September, 2013

Plastic Surgery Board Certified

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Board certification in plastic surgery is not easy. To become Board certified a surgeon initially has to pass a written examination. If he (she) passes the written examination he is then asked to take an oral exam. Each of these exams typically has a failure rate of about 20%. Put another way, for each 100 surgeons going through the process, only 64 are successful the first time around. This failure rate is the highest among all the surgical specialties' certification processes, indicating that certification in plastic surgery may be the most difficult of all Boards.

After becoming certified, the plastic surgeon then has to submit information to the American Board of Plastic Surgery every two or three years indicating what scientific meetings he (or she) has attended, what types of cases he has performed, and even examples of the advertising he does. This year (2013), for instance, I had to submit a list of every case I performed from January 1st through June 30th to the Board (names of patients were removed). The information included how long each case took to perform, what hospital or surgery center was used, what complications (if any) took place, and the number codes used for each diagnosis and each procedure. That's pretty detailed information that other Boards often do not require.

It's a lot of work to obtain all the information requested by our Board. I'm proud of our Board, however, because they really do have our patients' best interests in mind. The American Board of Plastic Surgery wants to make sure that its members are practicing safe surgery, obtaining excellent outcomes, and are doing this in an ethical way. I have been Board Certified since 1996 and have never failed a Board exam. Maintaining certification in plastic surgery indicates a high level of commitment to our specialty, and ultimately to our patients. Make sure you visit with a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Certification matters.

Vectra 3-dimensional imaging in Fort Worth

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

We are the first medical practice in Tarrant County offering the Vectra XT imaging system. This is truly a "Wow" device! Six cameras take pictures of you, then a computer takes those six pictures and reconstructs one 3-dimensional image. We can then do some amazing things with this 3-D image. The image can be rotated and twisted, allowing us to show you parts of you that are hard to see in a mirror. As part of the educational process, we can draw on the image to show you, for instance, where incisions may be required or to point out specific findings to make sure that we are talking about the things that are most important to you. For our breast augmentation patients it's even better. Information about every breast implant currently available in the US is stored on the computer. We can take the 3-dimensional image of the woman's chest and pick a specific size, shape, and volume implant. Click a button and voila! The computer creates an image of what the result of those specific implants might look like in that specific person. Want to see what a different set of implants might look like? Click, done. We have also found this to be very useful in our breast cancer patients. In those women it helps us tailor the final result to more closely match the size and look of the reconstructed breast to the breast without cancer. While this imaging system does not tell us exactly what someone's final result will be, we have found it to be a wonderful tool in helping our patients understand possibilities. Vectra has been, for our practice, an incredible enhancement to the entire educational process for our patients. Come see it for yourself! We're the first in the area to have it!

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