You’ve seen the disturbing photos of mangled faces on the internet and read the upsetting news articles about patients dying or being horribly disfigured by cosmetic surgery. How can these things happen in a country known for its advanced medical techniques and dedicated medical community?
The answer, as pointed out in a recent series of online articles by USA Today, is that these faulty procedures are being performed outside the highly-respected, legitimate American plastic surgery community. Cosmetic surgery has become so popular and affordable that the field has begun attracting practitioners with no board-certified plastic surgery credentials and little regard for their patients’ health and welfare.
Echoing the concerns of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and board-certified NY plastic surgeons, USA Today points out several disturbing cosmetic surgery trends:
- Some physicians, dermatologists and surgeons are expanding their practices to include cosmetic surgery procedures. Although board-certified in other medical fields, these doctors lack the highly specialized training required to obtain board-certification in plastic surgery. In one instance mentioned by USA Today, a dental oral surgeon was discovered performing cosmetic procedures.
- Cosmetic surgery mills staffed by high-pressure salesmen are cropping up. Even if they employ board-certified cosmetic surgeons, as some do, the emphasis is not on the patient’s health but on racking up sales of often unnecessary cosmetic procedures.
- Some cosmetologists and aestheticians are now offering Botox and other delicate non-surgical cosmetic procedures, despite their complete lack of medical training.
- Operating out of strip malls and office buildings under names that suggest medical legitimacy, some outright scammers are offering cut-rate cosmetic surgery services to unsuspecting patients, placing them at extreme risk. In one widely publicized case last year, a British woman’s quest for cheap cosmetic surgery ended fatally when the “doctor” injected her with substances purchased at a hardware store and left her to die in a hotel room.