Does it Matter if Your Plastic Surgeon is Board Certified?

woman beauty

Sponsored by Lone Star Plastic Surgery.

The masks are off, the weight is still on, and summer is coming: Ladies, it’s time to reboot and revive our looks!

Yeah, everyone is beautiful, blah blah, but personally, I’m impatient and I need a little nip, tuck, and fill ‘er up before you’ll see me poolside. 

Y’all know I always keep it real with you, and even at the expense of hurting his feelings (love you, boo!), I’ll be honest: I didn’t see Dr. Sean Hill at Lone Star Plastic Surgery right away. I wanted to shop around a bit. And frankly, the spectrum is pretty wide when it comes to what you can get, how much you get it for, and even where you can get it (seriously, in a living room!?).

sean hill headshot

Dr. Sean Hill

In fact, because karma hates me, I awkwardly ran into Dr. Hill right after I had spoken with another local business. I have no cool, so I just confessed immediately. He didn’t seem mad (thank goodness) and mostly he just was concerned: “What do you know about them?” he asked. 

Me: “Um….free parking?”

He just smiled and said, “OK, listen, as your friend, I get it, but as a doctor and a human, I have some important advice for you.”

And he told me something I had literally never thought about before: not every physician, surgeon, or practicing guru is board certified. Yup, that’s right. (And if you want all the legalities and science about why, you can read whatever respected medical journal you can find. This isn’t a paper for AP biology.)

Basically, while you do need a medical license to perform surgery, or inject Botox, and so on, you’re not required to be board certified.  

So then it becomes about an honor system, if you will. And after snooping around, one that not many abide by… In their defense, many customers/patients don’t mind. Patients happily sign the liability waiver, content with the lower price and convenient availability. 

To each his own, but personally, I prefer just a tad more oversight. (A LOT more oversight.)

What should we be looking for?

It’s so simple I’m embarrassed that I didn’t consider this sooner. Ask if they have a certificate from the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

The American Board of Plastic Surgeons is the real deal. They’re the group that bestows board certifications to plastic surgeons — and they don’t give them to just anyone. Oh no, that puppy is EARNED following extensive specialty-specific training, education, and testing. Participation in certification and the continuous certification program demonstrates a commitment to continuing education, assessment of knowledge, and practice improvement throughout the plastic surgeon’s career.

woman swimming pool summer

woman swimming pool summerThis, above any other society or additional certification, is what you want to confirm first, and foremost.  

“Really it’s about ‘Cosmetic surgeons’ or others doing aesthetic procedures they aren’t adequately trained to do and risking the health and well-being of unsuspecting patients,” Dr. Hill warns. 

Yikes! Then he went on to tell me a few stories about times he had to fix a botched job. Droopy eyelids from botched Botox injections, treating burns on a patient’s stomach from a laser procedure gone awry…

He reveals, “A local ‘Med Spa’ (name redacted cuz I ain’t going to court) performed a treatment, but was unable to care for a complication (a filler infection). The patient was then referred to me. I took care of the situation, which included antibiotics, surgical drainage, and dissolving the filler. The patient was cured, thankfully, and now the RN injector at the med spa sends me questions as to what is best for said patient without even approaching their own medical director (not a board certified plastic surgeon).”

Honestly, I really only thought stuff like that happened on TV, or in other countries. I never considered that here in Frisco I’d have to worry. 

Lone Star Plastic Surgery Dr. Hill

Lone Star Plastic Surgery Dr. HillDr. Hill goes on to say, “I recently gained admission into the American Society For Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, whose mission statement is ‘to advance the science, art, and safe practice of aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine through education, research, and innovation while maintaining the highest standards of ethical conduct.’”

Yeah, I can rally behind that. We talked more about the really gritty complications he’s encountered, but I won’t horrify you with those. Basically, the headline here is: know before you go.

There’s no shame in trying to find something cheaper, but ask yourself this: at what expense?

Check out Dr. Sean Hill’s practice and availability at Lone Star Plastic Surgery in Frisco. He’ll be happy to consult with you over the phone, online, or in his office for all of your surgical and nonsurgical interests.

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