Study Shows Rise in Number of Unqualified Practitioners Offering Cosmetic Services like Liposuction and Botox

It is not surprising that, in a down economy, people will be doing anything they can to keep their business afloat and continue to make money. Understandably, fast food chains will jump on the “value menu” bandwagon or nail salons will begin to offer two for one pricing – but what is the beyond the realm of understanding is unqualified medical practitioners who are offering surgeries they have no training for. Unfortunately, this is exactly what has been happening in the world of cosmetic surgery procedures, namely liposuction and the administering of injections like Botox® and Dysport®.

In a recent study, published in the April issue of the Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery journal, researchers found that nearly 40 percent of doctors offering liposuction in the Southern California area had NO specific surgical training. In fact, other than plastic surgeons, dermatologists, otolaryngologists (head/ Neck surgeons), and Primary Care Physicians were the top four groups providing liposuction. The study examined 1876 cosmetic practitioners in the California test area, and only 495 of them were trained in plastic surgery!

So, how can people get away with this? Well first of all, there is no law that makes offering these services illegal because no actual training in surgery is required by law. Second of all, injections and liposuction can technically be performed in a practitioner’s office; therefore, hospital privileges (which are only given to legitimate, qualified doctors) are not an issue. What consumers are left with are untrained/ minimally trained practitioners offering surgical procedures in less than safe conditions just to see a bump in their paycheck.

Luckily, there are things that you, as a consumer, can do to protect yourself. First of all, be weary of misleading practice names that are not supported and backed by a real doctor. You have every right to ask about your practitioner’s qualifications, so make sure that you do so. You want to make sure when getting any cosmetic or surgical procedure that your physician is board certified in plastic surgery, and not just general surgery – specific training in plastic surgery is the key to the best and safest results.

For more information on Dr. Whiteman’s qualifications, visit the Southern Plastic Surgery website. Feel free to contact our office with any more questions you may have!

Dr. Whiteman Cautions Patients to be Wary of Doctors Offering ‘Awake’ Breast Augmentation Surgery

A recent article in the NY Times discussed a group of doctors who are boasting the ability to perform breast augmentation surgery while patients are awake. This breast implant procedure is performed in the physician’s office and only requires local anesthesia – boasting lower costs and the ability to interact with patients during the actual surgery.

Traditionally though, and at the practice of Southern Plastic Surgery, breast augmentation surgery is performed in a hospital while the patient is under general anesthesia to ensure patient safety. While the “awake” breast augmentation surgery sounds like a good idea in theory, the safety and legitimacy of it has been called into serious question. Here are just a couple of reasons why I caution against opting for this kind of procedure:

• Performing operations while a patient is awake, under local anesthesia takes an amount of control away from the surgeon and is not conducive to the best possible results.

• Surgeries performed in a physician’s office instead of a hospital are not subject to proper accreditation or safety standards.

• If something goes wrong in surgery or if the patient becomes uneasy by the graphic nature of the surgery there will not be an anesthesiologist or hospital staff on hand to assist.

• Local anesthesia still makes a patient “out of it” – so they may request something like a size change during surgery that they would not otherwise ask for with a sound mind.

• Many people performing these procedures are not board certified or even trained in plastic surgery! (The article notes a non board certified doctor that teaches this procedure to other non-plastic surgery doctors with a two day course!)

• Just as many complications can arise from local anesthesia as from general anesthesia, but with local anesthesia you do not have the support of a hospital or specialist if such a complication should arise.

While some procedures are perfectly safe performed under local anesthesia, a procedure as invasive as breast augmentation is not (at least not yet anyways). You don’t want anyone performing a surgery as serious as a breast augmentation who has not gone to school to study plastic surgery; or who is not board certified by an accredited, third party medical board such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Whiteman is double board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada and specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery procedures of the face, breasts, and body. If you are interested in learning more about breast augmentation surgery, or any other cosmetic procedure, contact the office of Southern Plastic Surgery today.

Diet, Exercise, and a Healthy Lifestyle are Vital to Any Cosmetic Surgery Procedure Dr. David Whiteman Launches Health & Wellness Section to Southern Plastic Surgery Website

In every consultation, Dr. Whiteman tells his patients that he will do his part in enhancing their appearance with a cosmetic surgery procedure, but is careful to remind his patients that it is of utmost importance that they do their part to maintain the results. For ALL patients, that means maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Especially for liposuction, tummy tuck, and breast reduction patients, keeping up with regular diet and exercise is the only way to maintain their results. But even cosmetic surgeries of the face, patients must maintain their health – such as quitting smoking – in order to facilitate healing.

Because plastic surgery and healthy lifestyles go hand-in-hand, Dr. Whiteman decided to launch a health and wellness section to southernplasticsurgery.com. The health and wellness section will provide patients with diet and exercise tips including: Common Diet Mistakes, Tips for Diet Success, Hidden Calories in Foods, Healthy Snacks, and a feature on how to correctly read food labels.

The health and wellness section will also contain a section of healthy, delicious, and low calorie recipes. All of the recipes have been personally made and approved by members of the Southern Plastic Surgery staff.

Dr. Whiteman hopes that, with the help of the health and wellness section of his website, that all his patients will make strides towards healthy, fit lifestyles to keep them looking and feeling their best!