Frequently Asked Questions

What is Board Certification?

In the United States the process of medical specialty certification is a voluntary process. Medical licensing requires a minimum competency to diagnose and treat patients. However it is not specialty specific.  

The intent of the board  certification of physicians is to provide assurance to the public that a physician specialist has successfully completed an approved educational program and evaluation process which includes an examination designed to assess the knowledge, skills, and experience required to provide quality patient care in that specialty.

Board certification requires a physician to demonstrate particular advanced expertise in a particular specialty and/or sub-specialty of medical practice.

What is the Difference Between Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery and Reconstructive Surgery?

The terms Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery are used interchangeably. Cosmetic Surgery is performed on normal healthy structures of the body in order to change or improve the patient's appearance and elevate their self-esteem. Reconstructive surgery is different than Cosmetic Surgery because it is performed on abnormal structures to improve function or repair appearance impaired by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease.

What are the Current Trends in Cosmetic Surgery?

Over the last decade the total number of cosmetic procedures has increased by 87%. While cosmetic surgical procedures have decreased by 17%, the cosmetic minimally invasive procedures have increased by 123%.

As the innovations in minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures increase, cosmetic surgical procedures have continued to decrease. However, it seems that as our economy improves, more patients will seek surgical procedures such as liposuction, tummy tuck, eyelid surgery and breast augmentations to improve their appearance.

In 2011 breast augmentation remained the number one cosmetic surgical procedure, followed by rhinoplasty, liposuction, eyelid surgery and facelifts.

Botox Cosmetic remains the top non-invasive procedure for 2011 followed by wrinkle fillers, chemical peels, laser hair removal and microdermabrasion.

Reconstructive plastic surgery, which improves function and appearance to abnormal structures, increased 5 percent since 2010 (excluding breast reduction).

The top five reconstructive procedures in 2011 were tumor removal, laceration repair, maxillofacial surgery, scar revision and hand surgery.

To view the entire 2011 National Clearinghouse of Plastic Surgery Statistics report, visit

Most Popular Plastic Surgery Procedures in 2011

Procedure# Performed
Breast Augmentation307,000
Nose Reshaping
Eyelid Surgery196,000

Most Popular Non-Invasive Procedures in 2011

Procedure# Performed
BOTOX® Cosmetic5,700,000
Soft Tissue Fillers1,900,000
Chemical Peels1,100,000
Laser Hair Removal1,100,000

Most Popular Reconstructive Procedures in 2011

Procedure# Performed
Tumor Removal4,200,000
Laceration Repair303,000
Maxillofacial Surgery
Scar Revision
Hand Surgery120,000
To view the entire 2011 National Clearinghouse of Plastic Surgery Statistics report, visit