Cosmetic surgery is more popular today than it has ever been before, and because of this popularity, more and more regular surgeons have started to perform cosmetic procedures. But should doctors who aren’t specifically trained in cosmetic surgery be able to perform procedures like liposuctions or breast augmentations? Increasingly, medical organizations around the country, such as the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and the American Society for Aesthetic Surgery, are arguing what types of doctors are qualified to carry out what kinds of procedures, but there are a lot of factors to consider.
If surgery is surgery, then does it really matter what kind of surgeon is overseeing the operation? According to the majority of cosmetic surgeons, it absolutely does. While all plastic surgeons undergo, on average, a five-year specialized residency program, not all of that time is spent of performing cosmetic procedures. In fact, during those five years surgical residents will often rotate through many specialties and dozens of areas in plastic surgery. Cosmetic surgeons, on the other hand, receive additional, specialized training that many doctors claim makes them uniquely qualified to perform cosmetic procedures.
Despite these arguments coming from the majority of cosmetic surgeons, virtually any doctor can perform some basic cosmetic procedures. For example, a doctor with specialty in family medicine can purchase a liposuction machine and begin carrying out liposuctions after only a minimal training course. Unfortunately, this minimal level of training is far below the standards set by cosmetic surgery boards, and some medical professionals argue that unqualified doctors performing these types of procedures presents a serious risk to patients.
Not surprisingly, profit is one of the primary reasons why doctors of all stripes are now branching out into cosmetic procedures. By and large, there is no set standard for pricing when it comes to these services, and because the majority of cosmetic surgeries are elective, insurance doesn’t come into play. Most of the time, patients pay out of pocket, and they pay quite well. In fact, Americans now spend nearly $15 billion a year on cosmetic procedures.
Given the potential complications that can occur when lesser-qualified doctors try to perform cosmetic enhancements, several medical organizations across the country are trying to enforce stricter rules for whom can offer these services. If you’re thinking of undergoing a cosmetic procedure, then do your homework. Check the qualifications of the cosmetic surgeons in your area. Be sure to find one that is properly trained and will best suit your needs.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about plastic surgery, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!