Unfamiliar with surgical interventions? Curious about what is involved? Here are the steps that will allow you to reach your goal of getting the body you’ve dreamed of.Learn more
Choosing the right surgeon for a cosmetic intervention
First, it’s important to be aware that in Quebec, a physician without surgical training or with only basic training can open a cosmetic surgery clinic and perform interventions. Before choosing your doctor, check with the Collège des Médecins du Québec (Quebec College of Physicians) to find out whether he/she is a certified plastic surgeon. (http://www.cmq.org/bottin/index.aspx?lang=en&a=1).
Secondly, after examining you and determining whether you are a good candidate for an intervention, the surgeon must be able to provide you with explanations about the recommended surgery and tell you about the expected results and any possible risks and complications.
Thirdly, it is important that you feel confident about the surgeon, because she/he is the one who will operate on you and who will handle your postoperative follow-up. A strong relationship of trust and an attentive, personal approach are essential.
Collège des médecins du Québec (CMQ/Quebec College of Physicians)
All physicians practising in Quebec must be registered with the Collège des médecins du Québec. On its website, you can check to see whether a physician is registered, as well as her/his recognized specialty: (http://www.cmq.org/bottin/index.aspx?lang=en&a=1).
Association des spécialistes en chirurgie plastique et esthétique du Québec (ASCPEQ/Quebec Association of Specialists in Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery)
You can find all the plastic surgeons who are certified in Quebec on their website: www.ascpeq.org
Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons (CSPS)
A Canadian organization representing the interests of plastic surgeons in Canada: https://www.plasticsurgery.ca
American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
An American organization representing the interests of American and Canadian plastic surgeons who have passed their plastic surgery exams: www.plasticsurgery.org
What do the letters following my physician’s name mean?
The acronyms most frequently used by physicians are the following:
LMCC (or LCMC in French):
Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada (French: Licencié du Conseil Médical du Canada). This indicates that the doctor has passed all the written and oral exams required and is therefore eligible to obtain a licence to practise. Since 1992, all physicians must obtain this qualification: http://mcc.ca/fr/a-propos/lmcc/
Certificat de Spécialiste de la Province de Québec (Specialist Certificate in the Province of Quebec).
Before the Quebec and Canadian specialist exams were unified, it was necessary to obtain a CSPQ to practise in Quebec.
Bachelor’s degree (university undergraduate degree).
Master of Science (university graduate degree).
Doctorate (higher-level university graduate degree).
Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Canada. The specialist has passed the tests for his surgical specialty. A physician is required to have this title to be a specialist, unless he/she passed the CSPQ when it was still in force.
Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Canada. The equivalent of the FRCS(C), but for non-surgical specialties.
What does cosmetic surgery training consist of?
To specialize in plastic and cosmetic surgery, a person must first complete 5 years of medical school, culminating in an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) degree. This is followed by 5 years of specialty training in plastic surgery. After passing the exams administered by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, a specialty certificate in plastic surgery is obtained. 54 different medical specialties exist (https://www.fmsq.org/fr/profession/medecine-specialisee/specialites-medicales).
Plastic surgeons can then opt for one to two years of ultra-specialized training programs, known as fellowships. Some typical fellowships are: craniofacial surgery, microsurgery, hand surgery, etc.
Other surgeons will choose to pursue their studies through research by completing a master’s or a doctorate in a field related to plastic surgery (an additional 3 to 5 years of studies).
What is craniofacial surgery (cranio-maxillofacial)?
It’s a plastic surgery subspeciality dealing with facial and skull reconstruction, as well as the treatment of malocclusions. It is the highest possible level of facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgical training.
This should not be confused with maxillofacial surgery, a dental specialty which, for the most part, deals with the treatment of wisdom teeth, dental implants and malocclusions.
What is facial plastic surgery?
The term “facial plastic surgery” is often mistakenly used to designate a specialty in Canada.
In the United States, the specialty known as otorhinolaryngology (ORL) is called “facial plastic surgery”. The wording can be misleading. It is not a specialty requiring advanced training in either facial cosmetic or facial plastic surgery. In fact, ORL is surgical training specializing in diseases of the ears, nose, sinuses, mouth, throat and neck. In Canada, this training is still called “otorhinolaryngology and head and neck surgery”.
What is plastic surgery?
Plastic surgery (also called plastic and cosmetic surgery and plastic and reconstructive surgery) is a surgical specialty whose goal is to restore form and function to various parts of the body: reconstruction of the face, arms or legs after a serious accident; reconstruction of the breasts after cancer; or reconstruction of the face of a child born with a birth defect. Plastic surgeons specialize in the entire anatomy of the human body.
It’s also the specialty that gave rise to the birth of cosmetic surgery: the advanced, innovative techniques developed for difficult reconstructive surgeries were used as the basis for cosmetic surgery. As a result, plastic surgeons are experts in cosmetic surgery for the face, nose, eyelids and ears; breast augmentations; tummy tucks; arm and leg lifts, etc.
Of course, plastic surgery is at the forefront of the latest innovations in cosmetic surgery. Among these are recent advances in face lift techniques that provide natural results; research into the safety of breast implants; facial fat injections for facial rejuvenation; liposuction and liposculpture and tummy tuck innovations.
This expertise allows certified plastic surgeons to offer you the best possible treatments.
What is the advantage of being affiliated with a university?
Being affiliated with a university (the title of professor and all related activities) indicates that the surgeon is a member of the teaching staff for a specialized plastic surgery training program. She/he teaches the latest plastic and cosmetic surgery techniques to surgeons in training and participates in evaluating these future plastic surgeons.
Most universities review the teacher’s file every four years, with an eye to renewing her/his professorship. Therefore, the professor has every interest in keeping abreast of the latest innovations in her/his specialty.
To check whether a surgeon is affiliated with a university:
- University of Montreal: http://jade.daa.umontreal.ca/guichets/services/dgtic/bottin/cgi/11/e=xc13000,p=initialisation
- University of Sherbrooke: http://www.usherbrooke.ca/bottin/
- McGill University: https://www.mcgill.ca/directory/staff