What Should You Look for in a Plastic Surgeon?

If you read our blog, we continually remind patients to “make sure you look at the surgeon’s credentials to make sure they are top-rated and most importantly, board certified.” There are so many different distinctions or credentials that doctors use, how are you to know which ones are legit?

What does board certified even mean?

The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the evaluating body that is responsible for determining and evaluating the training and certification of plastic and reconstructive surgeons. It is the only plastic surgery board approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties at this point in time.

Only surgeons who have completed a full residency in Plastic Surgery have learned to perform the full range of aesthetic and reconstructive procedures such as rhinoplasties, facelifts, breast augmentation, breast reconstruction, tummy tucks and accident reconstruction. During their training, a Plastic Surgery resident works full time, spending over 3000 hours per year under the direct training and supervision of more senior and fully qualified Plastic Surgeons to learn to plan, perform, and follow-up procedures and to properly deal with any complications which might occur. Weekend training courses or certification by non-ABMS recognized Boards such as “Cosmetic Surgery” are not the same.

Not all “Plastic Surgeons” are Board Certified in Plastic Surgery

Not all physicians claiming to be plastic surgeons are Board Certified in Plastic Surgery, and any licensed physician legally can call himself or herself a cosmetic surgeon.

Some may be on track for Board Certification in Plastic Surgery but may not yet have accumulated the cases or practice requirements after plastic surgery training, which may take several years.

Many doctors are in practice today who claim to be “Plastic Surgeons” and have not, and never will, finish a Plastic Surgery residency. Some may have finished training but cannot pass their exams, or may have other reasons for not finishing the requirements for Board Certification in Plastic Surgery.

In the United States, physicians are generally licensed as “medical practitioners” by the State Medical Boards. Federal laws do not govern the quality of specialty training or dictate the procedures a physician may aspire to perform. This means that by law a doctor only trained in general surgery, can legally place breast implants, a dermatologist can perform a tummy tuck, or a pediatrician can legally do facial lasers. This is where problems arise for patients!

Dr. Csaba Magassy’s Credentials

Dr. Magassy is certified through American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Inc and The American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons.

About ASPS

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world. Founded in 1931, the society is composed of surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada who perform Plastic and Reconstructive surgery. ASPS comprises 94% of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States and has more than 8,000 plastic surgeons worldwide.[1] ASPS publishes the plastic surgery journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) is an organization of approximately 2,600 plastic surgeons worldwide devoted to the advancement of cosmetic surgery. Founded in 1967, their mission includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. ASAPS sponsors scientific conferences throughout the year and offers Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for various educational activities.

U.S. members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), an independent, non-profit organization.

Besides certification, membership requires a plastic surgeon to regularly attend continuing medical education courses, perform a minimum amount of aesthetic plastic surgery procedures and to adhere to a code of ethics. All ASAPS members are required to perform surgery in accredited surgical facilities.


The American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons has been established by plastic surgeons that specialize in body contouring surgery specifically for patients that have lost significant amounts of weight through non-surgical means such as diet or exercise or through the various bariatric procedures such as gastric bypass and lap band surgery. ASBPS's goal is to help you find a knowledgeable and experienced plastic surgeon. Its members are all certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and most are members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons as well as the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery or the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Don’t trust any type of cosmetic plastic surgery procedures to the “cheapest” doctor and remember, that the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten. Make sure you look at the surgeon’s credentials to make sure they are top-rated and most importantly, board certified and make sure that your surgeon has the experience as opposed to a surgeon gaining experience on you. Plastic Surgery Associates’ private surgical suite is conveniently located in McLean, VA for patients in Northern Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland. We look forward to scheduling your consultation and welcoming you to Plastic Surgery Associates, PC. Or, call 703-790-5454 to schedule your consultation today.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square