Are Cosmetic Surgery Disasters on the Rise?
Is it true that more people are suffering disastrous results and even death while undergoing cosmetic surgery? If you pay attention to the media, it sure seems like that’s the case.
This year alone, we have noticed examples like these:
• A beauty queen died following liposuction surgery given to her as one of the prizes for winning her pageant in Ecuador.
• A Canadian judge sentenced an unlicensed woman to eight years in prison for using a caulking gun to inject silicone into the buttocks of several women, causing numerous health issues.
• Mexican authorities closed 10 offices and clinics in Tijuana for violating health regulations after an Australian woman died following liposuction.
• Four women died in the span of a few months after having cosmetic surgery in clinics in the Dominican Republic.
• A U.S. patient who wanted to avoid breast augmentation surgery elected silicone injections offered by a woman a friend knew, only to need a double mastectomy to remove lumps a year later.
It’s difficult to state with certainty that there’s been an increase in botched procedures in recent times as there’s no way to track every treatment performed by every provider, qualified and unqualified. It could be that the frequency of news items like these simply reflects media sensationalism and the public’s interest in learning about extremes and tragedies.
On the other hand, there’s no denying that the popularity of cosmetic surgery is on the rise. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery notes more than an 80% increase in the number of cosmetic surgeries since 1997, and a rise of more than 500% in non-invasive procedures. Surgery and cosmetic treatments are booming in other countries as well, with Brazil now on par with the U.S., according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and other countries like South Korea catching up fast.
As the demand for cosmetic procedures rises, so does the move to fill that demand by trained professionals and, unfortunately, by others who don’t measure up. Earlier this year, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons launched a campaign to educate consumers about the need to work with a qualified provider. Patients should require their surgeon to be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and avoid:
• Doctors who offer discount coupons and other deals
• Clinics that push to “up-sell” instead of educating patients on alternatives
• Doctors without hospital privileges from an accredited facility
• Surgeons who promise very specific results
In addition, the ASPS has issued information on the potential risks associated with plastic surgery tourism. Detailing the difficulty in assessing clinic and physician credentials and certifications in foreign countries, the dangers of long flights after surgery and many other considerations, the ASPS has gone to great lengths to assist consumers in evaluating trade offs. You can read more here.
CBS News covered the ASPS’s public awareness campaign a few months ago. One of the segment’s observations sums up a key takeaway for prospective cosmetic surgery patients: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
When you work with a board certified plastic surgeon with a fully credentialed clinic and excellent track record, you have the best chance for satisfying results, a pleasant experience and the most important factor of all—your safety. If you would like to consult us about cosmetic surgery in New York, please contact us online.