Consumer Health Features
Buyer Beware: Bargain plastic surgery a disaster in waiting
By April MacIntyre Sep 5, 2012, 19:48 GMT
Peter B. Fodor, M.D., F.A.C.S. is an internationally recognized aesthetic plastic surgeon, double board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
When it comes to your face, a 'Mulligan' is not what you want to have happen. Bad plastic surgery is life changing for the worse, and always leaves patients feeling vulnerable, violated and even abused.
Caveat Emptor, meaning buyer beware when it comes to the important decision to have an elective surgery. Bargain shopping for cosmetic procedures is unwise according to board certified Century City, CA plastic surgeon and past president of ASAPS, Dr. Peter B. Fodor.
"As the number of doctors performing surgical procedures without the proper qualifications is growing, the aesthetic enhancement industry is becoming the 'wild west' of medicine," says Dr. Fodor.
Many people undergoing an aesthetic procedure believe the doctor performing the procedure is a board certified plastic surgeon. Just because a doctor advertises a cosmetic procedure does not mean the doctor is qualified.
"Unfortunately, In most states, any licensed medical doctor is legally allowed to perform any procedures including plastic surgery without certification, and they are increasingly doing so," according to Dr. Fodor.
As a result of the decline in insurance reimbursements many doctors are trying to find other ways to increase their income. Many are attracted to cosmetic procedures because they can set their own fees and are paid directly by the patients.
The result is an onslaught of uncertified medical doctors - from ER doctors, internists and dentists to gynecologists and ophthalmologists - opening medical spas and clinics offering non-surgical and even surgical cosmetic procedures.
“In my practice, redo surgery represents about 50 percent of the surgeries I perform,” said Dr. Fodor. "Many of my colleagues report a significant increase in 'redos' as a consequence of unskilled people performing cosmetic procedures that demand training and experience. In many cases damage has been done and, unfortunately, not all patients can be improved upon significantly enough to justify another operation."
Dr. Fodor adds, “Many of my redo patients divulge that they have failed in their research when they selected their initial plastic surgeon and now, and as a result they are paying the price. Just as in playing tennis, other sports or music, it is not the racquet, musical instrument that plays the primary role in the quality of the performance; it is the person in control that matters the most.”
"It is the responsibility of the patient to research the training, certification and experience of the doctor. Further, shopping for a surgeon on the basis of the price is a costly error….perhaps too costly."
“Buyer Beware,” he continues. “Many people spend more time and energy getting quotes, recommendations, or opinions about an appliance they want to purchase than they do when choosing a plastic surgeon with whom they will have, in many cases, a life changing surgical procedure. Performing the due diligence required may be time consuming but it is well worth the effort.”
Dr. Peter B. Fodor, a Century City Plastic Surgeon has offices in Century City, CA and Aspen, Colorado. www.PeterFodormd.com