Recent media reports have focused on the safety of cosmetic surgery following the death of Donda West. The Sacramento plastic surgeons at The Plastic Surgery Center want to educate patients about the importance of choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon for their cosmetic surgery procedure.

SACRAMENTO, California, February, 2008 – Recent news reports have suggested that there’s a “dark side” to cosmetic surgery, following the death of Donda West, mother to popular musician Kanye West, after a cosmetic procedure. From these reports, some people in Sacramento think cosmetic surgery is unsafe, and that there is no way to minimize risks. Nothing could be further from the truth. While all surgery carries some risk, there are many steps you can take to maximize safety during a cosmetic procedure. Choosing a board-certified Sacramento plastic surgeon is one of the most important decisions women and men in the Capital region can make to ensure safety and satisfaction with their results.

“Many people, including many medical doctors, use the terms ‘plastic surgeon’ and ‘cosmetic surgeon’ interchangeably,” says John M. Osborn, MD, one of the Sacramento plastic surgeons with The Plastic Surgery Center. “Unfortunately, this creates a lot of confusion among patients. Board-certified plastic surgeons by definition have advanced training, experience, and knowledge of cosmetic and reconstructive techniques. In contrast, any doctor can start up a Sacramento cosmetic surgery practice and call themselves a cosmetic surgeon.”

It is legal in California and across the country for medical doctors in any specialty to offer cosmetic surgery. When they realize this fact, many patients begin to understand the importance of choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon for their procedure. Cosmetic surgeons may have received specialty training in dermatology, gynecology, or another specialty entirely unrelated to carefully performing plastic surgery that yields pleasing results. In many cases, cosmetic surgeons have received no specialized training in cosmetic surgery techniques.

“At The Plastic Surgery Center, we have 5 board-certified Sacramento plastic surgeons who have all received extensive training in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery techniques,” adds Dr. Osborn. “Their training and experience help them create pleasing results and handle complications in a competent and efficient manner in the rare cases when they arise.” Plastic surgeons receive advanced instruction in techniques to treat wounds, ulcers and other surgical complications so that the end result of the surgery will look as good as possible.

All doctors calling themselves “board-certified plastic surgeons” are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), the premier plastic surgery certification board and the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to certify in head-to-toe plastic surgery. Board-certified plastic surgeons must undergo at least five years of formal residency training, including at least two years in a residency program focused on plastic surgery techniques. In addition, they must pass extensive oral and written exams.

A “board-certified cosmetic surgeon” is not certified by the ABPS. The boards that certify in cosmetic surgery, such as the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, are not recognized by the ABMS and the standards for certification are not nearly as high as those of an ABMS board. To confuse the issue even further, some Sacramento doctors practicing cosmetic surgery have received board certification from an ABMS board besides the ABPS. For instance, a doctor may be “board certified” by the American Board of Dermatology, but this has little relevance to their skill in the area of cosmetic surgery.

“As I tell my patients,” adds Dr. Osborn, “board certified plastic surgeons have been trained and certified in advanced techniques in both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Your health is not worth risking – a board certified plastic surgeon’s training and experience provide you with an additional layer of safety.”

Want to learn more about the steps taken at The Plastic Surgery Center to maximize your safety during surgery? Call 916-929-1833 or request a consultation online with one of our surgeons to find out more about our nationally accredited surgical facilities and the qualifications of our doctors and staff.