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Cosmetic Surgeons: Proper Training?

Not the Way to Find Cosmetic Surgeons

These blog pages have often advised that people searching for an aesthetic or non-surgical procedure should do lots of homework on cosmetic surgeons and their training before going ahead.

Why? Plastic surgery offices are often staffed by what the medical profession knows as “cross-overs.” That is, the doctor was trained in radiology or some medical specialty other than cosmetic surgery, but crossed over to performing rejuvenation surgery after taking only a weekend seminar on, say, performing liposuction.

(Look at the training of a top cosmetic plastic surgeon.)

To get a better idea of exactly what cosmetic surgeons are doing and offering in cosmetic surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a plastic surgery medical journal, once carried an article about what type of doctors — and their training — were performing cosmetic services.

Loma Linda University Medical Center researchers in Loma Linda, California tracked 1,867 cosmetic doctors in San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange Counties. They then checked medical training and found that only 495 of the 1,867 doctors were trained in cosmetic surgery procedures. Also, 834“cosmetic surgeons” offering and performing liposuction also turned up.

The researchers also studied which doctors’ offices were performing the greatest numbers of services. Findings?  Primary doctors in the California counties were the third largest group giving Juvéderm® and Restylane® injections as facial fillers.

(Read more about wrinkle removers BOTOX® and Dysport

Yet another look at records found the third most common specialty performing liposuction are dermatologists with the fourth most common medical specialty performing liposuction were then primary care doctors.

Overall, we now have in the medical profession dermatologists who do eyelid surgery, gynecologists who perform liposuction and radiologists doing breast implants.

One way to separate the highly trained from those who have only a nodding familiarity with a procedure: when you call for an appointment, ask if the office is dedicated to performing only cosmetic surgery procedures. If the doctor claims to be board-certified ask which boards.

And then look that board up on your computer. Many boards are not real, medically accepted boards.

Consumers are often confused about where to go for cosmetic surgery because, in the United States, any licensed doctor can legally perform cosmetic surgery. Well, make that technically, yes, but practically, no.

Those who are crossing over often resort to misleading ads, highly discounted rates and are cutting other corners, all of which makes the safety level – along with acceptable results — iffy.

(See a video about finding qualified cosmetic surgeons.)