New York, NY – The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) – the world’s largest association of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons – urges patients to make informed decisions when it comes to undergoing facial plastic surgery procedures. The AAFPRS reminds patients that all facial plastic and reconstructive surgeries be performed by a board certified and experienced facial plastic surgeon.
Most facial plastic surgeons are board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery-a board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS). Many AAFPRS members are also board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery, deemed equivalent to an ABMS Board in every state that has reviewed its credentials.
“The AAFPRS is committed to ensuring patients make educated decisions when undergoing facial plastic surgery,” said AAFPRS President Dr. Steven Pearlman. “Patients should only consider seeing a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, should always verify credentials and should have a complete understanding of the surgery including the risks and benefits.”
Below are some tips from the AAFPRS for making an educated choice BEFORE undergoing facial plastic surgery:
- Understand Board Certifications: Look for a surgeon board certified by boards affiliated with the American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS). Most AAFPRS members are certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology – a board recognized by the ABMS. However, in addition to specialized training in facial plastic surgery, many Academy members undertake another year of fellowship in facial plastic surgery, which is in addition to their six years of residency training to gain further certification by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
- Verify Credentials. While referrals may be helpful, it’s still important to validate the training, skills and experience of the surgeon. Make sure the surgeon is a reputable member of an organization of surgeons who specialize in facial plastic surgery and has privileges to perform procedures at a local hospital or ambulatory center. The Directory of Medical Specialists, available in public libraries, can be used to check a surgeon’s credentials. Also, there are several phone numbers for reference, such as:
- AAFPRS Facial Plastic Surgery Information Service (1-800-332-FACE or www.facemd.org): provides a list of AAFPRS surgeons by region who are board certified to perform facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.
- Federation of State Medical Boards (1-817-868-4000 or www.fsmb.org): to verify a doctor’s medical license and check for disciplinary action.
- American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery ( www.abfprs.org): Certifies surgeons exclusively in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.
- Ask for Referrals: When choosing a surgeon, start with word-of-mouth referrals. Ask friends who have undergone facial plastic surgery, consult a trusted family physician or call a respected hospital in the community and ask for the names of board certified facial plastic surgeons.
The AAFPRS is the world’s largest association of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons with more than 2,600 members – whose cosmetic reconstructive surgery focuses on the face, head and neck. Academy fellows are board-certified and subscribe to a code of ethics. In addition, the AAFPRS provides consumers with free information and brochures and a list of qualified facial plastic surgeons in their area by calling 1-800-332-FACE or by visiting the AAFPRS Web Site, www.FACEMD.org.