The risks of overpromising plastic surgeons

How many times do we see advertising for affordable cosmetic surgery in print, radio, or TV? You know the ads that promise terrific results via a short procedure, done often under local anesthesia that allows the patient to return to work the next day? These same ads often fail to even mention the name of the wizard surgeon performing the procedure; much less whether they are Board certified in Plastic Surgery. Occasionally, the ads may mention that the surgeon is board certified but they do not specify by which board they are certified by.

What should I pay attention to?

The Latin legal term “caveat emptor” (buyer beware) describes the dangerous situation which the average prospective patient faces today. Fortunately, the patient looking to find the most qualified person to perform his plastic surgery has only to ask if the doctor is Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This certification assures the patient that the surgeon:

  • has undergone the most thorough training available
  • has many years of supervised experience
  • passed a series of vigorous written and oral examinations by leaders in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery

Although in surgery, as in life in general, there are no absolute guarantees, having a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery will guarantee that the patient has the best trained professional possible to perform their cosmetic procedure.

An additional factor for patients to consider in selecting a plastic surgeon is whether that surgeon is a paid employee of a for- profit corporate clinic, or whether he is an independent owner of his or her own surgical practice. The degree of personal attention and as a byproduct, safety, will differ greatly between the two types of practices.

Therefore if you are seeking the highest level of professional care and safety when considering plastic surgery, look for a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery that owns and runs his or her own office. Plastic surgery should be a pleasant and safe experience, not just a promise of cheap surgery via advertising.