You’ve finally made the decision to have plastic surgery! It’s something you’ve been thinking about for a quite a while and you’re excited to follow through with your plan. But have you really done your homework and looked into the right plastic surgeon? The key is, know BEFORE you go. Dr. Lee Thornton, a board certified plastic surgeon in Meridian, Mississippi says the consumer needs to educate themselves and research the surgeon and the facility before making a final decision.
Who can perform plastic surgery?
Today more than ever, all types of physicians, from Emergency Rooms doctors, to OB-GYN’s, are getting in to the lucrative field of plastic surgery. “People need to be more careful,” says Dr. Lee Thornton of Meridian Plastic Surgery. “We see more and more non-core specialists getting into this field.”
“Many of these doctors doing plastic surgery are not board certified in plastic surgery. They often will go to a short training course and learn about Botox, fillers, or even more advanced procedures like breast augmentation and liposuction. Then, they come back and implement these procedures into their practice not having enough training,” says Thornton.
And while an Emergency Room doctor doing plastic surgery or a dentist injecting Botox may not be illegal, it should be a red flag. “Once you’ve been through medical school and you’ve obtained any type of medical license, you are really free to do whatever you want to do unless an institution put restraints on you,” states Thornton. “The local hospital might put restraints on you, but if you have a private clinic in town and you want to provide a service, you can hang a shingle and you can do pretty much do anything that you want. There are no laws against that.” Current state laws permit any licensed physician to call themselves a “plastic” or “cosmetic” surgeon, even if they not been trained as a plastic surgeon.
Don’t stop with the surgeon, check out the facility
Another important question for the patient to ask… Is this facility accredited? “The facility is a reflection of the people who work there as to the quality of work they are doing,” says Thornton. “If you find yourself in an unaccredited facility, you really need to ask questions as to why it’s not accredited and of course look further into the training and accreditation of the physician and staff.”
Top 5 questions to ask before plastic surgery:
Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
Were you trained in the field of plastic surgery?
Is this facility accredited?
How many procedures of this type have you performed?
What are the risks and complications?