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Qualified People Performing Breast Augmentation: The Truth May Surprise you.

There was an interesting article about plastic surgery that came out in MSNBC recently regarding breast augmentation. It was driven by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The topic discussed the growing trend of non-trained or poorly trained doctors performing plastic surgery. One of the examples they used was a woman who had symmastia and a terrible scar from blepharoplasty performed by a physician who is not a plastic surgeon. (Symmastia is also called uniboob. It is where the implants meet at the implant.) Surprising, you say? There was a study that found that women spend more time shopping for a pair of shoes than for their plastic surgeon. In fact in Beverly Hills, to my dismay, there are a large percentage of physicians including family practice doctors, radiologists, emergency room physicians, and general surgeons performing many plastic surgery procedures such as breast augmentations, abdominoplasties, and liposuction. How can this be? You ask. There are no laws that prevent physicians from practicing any specialty of medicine. For instance, I can perform a heart transplant by law. However, not only I would be uncomfortable doing it, I do not think it will be safe. Likewise radiologists, dermatologists, and family practice doctors should not be performing plastic surgery procedures. So, how does one find out if your doctor is a plastic surgeon? You can ask your doctor. But you may get a vague answer, such as ‘I am a cosmetic surgeon’. And what is a cosmetic surgeon? Well, there really is no formal residency or medical specialty for ‘cosmetic surgery’. It is often a term used by physicians doing plastic surgery that are not plastic surgeons. To find a plastic surgeon, one can look at the American Board of Plastic Surgery website or the ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons), or, you can also ask them if they have privileges to do this procedure in a hospital. If they do not have privileges to do this procedure in a hospital, then there is a reason. The reason may be that they are not qualified to do this procedure, and hence, no hospital would allow them permission to perform such a surgery because the hospital does not want to assume the liability for having unqualified doctors doing surgery in their operating rooms. Makes sense, right? You too should not want the liability of an unqualified person putting a knife to your skin. So, the bottom line is if you treat your body like you treat your feet, do your research, and find a safe, well trained board certified plastic surgeon.

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