The Distinction Between a Plastic Surgeon and a Facial Plastic Surgeon: An Expert's Perspective

As an expert in the field of plastic surgery, I am often asked about the difference between a plastic surgeon and a facial plastic surgeon. While both are highly trained and skilled professionals, there are some key distinctions between the two that are important for patients to understand before choosing a surgeon for their desired procedure. Firstly, it's important to note that all plastic surgeons go through a rigorous training program dedicated to plastic surgery, which includes both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures for the entire body. This means that plastic surgeons are qualified to perform a wide range of procedures, including nose operations, breast implants, and tummy tucks. Their training is comprehensive and covers all areas of the body, with a less exclusive focus on the face and neck. On the other hand, facial plastic surgeons receive advanced training specifically in facial procedures during their residency and training fellowship.

This means that they have a more specialized focus on the face and neck, making them experts in this area. While some plastic surgeons may also specialize in facial procedures, this is not a requirement for board certification. Another important distinction is that plastic surgeons must be certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and the American Board of Osteopathic Surgery (AOBS) in order to practice. This certification ensures that they have met the highest standards of education, training, and experience in plastic and reconstructive surgery. On the other hand, facial plastic surgeons may be certified by the American Board of Aesthetic Facial Surgery (ABFCS), which specifically certifies cosmetic surgeons who specialize in procedures of the head, face, and neck. When it comes to choosing a surgeon for your desired procedure, it's important to do your homework and choose someone who not only specializes in the specific procedure you want, but also has the correct credentials.

While any licensed doctor can legally perform cosmetic procedures, it's crucial to choose a board-certified surgeon who has the necessary training and experience to ensure a safe and successful outcome. It's also worth noting that while some plastic surgeons may have less time to spend on facial surgery due to the popularity of other procedures such as breast implants and liposuction, this does not mean they are any less skilled or qualified. In fact, many plastic surgeons are highly experienced in facial procedures and can be excellent options for patients seeking facial surgery. Ultimately, the most important factor in choosing a surgeon should be trust. Ideally, you should choose a surgeon based on the recommendation of someone you trust, such as family or friends. As an expert in the field, I can attest to the importance of building a trusting relationship with your surgeon, as this will greatly impact your overall experience and satisfaction with the results. In conclusion, while all facial plastic surgeons are also plastic surgeons, not all plastic surgeons are facial plastic surgeons.

Both are highly trained and skilled professionals who can perform a wide range of procedures, but their areas of expertise may differ. Regardless of which specialty you choose, it's crucial to ensure that your surgeon is board certified and has the necessary training and experience to provide you with safe and successful results.