Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Third Party Validation

A patient recently gave me an article from a newsletter called, “Bottom Line.” The article started off with the line “If you are considering plastic surgery ask the surgeon… Are you board certified in plastic surgery? He/she should be.”

Don't be confused.

There is so much confusion and misunderstanding concerning who is best qualified to perform plastic surgery and, more specifically, cosmetic surgery.

Today, cosmetic procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, are being performed by primary care doctors, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, gynecologists, general surgeons – the list goes on.

All these people probably are very qualified in their specialties. They may even have special certification in their specialties. But is that specialty cosmetic surgery?

What specialty are they board certified in?

All things being equal , a board certified plastic surgeon is still your best and most prudent choice. The training and examination process to become a board certified plastic surgeon is long and demanding.

I discussed this in more detail in an earlier blog posting – including three to five years of general surgery followed by a plastic surgery residency of two to three years of advanced training. In my case, I added a fellowship in cosmetic surgery. Surgeons with the training I have received and my experience are in the best post positions to consult with you about both surgical and non-surgical procedures.

The "Lunchtime Lift"

Recently, I attended a special seminar about a quick face lift procedure. (See my earlier blog message.) I call it the “lunchtime lift” because, at about an hour-and-a-half, it is so fast to complete. In most cases, it literally can be completed over lunch time.

On the way to observe a live demonstration of the procedure, I sat next to a family doctor from Kentucky. He was undecided about the procedure because, he said, he was concerned about the “facial nerve” that enervates the facial muscles. This is a true story. I don’t know where he finally came out about whether or not to do the procedure for his patients.

How much money is "wasted"?

But I think this points up the potential for decisions that are not in the patients best interests. I have seen patients spend thousands of dollars of brand-name fillers and say the look No better. These are not bad products for certain patient needs but , in reality, many of these people need to have a real face lift and/or full face peel or laser resurfacing to meet their objectives. All the money they spent did not give them the results they wanted.

Don’t be reluctant to ask a doctor if he or she is board certified and, even more important, in what specialty he or she is board certified.

On this first day of 2008, I and my staff wish you a healthy and blessed New Year. If you have any questions, just email me at RJBrueck@abodyandface.com

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