When is Plastic Surgery not Plastic Surgery

Posted February 21, 2015 in Home, Patient Safety

My wife sent me an article this week about a woman who tragically lost her life in the pursuit of larger buttocks. The article entitled “Michelangelo of Buttock Injections Charged With Murder,” tells a story that has been told before, and unfortunately, will likely be told again. The latest story wasn’t about a woman traveling from the UK to Thailand for Plastic Surgery, but about a woman traveling from the UK to the US for Plastic Surgery, and about a home-grown US scam artist preying on naive 20-year-olds who lack the funds or the foundation to know why you should choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who uses a Certified Surgical Facility.

Buttock's created by the real Michelangelo. Coincidentally, David's backside is also as hard as a rock.

Buttock’s created by the real Michelangelo.
Coincidentally, David’s backside is also as hard as a rock.

Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism has many problems, especially if you live in the United States. The United States has the most regulated system of medical care in the world. Many of the protections we enjoy here in the US are not available in other countries.

In Thailand for example, the head of the regulatory Medical Council of Thailand, Dr Samphan Komkrit, told the World News Blog that “historically (in Thailand), breast implants, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty – these jobs were not done by plastic surgeons… we don’t want to discriminate against doctors who are not plastic surgeons. This is about self-interest and business interest.” This was in response to a woman dying at the hands of a Thai General Practitioner who was operating on a woman, in his office, at 11 PM, to remove infected Buttock Implants he had placed the week before, presumably also in his office. To save money, an accredited surgery center was not used, nor was an anesthesiologist. The GP was acting not only as a Plastic Surgeon, but at the same time was administering general anesthesia, by himself. More frightening than the head of the county’s medical council’s defense of the current standard of care, is the fact that in Thailand, short of a conviction, there is nothing Dr. Komkrit, or any other medical society on Thailand can do to suspend the offending doctor’s license.

It’s a Global Problem

But the problem is not just in Thailand. Brazil, which last year passed the US in quantity of Plastic Surgery performed, has its own sad stories. This recent article Miss BumBum contestant and Brazilian TV presenter reveals the shocking damage caused by fillers injected to give her a bigger bottom and thighs, show very graphic photos of what it looks like when poor planning and poor execution combine.

There are no FDA approved fillers to enlarge the Buttocks

FDA Logo

To date, the FDA has not approved any buttock fillers.

Despite the large volume of information available on the Internet, and the recommendations from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, these types of problems continue to occur. I saw a young woman yesterday who had silicone injected into her buttocks in Mexico 10 years ago by an anesthesiologist. Sadly, there is little I can offer that will not lead to further disfigurement. There is no way to just suck it back out.

The Brazilian Butt Lift

Last week’s Brazilian Butt Lift article provides information on fat grafting to the buttocks as a method for enlarging the buttocks. It is a procedure that will only work for a selected group of patients, and I only perform it in an accredited surgical facility with the help of a real anesthesiologist. This is the safest way there is to perform the operation.

Why Plastic Surgery Society Memberships Matter

Belonging to our State, National and International Plastic Surgery Societies is not cheap. While each provides an attractive membership document suitable for framing, the main reason I maintain active membership is to keep abreast of the latest in plastic surgery patient safety and plastic surgery procedures. These societies have stricter criteria for membership than those required to have a medical license. So as a consumer, you can be assured that members of these societies are being held to a higher standard.

A Few of the ways I make certain I am qualified to take care of my Plastic Surgery patients.

A Few of the ways I make certain I am qualified to take care of my Plastic Surgery patients.

Two requirements are that members operate in accredited facilities, and that we have hospital privileges for these procedures. This means a hospital has independently checked our qualifications, and that the facilities we use are also inspected by an independent organization to be certain that everything is up to medical standards. The advantage of an accredited surgery center has been reaffirmed most recently with decreased infection rates.

The advantage of having an anesthesiologist present during surgery should be obvious. Yes, it cost more, but you’re comfort and safety are worth it. The anesthesiologists only job is to make certain that you are both comfortable and safe. This allows me to concentrate of what you are really interested in – results.

How to Choose Your Plastic Surgeon

I have written posts before about How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon. The article is as true today as the day it was posted. It includes links to check you doctors qualifications. If you are considering Plastic Surgery, and would like to make a personalized consultation appointment, call (925) 943-6353 and see what a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon can do for you.