News of botched cosmetic surgeries have recently circulated the Internet, most of which demonstrate stories of permanent deformities, life-threatening complications such as septic shock, and even death.
The vast majority of botched results were performed by doctors with no or very little training in plastic surgery. For instance, one OB-GYNE was able to operate a “beauty clinic” in Manhattan and performed liposuction and Brazilian buttock lift, which mostly resulted in serious complications and deformities, because of the legal loophole.
In New York state law, any doctor may wish to offer cosmetic surgeries even without an anesthesiologist or nurse.
Further complicating things is the proliferation of board-certifying bodies and professional organizations claiming to possess superior training compared to other competing groups. Nonetheless, there is one ultimate parameter patients can rely on: Physicians certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which is a member board of the prestigious American Board of Medical Specialties, are deemed to be the crème de la crème.
Aside from passing a rigorous oral and written exam that they must retake every 10 years, ABPS members must have also completed their education from an accredited medical school; they should have at least two years of supervised residency in plastic surgery; they must have completed a minimum of three years of general surgery; and they must have two years of professional practice under their belt.
Meanwhile, other cosmetic surgery organizations, despite their professional sounding names, have been criticized for their very lax standard. For instance, they might accept doctors from non-surgical specialties as long as they have liposuction machines and several days of training offered by the manufacturer.
Leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley says that other doctors from other specialists encroached the cosmetic surgery field due to its lucrative nature, making it more critical for anyone to do their “homework and conduct extensive background check on their surgeons.”
Dr. Smiley says that prudent patients should also take into account the “staple practice of their plastic surgeon’s.” For instance, someone doing hundreds of breast augmentation every year is markedly more adept than someone only doing it as a “side business.”
“In plastic surgery, we should do it right the first time. Hence, plastic surgeon selection should not be taken lightly,” he says.