Dr. Marc Malek educates consumers on the vast differences between cosmetic and plastic surgeons. Before any type of selective surgery, it is important to do one’s due diligence. Dr. Malek discusses key differences between the two types of surgeons.
One of the most common misconceptions in plastic surgery is the fact that both a Plastic Surgeon and a Cosmetic Surgeon are essentially the same. “This is completely wrong,” states Dr. Marc Malek, a board-certified plastic surgeon and renowned expert in modern day plastic surgery. “It’s crucial that patients do their homework when picking out a surgeon and understanding the difference between someone that says they are a cosmetic surgeon versus a plastic surgeon, is the very first step.”
Here, Dr. Malek explains the three important differences between the two:
Unlike plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgeons are not acknowledged by any medical board. Plastic surgeons are acknowledged and approved by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. Members certified by this board are held to the highest standards as it pertains to skills, knowledge, judgment, safety, and ethics in that particular specialty. They are dedicated and responsible for devising nearly all cosmetic surgical procedures, which consists of conducting intense research and clinical trials.
Cosmetic surgeons typically belong to other boards and can actually be a specialist in any number of other medical areas such as ER, ENT, OBGYN, and Oral Surgery. However, these specialists are not certified or acknowledged to perform cosmetic procedures to the same highly set standards as The American Board of Plastic Surgery. For example, many Osteopathic doctors with surgical residencies are also performing whole body cosmetic procedures learned through non-accredited training. “It is extremely important for doctors to understand the full extent of reconstruction when it comes to cosmetic procedures if any complications are to arise,” states Dr. Malek.
Most hospitals will only allow plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to perform cosmetic procedures at their facilities. A surgeon is granted privileges to perform the procedures that he or she claims to be proficient in only after proof of competency and of training in an accredited residency and the proper board certification. “So let the hospitals do your background checks as they are experts at knowing what to look for,” says Dr. Malek. If your surgeon does not have hospital credentials then he or she is most likely not a plastic surgeon.