How to pick the right plastic surgeon
Millions of Americans from teens to seniors undergo plastic surgery procedures each year in the United States. Many are pleased with the outcome; however, some are not. Dissatisfaction can be due to unrealistic expectations; however, in many cases, it is due to making a poor choice in the surgeon. I consulted Tracy M. Pfeiffer, MD, MS. She is a New York City plastic surgeon with a special interest in breast surgery. She offers the following tips to safeguard against a bad outcome.
Do your research and be well-informed: This is extremely important. Unfortunately there are unscrupulous individuals who will take advantage of patients, especially those who are paying cash for their services. The majority of plastic surgeons are highly ethical. However, patients must be alert to identify those who are not ethical.
Additionally, patients need to be aware of physicians who claim to be plastic surgeons but in fact do not have the necessary training or board certification. Over the years, several plastic surgeons have lost their license to practice medicine, so these people do exist. In addition, there are non-plastic surgeons performing plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments and these practitioners do not necessarily have the necessary training and certifications that are desired. In addition, there are bogus doctors out there. I personally took care of a young woman who was a mother of two from New Jersey. She came to my NYC office for a consultation regarding a ruptured breast implant and the story she told was frightening and a cautionary tale for all patients. She went to a “doctor” in New Jersey for buttock augmentation; the “doctor” had many certificates on the wall, etc. After the procedure, the patient went into respiratory arrest because of embolism of the product that was injected. At the hospital her parents were told she would die. She had the ruptured breast implant because of a right thoracotomy that was performed to make a diagnosis. This information was confirmed with her pulmonologist; miraculously she survived. It turns out the “doctor” was not a licensed doctor at all but was posing as one. This can serve as a warning for all patients to do extensive research before receiving a procedure.