Plastic surgery is not the safest thing that you can do to your face or skin. There’s little doubt about it. A major skin-focused medical foundation — the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery — wants to highlight this fact and has launched a public safety campaign to do so. Their goal is to ensure that everybody in America considering cosmetic surgery understands that if the surgeon is not trained properly, the result could be scarring, burning, and, in rare cases, possibly even death.
The safety campaign is a kind of response to a trend that’s sweeping the nation, which the Society finds alarming: more and more non-physicians (that means without the MD beside their name) are doing procedures that can be harmful if not done properly. These include laser hair removal, chemical peels, injections of the botulinum toxin, and microdermabrasion.
“What we’re seeing is an overwhelming preponderance at this point of these untrained people getting their hands on these devices and using them,” one surgeon told Reuters News. Nearly half of the Society’s members have said that there has been a rise in patients who are coming to them to fix damage caused by a botched cosmetic procedure.
The individuals who perform them are in most cases improperly trained. Some problems include not setting the laser level properly or using untested materials in the injections that are used to fill wrinkles. This can have unwanted effects, such as the patient losing the color in that area of skin or the procedure simply not working.
What needs to happen is that only trained physicians should perform the cosmetic procedure. It is surgery, after all — someone is cutting into your body, and you should question whether anyone without an MD should really be doing it to you. What’s more is that the individual should be an actual dermatologist rather than, say, a family doctor. (It would, although, be a good idea to have your doctor sit in on the procedure if possible in case any emergencies come up.)
Another thing to watch for is procedures that seem to be inexpensive. Good prices do not make for good procedures. Bargains are not a great idea in plastic surgery, so if you are going to have a procedure done remember that you are dealing with your health. Cost should not be a factor.
The Society says that if you are thinking of having this treatment, ask the surgeon about what procedures are in place in case an emergency arises. Also, ask about the individuals’ training and background (you have every right to do so). Ask what are the rates of complication for the procedure are like. And ask to see some photographs of other patients who have had the surgery done (before and after shots).
This is all to get an idea about whether or not you even want to go through with it, as well as knowing that you’ve found an astute and well-trained professional. If anyone gets perturbed or distressed with your questions, then that’s a good sign you should take your queries — and business — elsewhere.