How to check your surgeon’s credentials

These days any licensed physician can claim to be a cosmetic doctor, so the importance of finding a reputable surgeon for your FTM chest reconstruction surgery or your MTF breast augmentation procedure is vital. When selecting a surgeon for your procedure, there are three essential components you should look for: certification, experience and a solid commitment to the transgender community.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

The first step to ensuring quality care and surgical expertise is to choose a surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). The ABPS is the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to certify surgeons in the specialty of plastic surgery. By choosing a board certified plastic surgeon, you can ensure that your surgeon:

  • Has a minimum of six years surgical training and experience, with at least three years concentrated in the specialty of plastic surgery
  • Only operates in accredited hospitals and surgical centers
  • Adheres to strict ethical guidelines
  • Completes continuing education requirements, including innovations and standards in patient safety

To check your surgeon’s credentials, you can visit the American Board of Medical Specialties website ( and search for him or her online. When researching your surgeon, you should also check to see if any malpractice suits have been filed by contacting your state’s medical board. In most cases, these records can be viewed online.

Find Out if Your Surgeon Has Privileges at Local Hospitals

Even if you’re not planning to have a transgender mastectomy in a hospital, or your surgeon has a private surgical center, hospital privileges are typically an indication that your surgeon has solid credentials and a respected reputation in the local community. If your surgeon does not have local hospital privileges, you should find out why.

Choosing an Experienced Gender Surgeon

Choosing a board certified plastic surgeon is the best way to ensure that your surgeon has the necessary training and experience to perform most plastic surgery procedures. However, you should select a plastic surgeon with a significant amount of experience performing gender confirming surgery. If your surgeon performs FTM and MTF surgery on a regular basis, you will have the chance to view before and after photos, and possibly make contact with prior patients.

To gauge your surgeon’s level of experience, you should ask him or her the following:

  • How often do you perform FTM/MTF chest surgery?
  • How many of these exact procedures have you performed on transgender individuals?
  • Will you be performing the surgery in its entirety?

Commitment to the Transgender Community

Gender confirmation surgery is a life-altering commitment and you should choose a plastic surgeon that has a sincere personal interest in your plight as a transgender man. Even the most experienced surgeon is not necessarily the “right” surgeon for every patient. A successful doctor-patient relationship starts with good communication. Your overall satisfaction will be enhanced if you feel comfortable enough to openly discuss your goals, agree on realistic surgical expectations, and plan the course of the surgical journey together without the fear of judgement, rejection or embarrassment.

About Dr. Mosser

Dr. Scott Mosser is a board certified plastic surgeon specializing in FTM chest surgery, MTF breast augmentation and gender body contouring in San Francisco, CA. If you’re considering surgery, he would be more than happy to discuss the details of this procedure with you at length during an in-house or virtual consultation. Contact our offices to set-up your one-on-one consultation today.