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board certified plastic surgeon blog

Importance of Choosing a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

After you have decided to undergo cosmetic surgery, choosing the right surgeon becomes one of the most challenging decisions you still face, no matter what the procedure. Naturally, you want to find the most skilled and experienced surgeon possible, one with a solid reputation and a stellar record of producing beautiful results. You’re not just looking for a doctor who performs one-size-fit-all surgeries, but one with a passion for aesthetics who custom-tailors each operation according to the unique features of the specific patient. And you want to feel comfortable with your chosen surgeon, and to have complete trust that they will have your best interests in mind.

Experience should be one of the first factors you investigate as part of a comprehensive evaluation to narrow down your list of prospective plastic surgeons. While plastic surgery is a specialized branch of medicine, some doctors practice cosmetic surgery despite having little to no specialized training in the art. Thus, check the medical credentials of any plastic surgeon on your prospect list to ensure that they have the right training and experience. As medical credentials can sometimes be confusing, board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is one of the most pertinent credentials for proving the surgeon’s competence, experience, and skill in the art of cosmetic surgery.

ABPS Board Certification Rigorous Vetting System 

ABPS board certification is a long and challenging process that a surgeon can only undertake when they become “board eligible.” This means that the physician has graduated from medical school, completed specialist training, finished their residency and begun practicing. Once board eligible, the physician must prepare for and pass a two-part rigorous exam process. A 350-question written exam must be passed before the doctor can proceed to a two-day oral exam. During this exam, the candidate is evaluated on the breadth of plastic and reconstructive surgery, and additionally must showcase five to seven of their own surgical cases to a panel of senior plastic surgeons. These experts in the field evaluate every detail of the cases presented. They vigorously question the candidate about decisions made in relation to the operation and every action taken during the surgical process. Another portion of the oral exam requires the candidate to detail how they would undertake a series of challenging cases and/or address surgical complications that might arise during a procedure.

The exam failure rate is believed to range from about 15% to 25% per year. And while passing the exams and receiving board certification is certainly a great accomplishment for those who undergo it, the process is not over, as certification needs to be maintained. Maintenance of certification includes continuous development and education, as well as maintaining a high degree of professionalism.

Another Key Credential to Look For

Along with ABPS board certification, active membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) serves as another credential indicative of your potential cosmetic surgeon’s expertise, experience, and professionalism. In fact, board certification is a key requirement for ASPS membership. Other membership requirements include:

  • Graduation from an accredited medical school
  • Minimum six years of surgical training post-medical school, and minimum three years of plastic surgery residency training.
  • Successfully pass comprehensive oral and written exams.
  • Perform surgery in accredited, state-licensed or Medicaid-certified surgical facilities.
  • Complete continuing medical education and patient safety courses each year.
  • Adhere to strict ASPS Code of Ethics.

Learn More Through a Consultation at Naples Plastic Surgery

If you would like to find a board-certified cosmetic surgeon in the Naples, Florida area, consider Drs. Paul Gardner and Dr. Leo Baccaro at Naples Plastic Surgery. These Board Certified Plastic Surgeons hold numerous other medical certifications and awards, as well as a stellar reputation for helping their Naples-area reach their aesthetic goals. Dr. Jason Crespo, our hand surgeon and the newest addition to our practice, is board-eligible and has numerous other prestigious qualifications to his name. Contact Naples Plastic Surgery today at 239.566.2611 to schedule your initial consultation.

Naples Plastic Surgey is Proud to Serve Patients from Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and All Over the Country!

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At Naples Plastic Surgery, our cosmetic services are designed to contour and enhance your body to help you achieve the body image that you desire. Known for offering among the best facial plastic surgery in Naples, our board-certified surgeons are known as much for their artistry as they are for their surgical skills. We understand that your image is the key to feeling great, so we will provide you with the most reliable advice and services to help make you look and feel your best.

The surgical team at Naples Plastic Surgery has the training and experience necessary to help you pursue your own individual cosmetic goals down to the very last detail, all in a warm, comfortable, and private environment.

Dr. Paul Gardner, MD, FACS is a board-certified plastic surgeon serving Southwest Florida. As one of the leading plastic surgeons in Naples, FL, Dr. Gardner has more than 25 years of experience performing facial procedures including composite facelift, mini facelift, brow lift and skin cancer removal procedures. He also possesses expertise in breast augmentations, tummy tucks, and labiaplasty.

Dr. Leopoldo M. Baccaro, MD received extensive training at the prestigious Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, where he worked with some of the most well-renowned practitioners in the art of cosmetic surgery. With honors and awards throughout medical school and his residency, Dr. Baccaro earned a stellar reputation for high quality surgical care with both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery procedures.

Dr. Mark Walsh, MD, FACS is a board-certified plastic surgeon serving Southwest Florida. Dr. Walsh participated in the prestigious plastic surgery training program at Duke University. He has also served as an invited reviewer and has provided expert commentaries for multiple surgical journals, including the highly regarded Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

Dr. Andrew M. Bonett, MD specializes in both reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery, with specific interests in reconstruction after breast and skin cancers, including Mohs reconstruction. His experience also includes reconstruction following traumatic injuries, body contouring, and general cosmetic plastic surgery procedures.

The plastic surgery process at Naples Plastic Surgery begins with a one-on-one, confidential consultation in which your surgeon conducts an examination to determine which procedures are likely to produce the most robust aesthetic improvements. This includes a comprehensive discussion with you to identify the benefits, risks and costs associated with each procedure. It may be possible to combine a number of surgical procedures into a single surgery if you desire and if your medical condition permits it.

As with any medical procedure, there is no guarantee that a desired outcome will be achieved. There are a number of health risks associated with even minor medical procedures. If you have any health issues or concerns, please feel free to discuss them any time with your surgeon at our Naples’ plastic surgery center.
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Plastic Surgeons | Paul M. Gardner, MD, FACS | Leopoldo M. Baccaro, MD | Mark Walsh, MD, F.A.C.S. | Andrew Bonett, MD

1250 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 101C, Naples, Florida 34108
(239) 566-2611 fax: (239) 431-8069
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