CHOOSING YOUR COSMETIC SURGEON – ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Before you schedule your surgery, you may want to ask the following questions:
- Ask if the doctor is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. ASAPS membership ensures that the doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (see next bullet) and has also met other special requirements for cosmetic surgery experience and continuing education.
- Ask if the doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. When a doctor claims to be “board certified,” ask by which board. Only one, the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to certify doctors.
- If the doctor operates in an ambulatory or office-based facility, ask if the facility is accredited. Facilities that are accredited have met strict requirements for all aspects of operation, and such accreditation denotes a high standard of care. As of July 2002, ASAPS members performing plastic surgery in which anesthesia (other than local anesthesia and/or minimal tranquilization) is used must operate in a facility that meets at least one of the following criteria: accredited by a national or state-recognized accrediting organization; state-licensed; or Medicare-certified.
During your consultation, the following questions can be discussed with the surgeon:
- What experience does the doctor have in performing this procedure? Ask what training has been completed, especially in new techniques, as well as how often he or she performs the procedure. How many they he or she has done while in practice (estimate that is).
- What are the possible risks? There are risks with any surgical procedure. Find out what they are, how often they occur, and how they will be handled if they do occur. If the doctor does not openly discuss the risks or says that there are no risks, seek another opinion.
- What is the expected recovery for the procedure? Important points to discuss are postoperative restrictions on activity and typical time periods for resuming work and social activities.
- What is the doctor’s policy on surgical revisions? A small percentage of cases may require surgical revisions to achieve the desired result. Find out about any costs for which you may be responsible.
- How much will the surgery cost? Cosmetic surgery is not covered by insurance, & payment is required in advance. Costs include the surgeon’s fees, fees for the surgical facility, & anesthesia. Other possible costs are the blood work, medications and surgical garments. While it is tempting to “bargain shop”, or compromise, the training & experience of your surgeon are the most important factors in the success of your surgery. Do not compromise based on cost.
MESOTHERAPY NOT PROVEN AS A SAFE ALTERNATIVE TO LIPOSUCTION PLASTIC SURGEONS CAUTION AGAINST UNKNOWN DANGERS
The allure of shedding unwanted pockets of fat with a series of simple injections, known as mesotherapy, sounds too good to be true – and it just might be. According to an ASPS Device & Technique Assessment (DATA) Committee report, patients should be wary of mesotherapy until the safety and effectiveness of the procedure are confirmed. “The promise of a non-surgical, permanent method for fat removal and body contouring is obviously very appealing, but mesotherapy is not proven to be the miracle cure to a thinner you. The problem with mesotherapy is the whole technique is shrouded in mystery. Liposuction remains the only proven method to safely and permanently remove fat.”
Touted as a non-surgical alternative to liposuction, mesotherapy involves injecting medications and plant extracts into layers of fat and connective tissue under the skin. The injected ingredients may include agents that are used to open blood vessels, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, enzymes, nutrients, antibiotics and hormones. Mesotherapy may be used in conjunction with dietary modification, hormone replacement therapy, exercise and nutritional supplements. No drug is approved by the U.S. Food an