Cosmetic Surgery Patient Safety

What are the three most important things to look for when selecting a Safe Cosmetic Surgeon? There are three critical areas to check.

First, credentials. In today’s ever-changing medical environment, many imposters are hanging the Cosmetic shingle, for financial reasons, with minimal or no training, and no experience. Why? Most surgery is done in hospitals that undergo accreditation by outside organizations. There are credentialing committees and requirements that keep, say, a Bariatric surgeon, who is not trained, from doing heart surgery. Not to mention insurance companies won’t pay doctors who don’t have proper credentials. Not so in the Cosmetic world where things are done in non-accredited offices by doctors who have no, or minimal training, for cash. The normal mechanisms for credentialing have been removed in these cases. Be sure to check credentials. Board certification in Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery is a good foundation.

Second, experience. Would you go to a Bariatric, Emergency medicine, or heart surgeon for a tummy tuck or liposuction when they have had no training or experience in Cosmetic Surgery? Are you feeling lucky today? Don’t think there are not unscrupulous doctors out there just trying to get your money, and state medical boards issue a license to practice medicine, they do not dictate what that means. Therefore, when interviewing your potential surgeon, injector, laser provider, or any other cosmetic service, you have to ask tough questions at your consult. Where were you trained? How many of these have you done? Can I see pictures of your patients? Etc.

Third, character. It baffles appropriately trained Cosmetic Surgeons how some doctors, some good at what they currently do, one day wake up and decide to forego formal training and start doing cosmetic procedures. Many of these doctors have no regard for those they are treating and are chasing dollars or what they perceive as a lavish lifestyle. What does character have to do with it? All physicians take an oath to “do no harm” to those we treat. To accomplish this, those of us with character undergo rigorous training in what we desire to do. Though never 100% effective, this helps minimize complications and maximize patient satisfaction. Physicians who start “learning” on patients without supervision, without training credentials, and without experience are showing not only a disregard for patient safety and their oath but a lack of character as well.

As a patient, don’t assume just because the doctor has a license to practice medicine, he or she is properly trained in Cosmetic or Plastic Surgery. Do your homework and check their credentials, experience, and character before you undergo any cosmetic treatment.

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