Growing from 4.1 billion dollars to 4.9 billion dollars over the course of a year, more doctors are choosing to enter the field of cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery continues to grow exponentially around the world despite the fact that overall healthcare costs have declined in a poor economy. In the United States, there is no certification required to begin a cosmetic surgery practice and has led many doctors to leave emergency or general medicine to begin their own cosmetic surgery centers. With no need for certification, many doctors are entering the world of “budget cosmetic surgery” offering procedures at a fraction of the cost of their board certified counterparts.
In all reality, a doctor doesn’t need to specialize in cosmetic surgery, nor do they have to become certified in the field to begin their own practice. While the governing boards of cosmetic surgery including the American Society of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery strongly urge patients to find board certified cosmetic surgeons to perform their procedures, uncertified doctors are countering by offering procedures at a fraction of the price. The current laws in the United States actually allow a OBGYN to perform a facelift if they choose to, and if a patient trusts them enough to do it.
Finding a board certified plastic surgeon can be essential to gaining quality results, and “Budget Cosmetic Surgery” offers patients a low-cost alternative that could have devastating results. While all cosmetic surgeons have a license in a medical field, it may not be a field that relates to a cosmetic surgery procedure. It is essential, under the laws in the United States, that patients carefully review the qualifications of their surgeon. The appeal of getting a low-cost cosmetic surgery procedure could mean getting a breast augmentation form a doctor specializing in sports medicine.
All patients considering plastic surgery should consult a board certified plastic surgeon to ensure quality results from their cosmetic surgery procedure.
Dr. Jeffrey Swail is a board certified plastic surgeon, and holds memberships with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, The Colorado Medical Society, and the Boulder County Medical Society.