Cosmetic surgeries performed by unqualified doctors on the rise

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) announced a new safety campaign this week regarding the rise of cosmetic surgeries that are being performed across the country by unqualified doctors.

A woman recently told ABCnews.com about her botched surgery after she failed to verify whether or not her doctor was certified to perform a corrective surgery on her breasts. The woman filed a malpractice lawsuit against the doctor after discovering that the doctor was not certified by the board of plastic surgeons and that the surgery performed was never necessary to begin with.

Although state laws differ, the safety campaign aims to inform the public that it is currently legal in 48 states for doctors to perform cosmetic and plastic surgeries without obtaining certification by the board of plastic surgeons. One certified plastic surgeon commented on the issue explaining that more non-certified doctors are choosing to perform cosmetic surgeries because of the income and the high demand for surgery.

Unfortunately, the 40-year-old woman who underwent surgery to repair her breast implants was left with conjoined breasts. Without her consent, the doctor also performed cosmetic surgery on her eyelids. The woman can no longer fully close her eyelids because the doctor had removed too much skin during the surgery.

The woman did settle her malpractice suit, and a certified surgeon was able to reconstruct the woman’s conjoined breasts. However, she continues to endure physical pain from the botched surgery because the doctor had cut through nerves and muscles that a certified surgeon would have never cut.

Reconstructive surgery could not be performed on the woman’s eyelids. She now has to take medication for the rest of her life in order to keep her eyes moist.

Due to the number of non-certified doctors performing plastic surgery, one certified surgeon said that for every patient who is featured in the media regarding a malpractice case, there are hundreds of other unreported cases. Individuals who have suffered from a cosmetic surgical error should not feel ashamed and should understand that they do have rights that can and should be protected.

Source: ABC News, “American Society of Plastic Surgeons Urges Patients to Check Up on Their Surgeons for Their Safety,” Courtney Hutchison, Sept. 26, 2011


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