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Cosmetic Surgery Demystified

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Posted: May 10, 2016

We live in a very fast-paced world where physical appearance is paramount to our daily interactions.  Because of that, the world of cosmetic surgery has exploded.  Also, as traditional medicine has changed, more and more general physicians, and even physician assistants/CRNPs have attempted to capture some of this lucrative market.  With that, however, I now see more and more patients who have tried to have plastic surgery from non-plastic surgeons with devastating consequences.

Cosmetic surgery is a very broad field that consists of body contouring procedures, such as tummy tucks and liposuction, as well as arm lifts, breast lifts, and thigh lifts. Often these are performed to combat routine aging, but sometimes they are utilized for patients that have had bariatric procedures and undergone substantial weight loss, so-called massive weight loss (MWL) patients. This dynamic field also encompasses many types of breast surgeries, such as breast augmentation. Additionally, facial rejuvenation procedures are also included into this field, in the form of eyelid surgeries, facelifts/necklifts, and brow lifts. As you can see, it is a very wide and diverse field of surgery. All board certified plastic surgeons are specifically trained in these techniques. We undergo a rigorous 6-7 year long training program after completing 4 years of college and 4 years of medical school. The body does not exist in isolation, meaning that studying an abbreviated course of liposuction or how to insert breast implants is not the same rigorous training that the board certified plastic surgeon goes through to gain an understanding of all the tissue types of the body and how areas heal and can safely be surgically altered. These are real surgeries with real complications. Even in the hands of the best trained board certified plastic surgeons, complications can, and sometimes do, occur. Complications range from infections, to poor scarring, to poor cosmetic results, to implant extrusion, to persistent pain, to injury to deeper anatomic structures, such as nerves and bowel.

One cannot overestimate the significance, when considering plastic surgery, of thoroughly researching your physician. Has he/she really been trained through a dedicated residency track in plastic surgery, or has he/she segued into the field despite training in gynecology or family medicine? He/she may be board certified, but by which board? In other words, you want to locate a surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). If you have, unfortunately, already experienced a negative effect of cosmetic surgery complications, perhaps we can still help. Please don't hesitate to contact us, here at American Medical Experts, so as to have a thorough in-depth review of your case specifics.