The following article was written by Dr. Cozart, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon at Myrtle Beach Plastic Surgery. The article details how you, the patient, should choose your plastic surgeon and what criteria is important when checking out your surgeons background and surgical facility. Spend 5 minutes reviewing your surgeons credentials before spending a lifetime looking at his or her work.

How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon

How should you go about choosing the right cosmetic surgeon for your needs?

The most important thing, when selecting your plastic surgeon, is to make sure the doctor is board certified IN plastic surgery. Many doctors are board certified, but they don't always advertise what they are board certified in. you should only trust those plastic surgeons which have been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and are recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABPS). The AMBS is the only board recognized by the American Medical Association to certify physicians in over 24 medical specialties, one in which is plastic surgery.

The easiest way to check any doctor's credentials is to go to www.abms.org (American Board of Medical Specialties®). Be sure to check to see what they are board certified in.


Office Surgery

Should I be concerned about where the surgery is performed - in a "private setting" vs. a "hospital"?

Many people prefer to have their plastic surgery performed in a surgeon's private office for the same reason you might prefer flying on a private jet vs. flying commercial. If you have your surgery in the doctor's private facility, you don't have to worry if you are running a few minutes late, or need to spend a little more time recuperating. However, you should always ask the doctor if they have privileges to perform the procedures in a hospital as this will ensure that the doctor has undergone peer review and is eligible to perform surgeries in a hospital's operating room.

Appropriate office surgery, carried out by a qualified surgeon in an ACCREDITED, well-run and maintained office surgical facility can be:

  • A positive, non-threatening experience for the patient
  • An effective surgical environment
  • Private
  • Economical for the patient
  • Convenient for patient and surgeon alike
  • Most importantly SAFE

Surgery once restricted to the hospital operating room is now being done more and more frequently in the physicians' offices. This is particularly true of cosmetic surgery, with self-pay. What's the difference where it is done?

Just as there is no regulation of who can call themselves cosmetic or plastic surgeons, there is little regulation of what surgery can and can't be done in an office. Unfortunately, there is an alarming indication that the public's safety is being compromised by this lack of regulation.

My Approach

I perform the large majority of my cosmetic surgery at Grande Dunes Surgery Center, which is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. As a Plastic Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, I have hospital privileges to perform all procedures done at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center.

You have choices

Unfortunately, I see several patients a week who had their cosmetic surgery performed by a physician other than a board certified plastic surgeon. Whether it is unsatisfactory results or unforseen complications the physician isn't trained to handle, you the patient is left "holding the bag".