The news is littered with stories of dentists offering Botox, unlicensed practitioners flipping syringes full of fillers, and family physicians consulting patients on liposuction. These stories combine to confuse real patients, perhaps making them wonder, “Are the procedures really that serious? If my family doctor offers Botox, surely it must not be that big of a deal?”
William P. Adams Jr., MD, a fully licensed, board certified plastic surgeon from Dallas, believes patients deserve to know the truth. To even title himself as a board certified plastic surgeon, years and years of training and fellowships have to be under his belt, qualifications that a physician offering cosmetic services should always meet.
“The Today show had a discussion recently on cosmetic surgeons, physicians who perform cosmetics procedures but have no formal training,” explains Dr. Adams. “In a plastic surgery residency, surgeons spend 6-8 years dedicated to learning how to perform these procedures, so a one weekend course isn’t gonna cut it.”
OK, so maybe I shouldn’t get Botox from my dentist. But if it’s just injecting some product, surely my family doctor – who had to go to medical school – will be a wise decision.
This kind of fallacy helps no one, patients least of all. Even if it appears to be “just an injection”, what about where to place it? How much to inject? What if Botox is simply not the product out of many that you require? Answers to these questions come from years of experience, experience that board certified plastic surgeons have. Which sounds better, having your Botox injected by someone who knows facial anatomy so well after performing hundreds of facelifts over years and years? Or a dentist who knows a whole lot about teeth?
Before even considering results, safety is a huge issue. Does your practitioner offering injections know what to do if a rare complication arises? Too often patients die in rare scenarios because their physician didn’t know how to handle the situation. Yes, you will pay more at a plastic surgeon or another qualified core provider, but you’re paying for safety as well as results.
“Patients looking for any procedure, even if you think it’s just a little skin procedure… bad complications can happen,” says Adams. “Complications that can affect your life forever. Physician experience, accreditation and expertise cannot be overstated when it comes to the importance of finding the right physician for you.”
Bottom line, it comes down to this anecdote from the good doctor:
“Aesthetic medicine shouldn’t be everybody’s domain. I like to drive cars, but it doesn’t mean I should go drive in the Indy 500. If you are not properly trained to perform these procedures, then you shouldn’t be doing them.”