for qualifications. If the word “surgeon” is not in their qualifications, then they have no surgical qualifications!

Don’t be misled by advertisements talking only of expertise in “cosmetic surgery”. Ask to see credentials, and if the letters Mch (Plast.ReconSurg) are not behind their name, then find someone who is qualified.

Likewise be skeptical of testimonials that you see on TV or read in local publications. Testimonials can be misleading or even faked—nothing beats talking to a former patient or practitioner in person. The bottom line is the best outcome is assured only by making sure that you choose an experienced licensed practitioner.