In the world of cosmetic procedures, not all doctors are created equal. This guide will help you effectively screen your doctor, so you don’t end up on an episode of E!’s Botched.
Season One of E’s hit reality series, Botched, introduces us to plastic surgeon’s Terry Dubrow and Paul Nassif. Every week, the surgeons meet with two patients, each of whom has experienced a cosmetic procedure gone wrong. The surgeons are charged with fixing a variety of botched plastic surgeries, offering each patient a second chance at happiness.
Jeff Olde, the series’ executive VP of programming and development, has said, “As more and more people endure multiple procedures for that perfect look, all too often the outcome can be a nightmare.”
If you’re trying to avoid the nightmare, it’s essential that you pick a qualified doctor to perform your cosmetic procedure. The following is a guide to choosing plastic surgeons, and other doctors qualified to perform cosmetic surgeries. By adhering to this guide, it’s more likely you’ll choose a doctor with the skills to keep you from becoming yet another botched case.
KNOW THE RISKS
You don’t want to go in for a second surgery, just to fix the first. In a recent interview, Dr. Dubrow admits that plastic surgery has a 5 to 15 percent complication rate, but the complications associated with repairing botched surgeries increases to 35 percent. “This is the most difficult level of plastic surgery there is; revisions of revisions, it’s the highest risk.”
Before you consider any form of cosmetic procedure or surgery, it’s important to know the risks. Ask your doctor for information about risks. Also, ask what percentage of risk there is for what you’re having done. If he’s a good doctor, he’ll be upfront about risks. If he’s simply attempting to sell you a dangerous procedure, he’ll sugarcoat the hard stuff. Cross reference the information he gives you online, and if he’s not being honest about risks, just walk away!
CHECK HIS CREDENTIALS
Just because a doctor has a nice website, doesn’t mean he’s qualified to do your procedure. Unless you want to be the next patient on Botched, it’s imperative that you do a little digging into the good doctor’s background. Ask for references, and inquire as to whether or not the doctor has ever botched a surgery before.
Reality star, Saaphyri, sought out the Botched surgeons because her previous surgery left a noticeable indentation across her abdomen. She didn’t check her surgeon’s credentials, and by doing so she literally put her life on the line. In truth, Saaphyri was lucky to leave the office alive, considering another patient died under her prior surgeon’s care. The Botched surgeons were able to eliminate some of Saaphyri’s scarring, as well as augment her breasts because (unlike her previous doctor) they are more than qualified to handle the procedures she needed.
If you’re opting for a surgery, such as breast augmentation or a tummy tuck, you’ll want to double check that your surgeon is board certified. You can ask him to furnish documents that prove this.
IS THE DOCTOR LICENSED?
If you’re not opting for a surgery, and instead opting for a cosmetic procedure (botox, laser hair removal, etc.), you’ll want to determine if your doctor is licensed to administer the procedure. Ask your doctor to furnish documentation proving they’re licensed.
Licensing requirements vary from state to state.
For example, in New York, only a licensed doctor can administer cosmetic procedures. In some states, no licensing is required at all. In the case of no licensing, you can ask for references to determine if a doctor is qualified to administer your cosmetic procedure. In other places, such as Washington State, there are only minimal requirements for administering cosmetic procedures, such as laser hair removal, which is why it’s imperative to seek out qualified, above-average facilities to have any procedure done.
A consultation should last approximately 30 to 45 minutes. If a doctor or surgeon rushes through this important step, they may not be the person you want to administer your procedure. Also, if the doctor asks unpredictably or unprofessionally, exercise good judgment and seek out someone who makes you feel comfortable.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
If there’s one thing to be learned from E!’s Botched, it’s that some surgeons and doctors are only in it for the money. They will rush patients in and out of their offices, in an effort to make money faster. If you’re going to have any cosmetic procedure done, it’s a good idea to research it completely, so you know what to expect. And, look for reliable, reputable doctors like the ones on Botched.
As a final thought, here’s a quote from Dr. Dubrow:
“I get to treat people with disfigured problems. It’s so refreshing and fabulous to be able to do that. Someone who is devastated by a surgical complication, whose life is completely trashed, to be able to do that, and make them normal again; better, pretty…that’s the coolest thing in plastic surgery.”