Monday, November 12, 2007

Top Ten Things Your Plastic Surgeon Won’t Tell You

1. You’re going to get old anyhow.
Cosmetic plastic surgery does not stop the aging process. Read more.

2. Sure, I’m board certified -- in geriatric medicine.
Many board certifications don’t mean anything for plastic surgery patients. Ask what the surgeon is certified in. More.

3. You need a shrink, not a plastic surgeon.
Some patients are never satisfied and can’t get enough rejuvenation surgery.

4. You can get this procedure for 15 to 30 percent less out of town.
Overhead -- rents, salaries and the cost of operating a business -- are higher in large urban areas. But if you drive out of town you can get the same quality for less.

5. Future effects of surgery? Who Knows?
If you have a breast augmentation, you will have at least one more operation some time in your life to replace the implant. Medical science does not know the future implications of all procedures.

6. Sure, I’ll do your forehead lift. But my specialty is breasts.
Ask your surgeon how many times weekly he or she does the procedure you want. Odds of a good outcome increase if the surgeon performs that operation two to three times a week.

7. It’s the anesthesia you really need to worry about.
If you are put under a general, ask if the anesthesiologist is board certified in anesthesiology. If you will be put to sleep, ask who is going to monitor you. Sometimes, a nurse anesthetist is O.K.

8. My office is not really the best place for surgery.
Some procedures should be done in a certified surgical center or a hospital. Ask if the surgery center is AAAHC or JCAHO certified. Read more.

9. Me? I went to dental school.
Some states allow dentists to perform plastic surgery.

10. You could have four more procedures overseas at
the same price.
Going oversees for plastic surgery can be much, much cheaper but is fraught with risk. Dr. 90210’s Dr. Kotler adds the seven smart questions to ask before having cosmetic surgery overseas.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So.. for those confused about what makes a plastic surgeon here's a little primer... (more at

here's the breakdown...

1. Finish College

2. Finish Medical School -> now you're an MD
- you can perform medical procedures and medical evaluation under a training program license. Most training programs provide malpractice insurance. You cannot practice medicine (legally) in any state in the US without additional training.

3. Finish Residency training in a particular field -> now you can become licensed.
- Once you are licensed you can "hang a shingle" and begin practicing. You can apply for hospital privileges, participate in insurance programs (blue cross) and practice medicine.
- This is where people (rightfully so) begin to get confused. ANY MD can perform ANY medical procedure. (This is _certainly_ not to say they should.. but legally they can). So an OB-GYN can perform a brain tumor excision. Now there are limits that can be imposed by hospitals (most hospitals will not grant privileges outside of your training). But surgery centers and certainly private offices may not have these restrictions. And if a physician is sued for practices outside of training they may be dropped by an insurance carrier.

(you also need to pass three certification exams between medical school and residency to become license eligible).

4. Board Certification
For plastic surgery there is only one recognized certification and that is the American Board Of Plastic Surgery. To be board certified a physician must 1. graduate from a recognized plastic surgery residency, 2. apply for the boards and take and pass a written test, 3. Collect cases for several months after which time these cases are reviewed and if deemed appropriate a second oral exam is given about selected cases the physician has performed and unknown cases.

Then they can say they are a board certified plastic surgeon.

The problem is there are many unrecognized "board certifications" (eg board of cosmetic surgery, board of aesthetic surgery, etc.) In addition physicians may say they are board certified and actually may be but maybe that certification is in pediatrics.

It is easy to get confused. And with the money more physicians are trying to capture a piece of the pie.