The Dangers of Non-Certified Plastic Surgeons

Tips to keep you safe from unqualified practitioners

Stories about illegal cosmetic procedures perpetrated by the likes of Padge ‘Black Madam’ Windslowe and Oneal Ron Morris that cause permanent physical damage or even death can make cosmetic surgery seem unsafe to the uninformed. The truth is that certified practitioners pride themselves on professionalism and high safety standards, and these are aberrations.

That said, non-certified practitioners do exist, and they pose a risk to patients who choose to employ their services. The following is a short guide to what you should know in order to find the right physician for you.

  • 48 states legally allow doctors to perform plastic surgery even if they are not credited by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. That means a dermatologist could legally perform breast augmentation or a tummy tuck.
  • Plastic surgery requires specialized training, and complications can arise when surgeons don’t know how to anticipate emergencies or handle them when they arise.
  • The ASPS and ASAPS require their doctors to be board certified, and espouse stringent standards and patient safety. Look for a doctor who is certified by one of these institutions to avoid unqualified practitioners.
  • Try to find a doctor who specializes in the surgery you want performed. If you want body contouring, make sure your surgeon of choice is practiced in that procedure.
  • As a patient, you must do everything in your power to make sure your safety is in good hands. If you’re unsure of a surgeon, ask him or her to disclose his or her professional history; doctors are required by law to do so. Ask them to produce before and after photos from former clients, and if they have hospital access.

Remember, plastic surgery doesn’t have to be risky or dangerous, if you ask the right questions and know what to look for. Keep these tips in mind and you shouldn’t have any problem finding a qualified professional in the field.