Figuring out the difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon can be difficult, especially because many people use these terms interchangeably. The most important thing to be aware of is that not all surgeons referring to themselves as “cosmetic surgeons” are board certified in plastic surgery. Keep reading to find out how a board-certified plastic surgeon is different from a cosmetic surgeon.

The Main Distinguishing Factor

The principal difference between a true plastic surgeon and the many surgeons referring to themselves as cosmetic surgeons is that a plastic surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). General surgeons and other physicians may call themselves cosmetic surgeons, even if they do not have specific training in aesthetic surgery. On the other hand, only a surgeon who has met the strenuous guidelines established by ABPS can legitimately refer to himself or herself as a board-certified plastic surgeon.

For instance, certain board-certified dermatologists may refer to themselves as cosmetic surgeons and may offer cosmetic treatments. Although it would probably be okay to visit one such physician for a minimally invasive procedure such as microdermabrasion or injectable treatment (e.g., BOTOX or Juvederm), you should not see this “cosmetic surgeon” for a plastic surgery procedure such as facelift or nose surgery. If the physician is not board certified as a plastic surgeon by ABPS, he or she may not be properly trained in plastic surgery. Thus, you could be running a great risk in pursuing a cosmetic surgery procedure with that person.

ABPS Standards

Although a so-called cosmetic surgeon may lack sound plastic surgery training, you can be assured that a board-certified plastic surgeon, such as Portland plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Bohley, has met the rigorous criteria set forth by ABPS. You can feel confident that a board-certified plastic surgeon has fulfilled a minimum of five years of surgery training, including two years of plastic surgery training. Also, ABPS requires that all board-certified plastic surgeons operate only in accredited surgical facilities. Not to mention, being certified by ABPS ensures that the plastic surgeon is committed to continuing education and maintaining a strong ethical code.

To schedule a personal consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Bohley to learn more about board certification or your plastic surgery options, contact Dr. Bohley Cosmetic Surgery by calling (503) 253-3458 today.