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Patient Safety: Check your doctor, do your research

Most patients might know that to have surgery you should go to a board-certified surgeon, but with less invasive or nonsurgical procedures, they might be tempted to go elsewhere. In a study done last year, 47% of patients said they would have a more invasive procedure outside of a plastic surgeon’s office if their nonsurgical procedure went well. That means they could have an unlicensed individual injecting botox, fillers or doing even more extensive procedures like liposuction or fat transfer.

We’ve all seen the news – here are some points to get across when communicating to your patients via blog about their safety:

1)      Check for credentials in medi-spas

We’ve all seen the horror stories online from the women who went into a nail or hair salon and thought that it would be okay to get a buttock augmentation or injectable procedure done by an unlicensed individual. Completely fake doctors and injectors are out there, but so are non-core doctors who never learned how to properly inject or perform a procedure. Would you have a dentist do your heart surgery?  Then, why have a dentist do your plastic surgery?

–          Woman’s face infected, disfigured following medi-spa visit

–          Med spas, spreading like wildfire in Florida, offer cosmetic procedures


2)      Underground injections and Botox parties

It may seem obvious not to go into someone’s home or hotel room to get a procedure done, but the individuals running these operations are convincing and they prey on vulnerable individuals who might not be able to afford procedures, not have access to the internet or other resources and are desperate to improve their appearance. There are websites, phone numbers and organizations dedicated to checking on a person’s credentials. Don’t skimp on the research.

–          Underground buttock injection leads to woman’s death

–          Backroom procedures not worth the risk [ASAPS Press Release]


3)      Buyer beware: Groupons and discounts

While it might seem okay to get discount tickets, haircuts and facials from a group buying program like Groupon and LivingSocial just to name a few, plastic surgery is medical and has more complicated conditions. Not everyone’s the same – before you can get a certain procedure, you need to be assessed and a full medical history needs to be done. These are not guaranteed by any of these companies. Primarily deciding a doctor or medi-spa on a deal or price alone is just dangerous.

–          Groupon plastic surgery offers: don’t compromise safety for price–dont-compromise-safety-price-1037718

–          You’ve got mail: online promotions may not be safe medicine [ASAPS Press Release]–online-promotions-may-not-be-safe-medicine

26, October, 2012Dr. Richard Schwartz

Dr. Richard Schwartz author

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