ASPS Public Service Campaign to Protect Patients
“Plastic surgery is a fine art,” says Dr. Kimball Crofts, a board certified Utah plastic surgeon. “It takes great skill and attention to detail, and it also takes a lot of practice. As the industry grows, we see a lot of providers who want to cash in on its success, and unfortunately, that can be to the detriment of many patients.”
So what does it mean to be board certified? A board certified plastic surgeon has undergone at least three years of general surgery training, and then an additional two years of plastic surgery training. He or she has also passed a comprehensive written and oral examination, and they must recertify every ten years by taking written and oral exams. The Board certified plastic surgeon agrees to adhere to a strict code of medical ethics and guidelines. In short, it means the surgeon you’ve chosen is committed to providing the best care possible, and has the skill to do it.
Other than looking to make sure a surgeon is board certified, what else should you know?
When shopping, it’s often tempting to shop by price. You may think a doctor is a doctor, so choosing the one who can provide the procedure you want at the lowest cost is a good idea. But many times, you get what you pay for.
“Stories are frequently heard of botched plastic surgery procedures,” says Dr. Crofts. “Unfortunately, many times these are procedures performed by surgeons who don’t have the experience or skills to properly perform plastic surgery. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, of which I am a member, has very stringent requirements for its members in order to protect patients.”
Also keep in mind that a cosmetic surgeon is not the same as a plastic surgeon. Many different types of doctors can also be labeled as cosmetic surgeons. Dermatologists, ENTs and even OB-GYNs can be called cosmetic surgeons. But that doesn’t mean they have the necessary knowledge, training, and skills to perform your breast augmentation.
The ASPS launched their public safety campaign after a growing number of their members reported performing revision surgeries to correct poor results from lesser qualified surgeons.
“It’s important that when you meet with a surgeon, you ask how long he has been performing the procedure you are looking for, and that you ask to see before and after photos,” says Dr. Crofts. “If the surgeon isn’t board certified and doesn’t have much experience performing your chosen procedure, it should be a warning sign to find a new surgeon.”
At the end of the day, plastic surgery is still surgery, and there are risks associated with it. By visiting a board certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Crofts for your procedure, you know you will be in the hands of someone who is highly qualified and committed to your safety. Protect yourself and do your research before having any sort of cosmetic procedure.