For Seattle Cosmetic Surgery, Increased Emphasis on Surgeon Credentials

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In Seattle, cosmetic surgery patients should be wary of under-qualified practitioners. Plastic surgeon Dr. Wandra Miles responds to recent news about unlicensed persons performing cosmetic procedures and emphasizes the importance of appropriate credentials and training.

There's plenty of positive buzz about plastic surgery practices in Seattle, but lately a few have been received some unwelcome attention. Unlicensed practitioners in several states have been caught illegally performing cosmetic surgery procedures without a license, and 3 people so far have been indicted for similar practices here in Washington, prompting board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Wandra Miles ( to speak out against this disturbing trend.

"Even if a procedure is supposedly 'fast' or 'minimally invasive,' you absolutely need to choose someone with the training to perform it properly," Dr. Miles says. "The same goes for more extensive surgical procedures like a tummy tuck in Seattle. Trusting someone who's under-qualified to perform any procedure isn't just unwise - it can be downright dangerous."

Dr. Miles cites board-certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) as one of the clearest indicators that a surgeon has advanced training and experience in both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery techniques. In order to earn board certification from the ABPS, a surgeon must graduate from an accredited medical school, pass their medical boards, receive intensive hands-on residency training in plastic surgery, and pass extensive written and oral tests.

However, while this voluntary mark of achievement says a lot about a surgeon's training, Dr. Miles says patients still need to dig further.

"You need to ask where a surgeon trained, how they keep up with new developments, and where they perform their procedures," she says. "Many patients don't know whether they are receiving their breast augmentation or other procedure in fully equipped facilities, from a fully trained surgical team."

Dr. Miles urges medical professionals to actively encourage their patients to verify their credentials. In addition to board certification from the ABPS, she also recommends that patients ask about a doctor's memberships in professional societies, which help a surgeon stay up to date on the latest medical advances.

"With noninvasive skin care procedures like BOTOX® Cosmetic and laser rejuvenation, patients sometimes make the mistake of thinking that credentials aren't relevant because these procedures don't involve actual surgery," notes Dr. Miles.

However, with recent allegations of surgeons and others using non-FDA-approved fillers in states as far apart as Washington, California, and New York, she feels that patients need to verify credentials even for small-scale procedures.

"Whether you're coming to someone for BOTOX or a tummy tuck in Seattle, you want to be completely confident that you are receiving exactly the treatment you need, in exactly the way you need. You're making an investment in yourself, and it's simply not worth it to sacrifice that peace of mind for the sake of getting a procedure 'on the cheap.'"

Dr. Wandra Miles ( is a board-certified plastic surgeon serving reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery patients in Seattle and surrounding communities. She offers a diverse range of procedures including tummy tuck, face lift, and breast reconstruction. Dr. Miles received her M.D. at the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and completed her general surgical internship and residency at the Fletcher Allen Health Care Center at the University of Vermont. She then underwent two years of training in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Colorado and completed an additional fellowship in microsurgery.


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Wandra K. Miles, MD
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