"WILD WEST" Medicine

There is no sheriff in town when it comes to preventing doctors from doing what they are not specifically trained to do.   You wouldn't go to an ER doctor for a tummy tuck? How about letting your family physician perform a breast augmentation? Today many of the non-specialists are looking for ways to cash in on one of the few areas of medicine that continues to see growth, cosmetic surgery.

According to the International Master Course on Aging Skin, the cosmetic industry has grew 10.1% from 2012 to 2011 to between 4.1 to 4.9 billion.  Many expect this number to grow another 11.12% in 2012.  This growth is extremely important since health care declined to a near record rate in 2010 due to unemployment, higher insurance bills, and the lack of disposable income.

So what does it take for an ER doctor or family physician to expand into cosmetic surgery?  Years of training, classes, and certifications?  No, surprisingly it is shockingly easy to branch off into cosmetics despite the complexities and complications associated with these procedures. Unfortunately, there are very few rules that must be followed, and because of this, many doctors are offering services they simply are not qualified to perform.

Doctors untrained is cosmetic surgery is only part of the problemToday, you can't turn on your computer or television without liposuction being offered on a daily deals site alongside a mani and pedicure. This has caused society to treat cosmetic surgery in a dangerously casual manner, and these misconceptions increase the risks of serious complications.

Over the past couple of months plastic surgery has taken a beating in the media.  Starting with the European breast implant scandal to the scary number of "plastic surgery gone bad" stories.  Who can forget the woman who died in November after having cement, super glue and tire sealant injected into her buttocks? Situations like this make it easy to see a connection between untrained professionals performing cosmetic surgery to the number of botched procedures.

What is the best way to choose a plastic surgeon?

Word of mouth is a great way to determine if a doctor is worth visiting. Remember to ask questions during your consultation, look at the surgeon's before and after photos.  The consultation is the key.  The time a doctor spends with you is often directly proportional to the time he or she will take to do your surgery.  If the doctor seems rushed, overly eager, or pressures you to have procedures you don't want, maybe you should consider another doctor.

The final and most important part in making your decision is proper board certification.   A surgeon who is "board certified" is not enough. What are they certified in?  A cosmetic surgeon should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Don't be afraid to ask your surgeon about his board certifications, many will be more then happy to explain how this sets them apart from other area surgeons.

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