January 20th, 2022

// With All Kinds of Physicians Performing Cosmetic Surgery- Who Should You Trust for Aesthetic Procedures?

With All Kinds of Physicians Performing Cosmetic Surgery- Who Should You Trust for Aesthetic Procedures?



It’s not a recent development that gynecologists, internists and even dentists have made their way into performing cosmetic procedures that were once the domain of board-certified plastic surgeons or dermatologists. To add to that mix, are med-spas, aestheticians, nurse practitioners, and other M.D’s who then put, “aesthetic specialist” after their name. This can be incredibly confusing to patients as to who is qualified to do certain procedures and the credentials they should possess.  The reasons for non-plastic surgeons or dermatologists “cutting” into this space are obvious- it's profitable. For the patient who sees someone with significantly less training, the benefit to them is lower prices. Dr. Michael Horn is a Board-Certified Chicago, Plastic Surgeon who worries about the price patients really pay when they seek subpar care. He seeks to explain the difference board-certified plastic surgeons provide as compared to others encroaching on the aesthetic provider territory.

Thinking about getting a Botox, fillers or a fat-melting procedure?  There are many things to consider when making such an important decision. You want to know as much as possible about your prospective provider’s skills, experience, and credentials. Be sure to ask these vital questions before taking that leap and entrusting your face and/or body to someone.  In the United States, anyone with an M.D. degree and some surgical training can hang out a shingle and announce that they are open for business as a cosmetic surgeon.

Make sure the surgeon is board-certified.

 All plastic surgeons are not alike. Plastic surgeons that are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) are uniquely qualified and specially trained. They have been proven to provide the best patient care and have the lowest rates of complications. Do not assume that all doctors who claim to be "board-certified" have the same training. Be sure that your doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

If a doctor is certified by the ABPS this means that they are certified in plastic surgery and have met the following requirements:

They have earned a degree from an accredited medical school

They have completed 3 years of general surgery

They have completed 2-3 years of supervised residency in plastic surgery

They have had at least 2 years of professional practice

They have passed rigorous written and oral exams (only about 70 percent of physicians who take the test pass it)

What is the Surgeon's Area of Expertise?

Ask what kind of training the doctor has in the specific procedure you’re considering -you don’t want someone whose only training was a one-day or weekend course. 

How Often Have You Done this Procedure?

It seems obvious that nobody would want to be any surgeon’s first liposuction.  Ideally, your doctor has done the same procedure hundreds of times, over many years.

What Are the Potential Risks & Complications?

Every surgery carries some risk, some of which are common to all surgery. The most serious risks usually have to do with excessive blood loss, infection, or adverse reactions to general anesthesia.  There are some procedures that are riskier than others, although recent advances continue to make complications more and more unlikely.  Since plastic surgery is elective, surgeons will usually refuse to operate on any patient for whom they feel the risk is too great. 

Do You Have Hospital Privileges?

Even if you're having a plastic surgery procedure at an outpatient clinic, it's worth asking where the doctor has hospital privileges, because hospitals do background checks. Plus, this could become very important if anything unexpected should occur during your procedure, and you needed to be transported to a hospital.

Facility Accreditation

Cosmetic surgery can safely be performed in a hospital, a surgicenter or an office-based surgical facility: Current published data show that accredited office-based facilities have a safety record comparable to that of hospital ambulatory surgery settings. However, the majority of office-based surgical facilities are not accredited. Another advantage of selecting an ASAPS member is that all ASAPS surgeons operate in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facilities

Are You Allowed to See Before & After Pictures of Other Patients?

It is vital to see many before and after photos from your plastic surgeon to evaluate the work that he or she has performed.  These photos should subsequently be placed either on the doctor’s web site in galleries or albums in order for patients to review during consultation.  Also, make sure to ask if the photos shown to you are pictures of actual patients of that particular surgeon and not stock images.

Don’t be impressed by P.C. after a doctor’s name

Dr. Horn advises the would-be medical consumer, "not to be impressed by a P.C. after the physician's name--it only means that they are incorporated. Jane Doe, M.D., F.A.C.S.', on the other hand, actually tells one something about the qualifications of the physician.  The letters FACS (Fellow, American College of Surgeons) after a surgeon's name mean that the surgeon's education and training, professional qualifications, surgical competence, and ethical conduct have passed a rigorous evaluation, and have been found to be consistent with the high standards established and demanded by the College.

Who are all the others doing injectables? There are five types of medical professionals who offer injectables. In order of years spent in school, they are: 1)Board Certified Plastic Surgeons/Dermatologists 2)any doctor of medicine (MD), 3) a physician associate (PA), 4) a nurse practitioner (NP), 5) a nurse (RN).  As the patient, you must decide the level of credentials that makes you comfortable.

Follow-up Care

Good surgical care does not end with the surgery. For most surgeries, plastic surgeons want to see the results and monitor your progress. Non-surgical procedures usually require a consistent schedule, so you can maintain your results. You should inquire about follow-up visits and about the doctor’s policies should surgical revisions be necessary.

About Dr. Michael Horn

Board- Certified Chicago, Illinois Plastic Surgeon


With more than 10,000 breast augmentation surgeries performed during his career of more than 23 years, Dr. Horn is known in the Chicago land area as the authority on breast augmentation. His artistic eye, mastery and surgical skill in performing various face and body procedures, his dedication to patients’ safety, combined with his focus on unparalleled care and attention, make him one of the most sought-after surgeons in the Midwest.

Dr. Horn earned his medical degree at Loyola University in Chicago. He completed a general surgery residency with the Medical College of Wisconsin, as well as a sub-specialty training in plastic surgery with a second residency at Loyola University. Dr. Michael Horn is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Chicago Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Dr. Horn is a frequent lecturer on plastic surgery and his work has been featured in several professional publications. He frequently attends national meetings to continue developing innovative plastic surgery techniques. His ongoing commitment to patient safety and satisfaction is evident in the personal attention and care he provides to each of his plastic surgery clients. From the initial consultation to the final follow-up exam, Dr. Horn provides compassionate treatment tailored to the specific needs and goals of each individual.


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