22 Jun Plastic surgery; Do your homework
BY Dr Terrence Scamp
The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) recently launched the “Do Your Homework” campaign, a patient safety public education campaign. The campaign is focused on encouraging patients to investigate their doctor’s qualifications before undergoing plastic surgery procedures. The campaign has been announced in response to a growing number of procedures performed by non-board-certified plastic surgeons. Patients have been injured. Some have even died.
Malcolm Z Roth, MD, ASPS President says “we want patients to understand what to ask their doctor and what to look for so that they can maximize their chance of a safe and successful procedure.”
Just because a doctor wears a white coat it does not necessarily mean he or she is qualified to perform plastic surgery. It is wrong to assume that as long as a doctor is certified in a medical field that he or she is qualified to practice plastic surgery.
In the United States it is perfectly legal for any doctor with a medical licence to practice in any medical field. This is how doctors who are not board certified in plastic surgery manage to perform plastic surgery procedures minus the appropriate training. It’s amazing to think that most state laws and regulations in the United States enable some doctors to move into the practice of plastic surgery without proper training and certification. It is wrong to assume that as long as a doctor is certified in a medical field that he or she is qualified to practice plastic surgery.
Plastic surgery patient Dinora Rodriguez recently woke from breast implant surgery performed by a non-board-certified plastic surgeon, to find her implants were merged together. During the same procedure the doctor decided to operate on her eyes without her consent. As a result Dinora can no longer close her eyes completely. Dinora regrets not knowing to check her doctor’s qualifications. Dinora has had the botched breast implant surgery fixed.
Australian patients must also ensure they do their homework prior to undergoing a plastic surgery procedure. It is critical that patients check that their doctor has completed the necessary training and meets the appropriate standards to practice plastic surgery. A fully qualified plastic surgeon will put their safety first.
Dr Scamp is a member of the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS), and an international corresponding member of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPRS).