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Is a Cosmetic Surgeon a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon?

Posted December 12, 2019 in Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

3 Min Read


Since most plastic surgeons focus their practices on cosmetic procedures like breast enhancement and body contouring, most people automatically assume that all cosmetic surgeons are plastic surgeons and vice-versa.


While both board-certified plastic surgeons and board-certified cosmetic surgeons have training and experience performing cosmetic procedures, they are not the same.


Plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery are entirely different specialties, and they come with a different set of requirements.

Plastic surgeons are trained in both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.

Plastic surgeons are trained in both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.

What Is Cosmetic Surgery?

Cosmetic surgery is a collection of surgical procedures that are dedicated to improving aesthetic appearance. This specialty does not address or repair physical defects.

What Is Plastic Surgery?

In addition to addressing cosmetic concerns, plastic surgery is a medical specialty that reconstructs defects in the face and body caused by birth, trauma, disease, or burns. It also aims to correct functional problems.


What Does It Mean to Be a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon?

The American Board of Plastic Surgery ensures that your cosmetic procedure is performed by a trained and skilled surgeon.

The American Board of Plastic Surgery ensures that your cosmetic procedure is performed by a trained and skilled surgeon.

Potential plastic surgery candidates may be shocked to learn that medical professionals do not have to be certified in plastic surgery to perform something like breast augmentation, liposuction, or facial surgery.


In other words, the doctor may have training and knowledge of the procedure, but their skills and experience are not regulated, putting your safety and the quality of your results at risk.


It is important to look for a surgeon who is board certified in plastic surgery.


Being certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) means that your surgeon has completed at least six years of residency training with three of those specializing in plastic surgery (reconstructive and cosmetic).


Surgeons must be recertified every 10 years to ensure that they remain at the top of their game professionally and are staying current with all of the new techniques and guidelines.

What Kind of Training Does a Cosmetic Surgeon Have?

The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery only requires one to two years of fellowship; not the minimum six years of residency training the ABPS requires.

During this one to two-year fellowship, medical professionals are trained in the principles of aesthetics, cosmetic surgery procedures, post-operative care, and management of potential complications.

My Surgeon Says They Are Certified. Isn’t That Enough?

Board certified is not the same as being a board-certified plastic surgeon.


During your research or consultation, make sure that you are getting the highest level of skill, training and experience by asking, “Are you a board-certified plastic surgeon?”


The American Board of Medical Specialties recognizes the ABPS as an official board; it does not accept the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.


Because the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is not recognized, surgeons and medical professionals associated with the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS) but not the American Board of Plastic Surgery may be certified in one of the following:

  • General surgery
  • Neurological surgery
  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Urology
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery

Why Should I Choose Dr. Grotting and Dr. Cohn?

Dr. Grotting and Dr. Cohn are both board-certified plastic surgeons that have nearly five decades of combined experience performing breast, body, face, and reconstructive procedures. Their compassion, technical excellence, and focus on the highest standards of patient care make them a clear choice.


If you are interested in learning more about plastic surgery or Dr. Grotting and Dr. Cohn, contact Grotting and Cohn Plastic surgery by calling (205) 930-1600


Grotting and Cohn Plastic Surgery provides plastic and reconstructive services for men and women in Birmingham, Alabama.

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