Remember, It's Your Face
Article by Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
In this sad but unique economic environment, one of the greatest concerns for the consumer is price. The good news for the general public is that there are amazing price opportunities on many things, including cosmetic surgery. Many Facial Plastic Surgeons and Plastic surgeons throughout the country are offering prices for procedures which offer significant discounts compared to 2007 price structures. I strongly encourage patients to take advantage of this because it won't last forever.
However, at the same time, I would strongly encourage the general public to to treat overblown advertising, infomercial based plastic surgery companies, and too-good-to-be-true advertising with the appropriate amount of skepticism they deserve. Although there are good deals out there, there are truly some players in the plastic surgery marketplace who are happy to take your money, offer shoddy work, and send you on your way. Indeed this used-car approach toward cosmetic surgery can and does bleed over into patient safety: a patient died in the Orlando area in October 2009 after having a quickie infomercial Facelift procedure, and a patient died in the Miami area after having liposuction in a MediSpa. Different companies, different situations, same lack of care for the individual patient.
There are several rules of thumb when seeking facial rejuvenation and/or cosmetic surgery:
1) Seek the opinion of a board certified Facial Plastic Surgeon (American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery), or Plastic Surgeon (American Board of Plastic Surgery) for facial rejuvenation. For breast and body procedures, seek the opinion of a Plastic surgeon.
2) If you have elected to be seen in a high volume, infomercial based company: a) don't be pressured into putting down a deposit; b) seek another opinion before signing up.
3) If you have made the choice to have surgery at a high volume, infomercial based company, first find out what accrediting body (JCAHO, AAAHC, ACHA, or AAAASF) has accredited the facility. If there is no accreditation, be very wary. Accrediting bodies are designed to make facilities adhere to standards of care, they are not beholden to a profit over care mentality. It is better to surrender your deposit than to surrender your face...or your life.
4) If you have had surgery in a high volume, infomercial based company and you are not happy with your results, do not sign any waivers which surrender your ability to take legal action. This is a common tactic used by such entities.