Is Cosmetic Surgery Safe?

Plastic Surgeon Serving Indianapolis, Indiana

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Headline: Family physician jailed after cosmetic surgery disaster
Headline: Beverly Hill Radiologist investigated for liposuction mishap, leaves country.
Headline: Yellow Page publisher liable for misleading board certification in plastic surgery.

Don't each of these headlines sound like an over-the-top "Nip and Tuck"-like plastic surgery TV show. They did to me but the sad fact is that they are all true, as recently reported in the newsletter for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The case of the family doctor occurred in Canada, and after causing deformities in two women by performing facial cosmetic surgery, he was found guilty of assault and jailed. The radiologist (a doctor who reads x-Rays) was performing liposuction procedures without any formal training in his office, an establishment generously named "Beverly Hills Liposculpture". He was investigated by the state medical board after allegedly causing disfigurement in multiple patients but by then had relocated to South America. The third case was that of a physician advertising cosmetic surgery and describing himself as "board certified", omitting his specialty and the fact that it was not the American Board of Plastic Surgery, an omission suggested by the publisher's sales rep.

The answer to the question in the title is: YES but you have to do your homework. Just because someone is willing and anxious do perform a cosmetic procedure on you does not mean that he or she is either trained or qualified. Unfortunately it often becomes a case of "Let the buyer beware." This is not the way it should be; it is merely the way it is.

If you want to have cosmetic surgery, go back to the basics. Why not have surgery in a certified surgery center or hospital and why not choose a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. It's not a guarantee for success or a suggestion that we are the only ones who can do these procedures, but plastic surgery is what we were expressly trained to do.

You can be sure that the unfortunate victims in these hard-to-believe stories wish that they had been more careful.