dr atul kesarwani

Know the difference between a plastic and cosmetic surgeon

Bad plastic surgery is not as common as it once was, since new techniques have been developed to minimize risk and optimize surgical outcome. This knowledge has allowed surgeons to achieve desirable results more easily. However, negative surgical outcomes can still happen. Protect yourself and reduce the risk of a negative surgical experience by taking the following steps:

Choose an accredited board certified plastic surgeon.

Accreditation in Canada is by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. You can search for certified fellows on the Royal College Directory. A plastic surgeon can only be accredited by graduating from a rigorous educational program. This includes the successful completion of medical school and specialty training in plastic surgery.

Know the difference between a plastic and cosmetic surgeon.

The two are not synonyms. Plastic surgery residencies are much more in-depth than cosmetic surgery specializations. Someone who works specifically in plastic surgery will usually have a different skillset than someone who is labelled a "cosmetic surgeon" and works generally in cosmetic enhancements. This is because a plastic surgeon can only become one by completing medical school and residency in plastic surgery. A cosmetic surgeon is anyone who performs aesthetic medical procedures, but does not possess the same training. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but all cosmetic surgeons are not plastic surgeons.

Make sure your surgeon has access to an operating room.

Even for outpatient procedures, the surgeon should be able to use an operating room in case anything goes wrong.

Know which specific procedures you need.

This will help you find a surgeon with experience in exactly the kind of surgery you want. Surgeries with an experienced doctor are much safer. Also, knowing what surgeries you want can help you spot the shadier surgeons: they’re the ones pushing you to get more surgeries than the ones you’re requesting