Plastic Surgeon Jeffrey Copeland, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Jeffrey Copeland, M.D. is and has been a practicing plastic surgeon in the St. Louis area for enough years to understand the area and how his neighbors think. His extensive experience with both cosmetic and reconstructive surgical care and procedures, combined with dedication and a thoughtful manner, have contributed to making his practice such a success over the years. Dr. Copeland derives great satisfaction from providing surgical care to his patients to help them look and feel their best through many different procedures, including breast surgery (breast augmentation and breast reduction), facelift, body contouring, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), and much more.
Looking back, Dr. Copeland is happy that he made the decision to become a plastic surgeon because it is a field in which he has the latitude and opportunity to use a combination of creativity and skill to help patients with a wide variety of concerns and problems. Plastic surgery is forever changing, which makes it a vital and engaging specialty in which he loves to practice.
Dr. Copeland trained at the University of Missouri-Columbia, with an undergraduate degree in pre-medical science (a calculated risk), followed by medical school and full residencies in general surgery and plastic surgery. Between those residencies, he spent a year in the microvascular lab as a fellow. He held the position of chief resident in both general and plastic surgery.
Medicine and particularly plastic surgery do not sit still, so Dr. Copeland gives continuing education a high priority. He attends national plastic surgery conferences each year and takes a comprehensive exam every spring to assess his understanding of current plastic surgical principles and advances. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) both have significant requirements for yearly continuing education. Dr. Copeland always meets those.
Dr. Copeland began his practice as Copeland Plastic Surgery in 1987 in St. Charles County. In 1998 he joined Plastic Surgery Consultants, Ltd. until that surgical practice dissolved in 2005, when he established Copeland Cosmetic Surgery. That practice has thrived and has allowed Dr. Copeland to concentrate more on cosmetic surgery.
Professional Memberships and Affiliations
Dr. Copeland has always believed that it is important to be engaged and involved with his medical communities, and has spent significant personal time in various positions, including Councilor, Council Chair, and subsequently President of the Missouri State Medical Association; President of the Missouri Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons; President of the St. Charles-Lincoln County Medical Society; Chief of Staff at Barnes Jewish St. Peters Hospital and at St. Joseph Health Center and Hospital West (now known under different names); board member and subsequent Board Chair of Primaris (the Missouri Quality Improvement organization); member of the American Medical Association (AMA), American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), and American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS); Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and past board member of the St. Louis Crisis Nursery. He is grateful to his family for sharing him with those various positions he has held which took away from time with them.
Outside of his busy career as a plastic surgeon, Dr. Copeland’s interests include spending time with his family, music (especially jazz, but many other forms as well – he likes to quiz people he is working with about artists, songs, etc.), and various forms of physical exercise including running, biking, skiing, and resistance and core training. He has completed several half-marathons.
So, What Is a Plastic Surgeon?
The name derives from a Greek word, Plastikos, which means to shape or form. The essence of plastic surgery, in Dr. Copeland’s opinion, is the special attention to anatomy and tissue handling that is integral to the training.
There are many who call themselves “Cosmetic Surgeons” who are not fully trained or board certified (American Board of Plastic Surgery) as plastic surgeons. A bona fide plastic surgeon is a physician who has undergone additional training in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. As a result of these extra years of training, plastic surgeons typically have a more comprehensive knowledge of the body. This knowledge can allow plastic surgeons to skillfully and artfully navigate the relationship among skin, fatty tissue, muscle, tendon, and bone when treating injuries, birth abnormalities, or cosmetic concerns.
What Is the Big Deal About Board Certification?
Physicians who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) undergo at least six years of accredited specialty training. Of these six years, at least three must focus on plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons who are board-certified are also required to pass an extensive examination by the ABPS and must retake this exam every ten years to maintain their certification.
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) is the only organization sanctioned by the U.S. government to certify medical specialty boards, and the ABPS is one of only 24 “Member Boards” that are officially approved. In short, board-certified plastic surgeons have passed rigorous study, training, and examination to distinguish themselves as some of the most highly skilled professionals working in the field.
This is important because you want someone who has the knowledge and experience embodied in these requirements to take care of you. Many times the best chance for a good outcome is with the first procedure. We strive to make the most of those opportunities.
How to Find Your Best Plastic Surgeon
Always check the credentials of the surgeon you are considering. There are many physicians and other practitioners who would welcome the opportunity to treat you. Because you want beautiful results, safely provided, you owe yourself the attention to whom you choose. That choice will have a significant effect on your result. The internet has made finding physicians easier, but that is a double-edged sword, because anyone can say what they like on-line. Always meet your surgeon before planning anything. It is also sometimes a good idea to talk to more than one surgeon before engaging their service. It is important for you to feel that the surgeon understands you and your desires before going forward. Communication is paramount in this situation. Both patient and surgeon should trust the other.
Here are some tips to help you make your decision:
- Look for board-certification. By choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon, prospective patients can feel comfortable and confident that they are receiving the highest-quality care.
- Make sure the plastic surgeon specializes in and frequently performs the procedure you desire. Research the credentials of the doctor and view before-and-after photos of previous patients to see the quality of the results.
- Do not let cost be the most important factor in your decision-making process. The least expensive plastic surgeon may also be the least experienced plastic surgeon, and choosing an inexperienced plastic surgeon can lead to an unsatisfactory outcome.
- Finally, make sure you feel comfortable during the initial consultation. The best plastic surgeons will listen carefully to your unique concerns and spend time developing a customized treatment plan to address all of your needs.
To learn more about Dr. Jeffrey Copeland, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.