The Importance of Credentials for Your Plastic Surgeon in Dallas & Ft. Worth

Southlake Plastic Surgery

surgeon with protective eyewear and mask on by light

The Importance of Credentials for Your Plastic Surgeon in Dallas & Ft. Worth

As both an artist and scientist, a plastic surgeon must see the potential in every patient to create the right aesthetic. Though plastic surgeons use similar techniques for different procedures, each plastic surgeon has their own aesthetic approach to improving or changing a feature that bothers you. 

Whether you’re trusting a plastic surgeon to reconstruct a deformity, get rid of excess skin and fat, or enhance features on your face or body, it’s crucial that you do your homework to ensure that the person putting you under the knife is adequately experienced, trained, and credentialed. 

Lucky for you, the expert staff and incredible plastic surgeons in Dallas and Ft. Worth at Southlake Plastic Surgery answer your questions about the importance of credentials when choosing the right plastic surgeon for you.


First, is your surgeon board-certified?

Just like you may “stalk” an online date on Google or social media before meeting the person, you should also do the same before consulting with any plastic surgeon. 

We aren’t suggesting you try to find out their astrological sign or see who they’ve been talking to, but that you make sure they are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)

We have all watched, or at least seen commercials for “Botched,” a TV show that highlights how plastic surgery can go very wrong. Nearly all the patients could have avoided their situation if they’d simply taken the time to get to know their surgeon’s qualifications and experience.

How do you know if you’re choosing the right surgeon (s) to consult with? Keep reading.

What is board certification?

After graduating from medical school, physicians who want to specialize in a certain area, like surgery, complete residencies and fellowships to get the experience necessary to become experts in their specialty. 

Then, many will seek board certification, which may require more specialized training and also requires the physician to pass written and oral exams to prove their expertise and dedication to high-quality patient care. 

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) recognizes 24 Member Boards for 40 specialities and even more subspecialties, including the American Board of Plastic Surgery. 

To gain board certification, plastic surgeons must have at least six years of experience. Plastic surgeons can also decide to get certified in a few subspecialties, including “plastic and reconstructive procedures within the head, face, neck, and associated structures” or in surgery of the hand. 

You don’t just get board certification once—you must commit to ongoing education and training and must pass ongoing exams and assessments to keep your status. 

Does it matter if my surgeon is a board-certified cosmetic surgeon instead of a plastic surgeon?


You may think of the term “cosmetic surgeon” as interchangeable with “plastic surgeon,” when in reality there are sizable differences between the two. 

Some cosmetic surgeons claim they are just like plastic surgeons because they are board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. They are wrong. 

First, the ABMS does not recognize the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS). Also, research performed just last November in the official ABPS journal of medicine “reviewed online information to assess residency training history and advertised scope of practice for 342 ABCS-certified physicians. ‘Our review of ABCS diplomate training backgrounds revealed nearly ten percent of ABCS members were not even trained in a surgical discipline.’” They also found that over half of the studied physicians advertised procedures that were beyond their residency training. 

This is not to say that seeing a cosmetic surgeon will definitely result in a “botched job” or complications. Rather, we want to educate you with the truth to reduce your risk of being misled by an unqualified or inexperienced surgeon. 

For example, board-certified Dermatologists or OB/GYNs can state they are “board-certified” (by their respective Board) and they can self-designate (and legally practice) as a “cosmetic surgeon,” but not with equal committee oversight, standards, and peer review as the ABPS. 

These are probably smart, talented doctors, but advertising oneself as a “board-certified cosmetic surgeon” is misleading and might cause harm to patients. 

How to evaluate the experience and certification of a plastic surgeon


To determine if the plastic surgeon on your shortlist is certified by the ABPS, all you have to do is perform a quick verification search on the ABPS website or on

If these websites do not have them listed as current participants who continue to seek education, training, and assessments with the ABPS, you should cross their name off your list. 

Once you’ve set up consultations with only ABPS-certified surgeons, you can further evaluate their experience and skills by looking at their former patients’ before and after photos and reviews from reputable sources like RealPatientRatings

This is where it gets subjective—if you find their work to be too obvious, too subtle, or just not to your taste, keep looking! You’re committing your time and money to your plastic surgery journey and you should only work with a surgeon you feel 110% comfortable with. 

What qualifications do the surgeons at Southlake Plastic Surgery have?

At Southlake Plastic Surgery, we are fortunate to have two amazing surgeons on staff: Dr. Mark E. Mason and Dr. Dinah Wan. 

Dr. Mason has decades of experience as a board-certified Plastic Surgeon and has a proven track record as one of the best plastic surgeons in the Dallas and Ft. Worth area. 

Dr. Mason graduated first in his medical school class at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, and completed his plastic surgery residency at Stanford University Medical Center in Stanford, California. 

He has practiced in north Tarrant County since April 2000 (happy 21st birthday to us! 🥳) performing thousands of procedures for grateful patients who regularly report a five-star experience during the surgical process and with their results. 

During Dr. Dinah Wan’s time with us, she has become known as another top board-certified plastic surgeon in DFW. 

Dr. Wan received her medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine and completed her six-year specialty training in plastic surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, one of the top ranking plastic surgery residency programs in the country.

After completing an aesthetic surgery fellowship at the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute and receiving  specialized training in cosmetic surgery of the face and body, Dr. Wan joined our team. Dr. Dinah Wan is also certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.   

Come see our plastic surgeons in Dallas & Ft. Worth at Southlake Plastic Surgery!


Southlake Plastic Surgery is dedicated to providing the best plastic surgery procedures in Dallas, Ft. Worth, and surrounding areas. 

Our expert team of talented aesthetic professionals is here to help you look and feel your best. 

Additionally, our AAAASF-accredited plastic surgery center in Southlake is headed by our medical director and board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Mason. He has been helping patients for over 20 years and holds surgical privileges at several hospitals in the Dallas area. 

Contact us to learn about your options and schedule a one-on-one consultation to determine the best course of action to treat your concerns. 

We are also a fully operational med spa, offering non-surgical options with an experienced and certified team of providers for other aesthetic concerns you may have.

Use our instant consultation to tell us about your areas of concern, or schedule your first consultation today.

Instant Consultation Schedule An Appointment