Archive for the ‘Plastic Surgeons’ Category

Does Experience Matter?

Sunday, May 12th, 2013


The three cornerstones of expertise in plastic surgery are: talent, quality of training, and experience.

We often overlook the value of experience. Knowledge and decision-making are very important in a surgeon, but ultimately surgery is an artistic craft. As with any artistic career, the artist gets progressively better with experience. As Malcom Gladwell observed in Outliers, it takes a minimum of 10,000 hours of concentrate practice to achieve expertise. It has been true of every great musician, painter, sculptor, or plastic surgeon.

In my own case, after over 30 years of experience and thousands of surgeries performed, I am achieving the most consistent, highest quality results of my career.


Other “plastic surgeons” ?

Monday, March 28th, 2011


The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) was formed in the early twentieth century to regulate the training differences between specialties in medicine and surgery for the clarification of the public. Plastic Surgery was a defined separate training pathway.

In the 1970’s other specialists decided they wanted to enter the plastic surgery arena. With a decidedly political vote of the ABMS members, other surgical subspecialists were allowed to independently develop “plastic surgery” training within their limited areas: otolaryngology, ophthalmology, dermatology.  As a result, “facial plastic surgeons”, “ophthalmic plastic surgeons”, and “dermatologic plastic surgeons” arose.

Needless to say, this approach is very confusing to the public.


Plastic Surgery Training

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011


At the current time, there are two parallel tracks to into Plastic Surgery after first achieving an M.D. degree. The traditional tract is to first train in General Surgery or Otolaryngology, then do a second residency in Plastic Surgery. The alternate pathway, more recently established, it to do a six year program in Plastic Surgery alone, with educational rotations on related services.

At the completion of Plastic Surgery training, the graduate is eligible to pursue certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.


Who is a Plastic Surgeon?

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011


With the advent of managed health care, payment to doctors dropped by as much as 80%. As a result many doctors ( even dentists) started looking for alternate areas of practice. It may surprise you to know that medical licensure is a state by state issue. And specialization is not licensed. What that means is that once a physician achieves an M.D. degree and acquires a Texas license, he or she can practice whatever area of health care they chose, regardless of additional training!

Anyone with a medical degree can advertise themselves as a “plastic surgeon” without restriction. So before consulting with a “plastic surgeon”, do your homework on their formal training background. Check to see if your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Be careful, there are a lot of “self-designated” boards that sound similar.


What is Plastic Surgery?

Monday, February 28th, 2011


Let’s start with the basics. Plastic surgery has nothing to do with the structural products we use every day – bottles, cups, spoons… Plastic surgery actually existed before those common petroleum-based products were manufactured.

“Plastic” Surgery actually originated from the Greek word “plastikos”, meaning to shape or to mold. In the case of surgery, it mean operations which molded human tissue into particular anatomic shapes. In practical sense, it meant rebuilding parts such as noses, ears, faces, fingers.


Why is this blog credible?

Sunday, February 20th, 2011


From 1977- 1991 I served as Chairman of the Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, widely respected as one of the top Plastic Surgery training programs in the world. I remain actively involved in the training of Plastic Surgery residents and post-graduate fellows at UT Southwestern, including many of the leading plastic surgeons in the region, while maintaining an active cosmetic surgery practice.

I have been a national leader, author, and international lecturer in cosmetic surgery for over 30 years. You can view a complete list of my background credentials on my website:


Why Another Blog?

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Welcome to the ongoing blog of plastic surgery information from Dr. Fritz Barton.

Why would you be interested in this blog? Over the past 25 years there has been an explosion of interest in cosmetic surgery and skin care. The public is inundated with information and opinions. But how do you find reliable information?

I will share my 35 year background in academic plastic surgery with you. The information will be very honest, and often somewhat controversial. But I will try to accurately share with you the answers to questions asked by my patients every day – without you having to have a formal consultation.

Stay tuned….