The ABFPRS credential signifies that a surgeon:
- Has completed an approved residency in one of the two surgical specialties that include identifiable training in all aspects of facial plastic surgery (otolaryngology/head-and-neck surgery or plastic surgery, generally)
- Is double boarded, having earned prior certification in one of those specialties through the American Board of Medical Specialties or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada
- Has successfully completed a two-day examination
- Has submitted for peer-review an acceptable record of at least two years’ clinical experience, including operative reports of a minimum 100 facial plastic surgeries
- Holds proper licensure and subscribes to the ABFPRS Code of Ethics.
No, the ABFPRS is strictly a certifying board. It exists solely to determine which surgeons have met its rigorous standards for the practice of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Information about specific procedures can be found at www.aafprs.org.
The cost of any surgery varies with the surgeon’s training, experience, geographic location, and other factors, including the physician’s assessment of patient history, skin type, diagnosis, and treatment.
As a certifying board, the ABFPRS does not track surgical fees, discount or otherwise. In general it is advisable to select a surgeon that has the training and experience to produce good results from the procedure you want.
Some surgeons do provide pro bono services, but the ABFPRS does not keep any records in this regard. Some surgeons also have payment plans set up for their patients.
Yes. Board certification is considered a benchmark of excellence, but it is not the only one. Even if a surgeon is board-certified he/she may not frequently perform every procedure in which he/she trained. Surgeons subspecialize. You should ask any surgeon how frequently he/she performs the procedure you want and with good results. Talk to other patients. Ask your family doctor whom he/she recommends. Check with hairdressers and cosmetologists (Really! They see the scars). You can ask your state medical board if any complaints have been filed.
You can get recommendations from others, but you need to feel confident in and comfortable with the surgeon you choose.
Maybe. As medicine has become specialized—and subspecialized and even superspecialized—it is a fact of life that practitioners achieve expertise along a variety of training pathways. Ask the surgeon what her credential means.
For more information on what the ABFPRS credential means, read about how to identify a facial plastic surgeon (PDF) and how this specialty came into being.