Category Archives: Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Female Plastic Surgeons – Traci Temmen, M.D. Tampa, Florida

I grew up on a working farm in rural Missouri.  My father was a row-crop farmer, and before that, a truck driver that hauled hazardous materials.  To say that I grew up in a male-dominated, masculine environment is an understatement.  I was usually the only girl in the feed store ordering soybeans and the only woman picking up a fertilizer buggy at the local Missouri Farmer’s Association.  This was how I grew up, all I knew, and it never seemed out of the ordinary or uncomfortable at the time.

I sometimes think this is one of the reasons that I had no hesitancy when applying to medical school and pursuing a male-dominated surgical specialty.  I had been surrounded by “big, aggressive men” my whole life and surgery seemed no different.  I often tell the story of my first surgical rotation in medical school.  I had requested a cardiac surgery rotation and gotten it, only to realize later than I got my first choice only because no one else had wanted it!  At that time, the cardiac surgeons at my medical school were known for being “mean,” throwing instruments, and constantly yelling at everyone in the room.  My first day in the cardiac OR was no different- while that cardiac surgeon was an excellent technician and did a perfect operation for his patient, he did yell, throw Debakey’s, and generally petrify everyone in the room.  Afterwards, a friend asked me how my first day in the cardiac OR went.  I said, “Great!”  She said, “But didn’t the cardiac surgeon yell at you?!”  I responded, “Yeah, I guess so, but my dad and his friends were worse!  Cardiac surgery is not so bad!”

In the almost 20 years since I started medical school, operating room culture, and the medical culture in general, has changed a lot.  The operating room is a much more collaborative space and “disruptive physicians” are greatly frowned upon.  However, there is still a gender gap in medicine, plastic surgery, and surgery in general.  I can’t say, nor can anyone, exactly say why this is, but I assume the presumed more aggressive nature of surgeons and demanding lifestyle may have something to do with it.

With that said, as recently reported in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery- Global Open, while nearly half of current graduating medical students are female, only about 12-13% of surgeons are female.  Among practicing plastic surgeons, nearly 20% are female plastic surgeons; the percentage for women in plastic surgery training programs is slightly higher.  However, in the more male-dominated surgical specialties like neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, and cardiothoracic surgery, female surgeons only account for 10% or less of practicing surgeons.  These numbers are slowly rising for women in surgery, but there is no doubt that women plastic surgeons still work in a male-dominated field.

Perhaps surprising to some, I do not recall every being discriminated against for being a woman while in college, medical school, or plastic surgery residency.  Sure, there were the older veteran patients that always thought I was the nurse or thought women had to go to nursing school before going to medical school (seriously!!), but nothing that I found overly offensive, hurtful, or discriminatory.  I don’t know if these actions truly never happened or if I had just been desensitized to such “offenses” through my childhood.  Either way, I never noticed it.  Unfortunately, this has certainly not been the case for most other female plastic surgeons that I’m friends with or the other women surgeons I know.

In summary, while the gender gap is narrowing in medicine and in surgery, women are still underrepresented in most specialties, including plastic surgery, and particularly in the more “male” specialties like orthopedic, neurosurgery, and cardiac surgery.  The cause for this gender difference is unknown, and while it is decreasing, we have years to go before there is an equal playing field for women plastic surgeons and female surgeons, in general.

I love being a woman plastic surgeon!  I feel I am able to better understand, communicate with, and connect with my patients than my male counterparts.  I also know that some women patients prefer a female plastic surgeon when discussing their personal insecurities or desires.  My message to anyone considering a career in surgery is DO IT!  Surgery, and especially plastic surgery is fun, fulfilling, and gives me a sense of accomplishment every day!  I routinely mentor female medical students or women considering a career in medicine.  For more information on female plastic surgeons, feel free to contact me by email.

What is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

As a patient deciding to have plastic surgery for the first time, it can be overwhelming and confusing when trying to find the right surgeon. A variety of factors contribute to a patient’s decision on who to trust to perform their surgery. Although surgical experience, personality, training, and reliable references are all important factors to consider, board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery may be the most important of all. This is often times where patients are misled as there is a significant difference in the meaning of a physician who is “board certified” versus one who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Plastic surgery is focused on achieving a more desirable appearance and therefore procedures can create a life-long impact. In order to make an informed decision regarding the right plastic surgeon based on your needs and desires, it is important to understand what it truly means to be a board-certified plastic surgeon. The United States has very few legal limitations regarding  the types of procedures a physician can perform as well as how these procedures can be advertised. This legal loop hole allows for any kind of doctor to perform plastic surgery procedures without any formal training!  Furthermore, if a doctor is certified in their respective field (i.e. Ob-Gyn, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, etc…), that doctor can “truthfully” say that they are “board-certified.”  Granted, that doctor is not board certified in Plastic Surgery, but they conveniently leave that part out!  Finally, there are many “made-up,” legitimate-sounding boards that allow any practitioner to be a member for a fee (of course) and intentionally mislead patients into thinking they are being treated by a board-certified plastic surgeon.  California has recently taken legal action against one of these “made up” boards and their false advertising:

Wednesday, December 19, 2018- Taken from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Website

Today, the Medical Board of California (MBC) took a major step to protect patients in the state when it unanimously voted against allowing members of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) to advertise as “board certified” cosmetic surgeons. ASPS is proud to have worked in advance of this vote to educate the MBC and show that ABCS certifications are not backed by a level of training that puts them on par with American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) member boards.

“This is, frankly, a tremendous relief. California has a large number of cosmetic surgery patients and the most ABCS members of any state, which means it holds the greatest potential for those patients to be misled by advertisements that a doctor is a ‘board certified cosmetic surgeon’,” says ASPS President Alan Matarasso, MD, FACS. “Today’s ruling means those patients are less likely to choose a particular provider because they were exposed to a confusing ad. That’s going to make patients safer. Our specialty owes a huge debt of gratitude to all the plastic surgeons who invested their time and talents to help protect our patients.”

Today’s ruling closes the book on a two-decades-long story. In 1996, California law was changed so that the state’s physicians could only advertise ABMS certifications, unless a non-ABMS board was specifically reviewed and deemed equivalent to an ABMS member board by the MBC. ABCS has applied for equivalency under this process multiple times, and the MBC has repeatedly found that ABCS falls short of the state’s standard that requires their training programs to be equivalent in scope, content, and duration to training accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

While ABCS has previously had the option to re-apply, that is no longer the case. In 2018, California changed its board certification law and eliminated the MBC’s equivalency review process as of Jan. 1, 2019. As a result, ABCS cannot apply again and force the MBC to reconsider today’s decision.

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is the national agency that regulates sub-specialty boards. Only those that have completed a residency in plastic surgery, underwent at least five to six years of rigorous training, and have taken a written and oral plastic surgery board examination are qualified to obtain plastic surgery board certification. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only plastic surgery board recognized by the ABMS that has the ability to evaluate the level of skill and training of plastic surgeons. Every surgeon that completes a plastic surgery residency and becomes board certified is trained to perform a full range of reconstructive and aesthetic procedures. Due to the high level of education and extensive training required to achieve board certification in a sub-specialty, board certified plastic surgeons are more qualified and more likely to provide you with optimal results.

Dr. Traci Temmen in Tampa, Florida went to medical school for four years at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Following graduation, she moved to Tampa, Florida to continue her training in an integrated plastic surgery residency for six years. She has been in private practice since 2011 and is a proud member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery.


Is Plastic Surgery The Best Option for Me?


Ever feel like the world is getting the best of you? You may not even be sure about how to fix the flaws or birth defects that you were born with, now is the best time to consider your options in plastic surgery. If you have stubborn pockets of fat that are unresponsive to diet and exercise then liposuction or a tummy tuck may be ideal for a smoother and toned body. A tighter and more energetic face may require a facelift or lip enhancement. You may even feel self-conscious from the lack of bust in your bikini top, well lack of breast volume can be addressed with breast augmentation or breast lift can correct droopy breasts. Now is the time to consult with a top plastic surgeon to address your aesthetic needs just in time for summer.

Plastic surgeon Traci Temmen builds her practice as one that connects patient satisfaction and safety to help enhance the external appearance in men and women. One of the greatest rewards about plastic surgery is eliminating the uncontrollable physical deformities that affect a patient’s self-confidence and self esteem. An experienced plastic surgeon will specialize in addressing the areas that are bothersome for you and will look for ways to correct them with minimally invasive techniques.


Every once in a while there are patients who feel that plastic surgery will make them look unnatural or augmented breasts will be too obvious. We understand that your body is of great importance to you and our goal is to help restore your confidence without making the body or face appear surgically intervened. Great plastic surgery results from an experienced plastic surgeon are invisible to others and that is what we strive for – to make you look like the best version of yourself.


According to a British study published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, over 500 first-time surgery patients found their bodies to be healthier, they were less anxious and had developed more self-esteem. Over 80 percent of the patients with realistic expectations found their bodies to be more attractive postoperative and had improved self-confidence. In general, if a more wholesome body is what you are after chances are your plastic surgeon may be able to achieve this goal when you consult with them closely.


Plastic surgery is not about looking like a model on a magazine, it is about eliminating hardships that cannot be reversed naturally. Improving your well-being overall is one of the goals we can help address as well as your face, body and breasts. Schedule a consultation with Tampa’s board certified plastic surgeon Traci Temmen.