SS had decided to undergo a rhinoplasty. He researched doctors and found one he thought was well-qualified; his TV apearance touted him as board-certified and a top plastic surgeon in Los Angeles.
SS met with him for a consultation and underwent the procedure in his office several weeks later. Few months after the surgery he discovered a shocking sight:
His nose was crooked and and major dents all over it.
When getting a second oponion for his revision, Dr Simoni revealed to him that his previous surgeon was not board certified. He would need extensive surgery to correct it.
As if this weren’t bad enough, he also informed him that his doctor is no longer licensed to practice medicine.
His “plastic surgeon” was actually a dentist.
Stories like SS’s are becoming more and more common across America. There are increasing number of doctors performing cosmetic procedures without the proper training or credentials.
In Los Angeles, I’ve been horrified by dozens of botched jobs, Dr Simoni explains. One of my patients, a beautiful 23-year-old model, was left with a upturned and scooped nose done by a gynecologyst.
Why does this happen?
Although state medical boards regulate who can obtain a license to practice medicine, they don’t restrict doctors from performing procedures outside of their training or specialty. Once they are licensed, there is no law against doctors performing any medical procedure they want to; as long as the patient consents to it.
As a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, I can legally perform a brain surgery for which I am completely unqualified. This lack of regulation has allowed an increasingly large number of doctors of all types — including gynecologists, general surgeons and even emergency medicine physicians — to perform tummy tucks, liposuction, facelifts and breast enhancement.
So why do so many doctors reject their chosen specialty and remake themselves as plastic surgeons?
One word: money.
Declining physician reimbursement has resulted in more physicians looking for ways to enhance their income. Plastic surgery is one of the only fields of medicine that is shielded from insurance companies.
So an increasing number of doctors are closing their traditional medical practices and opening cosmetic surgery centers. These physicians learn the basics of plastic surgery through weekend courses, shadowing other doctors, and even online webinars. This influx of poorly trained cosmetic surgeons has caused SS’s story to become just one of many.
If you are considering having plastic surgery, I implore you; do your homework. Find a facial or general plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery.
For facial and nose plastic surgery, a doctor certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is considered an equivalent in all states.
I consider it a privilege that my patients put their lives and faces in my hands. All surgeons should.
In return, we have a moral obligation to only perform procedures that we are fully qualified to do.
No matter how well it pays.