Bogus Plastic Surgeons – Buyer Beware

Posted November 28, 2016 in Board Certification, Breast Augmentation, Eyelid Lift (Blepharoplasty), Home, Liposuction, Patient Safety, Rhinoplasty (Nasal Surgery)

Miami Skyline

Miami, Florida, seems to be hot bed for Deceptive Plastic Surgery Practices, and is giving good Miami Plastic Surgeons a bad name. The most recent incident to make the national news is a Botched Brazilian Butt Lift at Encore Plastic Surgery. The clinic is linked to a chain that focuses on cheap plastic surgery for medical tourists visiting Florida for a procedure and a vacation.

Fake San Francisco Plastic Surgery

San Francisco Skyline

Miami is not unique, however. This year, Carlos Guzmangarza was sentenced to 20 years in prison for performing illegal plastic surgery out of his fake San Francisco, California “plastic surgery” clinic. His Mission District clinic preyed on many Central American immigrants. Allegations include: smoking a cigar during surgery, flushing Liposuction fat down the toilet, sexual assault, the injection of unknown skin fillers and leaving a four inch needle in a patient’s buttocks. Eventually, he was convicted of thirty-three felonies and eight misdemeanors.

Caveat Emptor – Let the Buyer Beware

Caveat Emptor

In most cases, there are clues that everything is not up to the usual standard of care. In the case of Mr. Guzmangarza, not only was he not a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, he was not a doctor. He did not have a medical license, and that’s something that anyone could check.

Check the Medical License

California Medical License

Notice the medical license is for a “Physician and Surgeon.” California, like all states, does not differentiate.

Medical Licenses are issued by the state in which the doctor practices. Simply google your state’s medical board to use their free online look-up service. If you are in California, click here to check your doctors medical license and any disciplinary actions.

Check For Plastic Surgery Board Certification

American Board of Plastic Surgery MOC

I am Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. The only ABMS recognized board for Plastic Surgery.

The American Board of Plastic Surgery offers a free, online certification lookup. Click here to see if your doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Most doctors claiming the title “Plastic Surgeon” are not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In fact, it is estimated that only one in twelve practitioners practicing plastic surgery are Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Does your doctor have the best training?

Check For Other Board for Certifications

American Board of Surgery MOC

I am also certified by the American Board of Surgery, because I completed a residency in General Surgery, too.

If your doctor is not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, who are they certified by? Click here to see if your doctor has any board certifications.

If your doctor is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, they are trained in surgery of the eyes. So if you are having Eyelid Surgery, they should have had the appropriate training. On the other hand, if you are having Liposuction, buyer beware.

If your doctor is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, the are trained in ear, nose and throat surgery, so Facial Plastic Surgery is within the scope of their training. If you are having Rhinoplasty, this is an appropriate board for certification. If you are having Breast Augmentation, buyer beware.

Non-Surgical Board Certification

The non-plastic surgery boards listed above are at least surgical boards. Some “cosmetic surgeons” have non-surgical board certifications. Certification by Family Practice and Internal Medicine Boards is not reassuring if you are having a surgical procedure. Proof of additional surgical training should be made available, and it should be years or training, not a weekend course.

Do Your Homework

A well trained, experienced practitioner will be up-front and honest about their training and abilities, but those who are not honest may be even more convincing. You need to do your homework. Use the links above to confirm what you are being told. If it does not fit, do not commit.