The ABMS Member Boards - Plastic Surgery

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American Board of Plastic Surgery
Seven Penn Center
1635 Market Street, Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 587-9322

Plastic Surgery

A Plastic Surgeon deals with the repair, reconstruction or replacement of physical defects of form or function involving the skin, musculoskeletal system, craniomaxillofacial structures, hand, extremities, breast and trunk and external genitalia or cosmetic enhancement of these areas of the body. Cosmetic surgery is an essential component of plastic surgery. The Plastic Surgeon uses cosmetic surgical principles to both improve overall appearance and to optimize the outcome of reconstructive procedures.

Specialty training required prior to Board Certification: Six years


To become certified in a particular subspecialty, a physician must be Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and complete additional training as specified by the Member Board. 

  • Plastic Surgery Within the Head and Neck
    A Plastic Surgeon trained in this area has additional expertise in plastic and reconstructive procedures within the head, face, neck and associated structures, including cutaneous head and neck cancer and reconstruction, management of maxillofacial trauma, soft tissue repair and neural surgery.
  • Surgery of the Hand
    A Surgeon trained in Surgery of the Hand has expertise in the surgical, medical and rehabilitative care of patients with diseases, injuries, and disorders affecting the hand, wrist and forearm. Common conditions treated by a hand surgeon include carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger fingers, ganglia (lumps), sports injuries to the hand and wrist, and hand injuries involving fractures, dislocations, lacerated tendons, nerves and arteries. Hand Surgeons may be General Surgeons, Orthopedic Surgeons or Plastic Surgeons who have received additional training in this area.  

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Questions to ask your plastic surgeon

What is the surgical procedure called? How is it done?

How often have you performed the procedure? What is your success rate?

How is the procedure performed? What are the complications?

What is a realistic expectation regarding the outcome of the surgery?

What can be done to lower my risk of scarring?

What should I expect in my recovery?

Do you expect that I would need any future surgeries/procedures?

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