Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

With so many different people advertising cosmetic procedures and so many plastic surgery horror stories out there, it can be difficult to know who is qualified to do your plastic surgery. The American Board of Plastic Surgery has a rigorous process for evaluating candidates for board certification. The highest standards for education and performance are required of surgeons that sit for board review. Going to a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery ensures you that your doctor is at the top of his/her field.

However, it is important for you to know that not all board certifications are the same. Once it became well known that board certified plastic surgeons were marked for excellence, other groups created boards to certify candidates that were not eligible to sit for certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Each of these boards has its own qualifications for board review. None of these alternate boards reach the standards of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. But this can make it confusing for people considering plastic surgery to judge the qualifications of each potential doctor. Your safety should not be compromised by confusing advertisements.

What is the difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon? See what the ASPS has to say about this issue.

What do you need to know about your plastic surgeon?

  • Does your surgeon have a medical degree?

    This may seem obvious, but you might be surprised just how many individuals use the title of Dr. that do not have medical degrees. This is not to say that dentists or optometrists should not be using the title of Dr. But your surgeon should have a medical degree (M.D.) from an accredited medical school.

  • Did your surgeon do a plastic surgery residency or fellowship of at least 2-3 years?

    Residency is the practical, specialized training a doctor does after medical school. Several kinds of surgical residencies can lead a doctor into plastic surgery. Know where and what kind of training your surgeon has done.

  • What kind of Board Certification does your surgeon have?

    Check the credentials of your surgeon. Most will list their certifications right on their website and if you are unfamiliar with the board certifying your surgeon, look it up. Most surgeons will be happy to explain their qualifications to you.

  • Where does your surgeon have hospital privileges?

    This is crucial! Many procedures can be safely performed in an office or surgical suite. However, your surgeon should never perform a procedure outside a hospital that he/she has not been granted privileges to perform inside a local hospital. If something were to go wrong, your surgeon needs to be able to treat you immediately in a hospital facility. If a local hospital has not granted your surgeon hospital privileges, that is a red flag that something is wrong!

  • Is your surgeon offering you a significant price discount?

    All plastic surgeons will have some minor variation in their pricing. If you have found a plastic surgeon offering to do a procedure for you that is priced significantly less than other plastic surgeons, that usually indicates a there is something that surgeon is attempting to hide. Please carefully research the qualifications of the surgeon you are considering.

Dr. Petersen meets or exceeds all the qualifications recommended by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. You can be confident when meeting with Dr. Petersen that his training and attention to patient care will make your plastic surgery experience a positive one. Dr. Petersen practices a full scope of plastic surgery with expertise in reconstructive, cosmetic and facial cosmetic surgery. We encourage you to call our office and talk to Dr. Petersen about your beauty goals and dreams. 801-261-5791


Our practice has grown because of our patients’ kind referrals. We encourage you to recommend our office to your family and friends. We always have time to care for a new patient. If your doctor has referred you, he or she will promptly receive a letter outlining our findings and the course of treatment. We encourage you to return to your referring doctor after our specialized care is complete.