Some of the most popular plastic surgery procedures that fall under the category of “facial, plastic and reconstructive surgery” include blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), cleft lip and palate repair, Botox, brow lift and facelift. In order to regulate and improve the quality of professional expertise in these facial plastic and reconstructive surgery options, as well as dozens of additional procedures, the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS) was established in 1986.
American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Objectives
According to the ABFPRS website, the specific objectives of the Board include:
- To establish standards of qualification for facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons
- To determine which candidates fulfill these standards of qualification
- To conduct examinations of such candidates and issue certifications upon satisfactory completion of requirements
- To improve and broaden the opportunities for graduate education and training of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons
American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Certification
Patients should be aware that the Board is neither a licensing body nor an education institution so the certificates that it issues are not degrees. In addition, they are not medical licenses that allow a person to practice medicine or practice the medical specialty of facial, plastic or reconstructive surgery.
What does this mean for anyone that is in possession of a Board certificate from the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery? “Possession of a Board certificate indicates neither total qualification for practice privileges nor exclusion of others not so certified. Board certification in no way limits the professional activities of any licensed physician in delivery of legitimate healthcare services. Finally, certification implies no intent by the Board for its diplomates to gain special privileges, recognition, or hospital staff positions or to define who shall or shall not perform facial plastic and reconstructive procedures.” In addition, the “Board is not a primary source of censure or primary review of ethical problems.”
American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Apply for Certification
In order to be eligible for board-certification, a physician must complete the following steps:
- The candidate must complete a certification program that is approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in either of the medical specialties that contain identifiable training on facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and they include plastic surgery or otolaryngology/head and neck surgery
- The candidate must have earned a previous certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Board of Otolaryngology or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in plastic surgery or otolaryngology/head and neck surgery
- The candidate must successfully pass a written and oral exam that takes 8 hours
- The candidate must have been in practice for at least two years
- The candidate must have 100 operative reports that have been accepted by a peer-review committee
- The candidate must operate in an accredited facility
- The candidate must hold the appropriate licensure as well as adhere to the ABFPRS Code of Ethics
Common Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeries
As mentioned above, there are various facial, plastic and reconstructive surgical procedures that fall under the types of treatments that are considered to be facial surgery, plastic surgery or reconstructive surgery. These treatments include:
- Blepharoplasty – Eyelid surgery, AKA blepharoplasty, is performed to restore the vision of patients that is blocked by an excess amount of skin and fat in eyelids as well as remove bags located under the eyes. Eyelids surgery can be performed as upper blepharoplasty where incisions are made in the natural eyelid creases to get rid of excess skin or lower blepharoplasty where fat deposits are removed from under the eyes through an incision below the lower eyelashes.
- Cleft Lip and Palate Repair – This surgery creates a functional palate to reduce the chances of fluid developing in the middle ears as well as helping facial bones and the teeth properly develop. Additional surgery might be necessary to improve the appearance of the nose and the lip as well as close any openings between the mouth and nose.
- Botox – Botox lessens the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on the face. Botox is injected into a muscle near a wrinkle so neuromuscular blockers can limit muscle contractions in the area and provide a smooth appearance.
- Brow Lift – A brow lift, AKA a forehead lift, is performed to lift the tissues located above the eyebrows that are drooping or sagging due to the effects of gravity. A long incision is made across the forehead and the incision follows the hairline or goes within a forehead crease. Skin from the underlying muscles and tissues are lifted to remove excess skin and fat before the remaining skin is pulled down and held in place with stitches.
- Facelift – This surgical procedure is performed to reduce facial wrinkles and other signs of aging so the face and jaw have a more youthful look. The surgeon lifts and tightens the underlying muscles to provide a better contour as well as a rejuvenated look to the facial structure thanks to the elimination of excess skin and fat.