The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) commends recent actions taken by the Florida Board of Medicine to protect the safety of patients seeking cosmetic surgery. The Board announced a possible one-year license suspension and $50,000 fine against a Florida family physician accused of allowing unlicensed medical assistants to perform liposuction, the second major disciplinary action recently taken by the Board that involves inadequate training in cosmetic surgery.
“Liposuction is a surgical procedure that should only be performed by a well trained and properly credentialed medical professional. Allowing unlicensed or unqualified personnel to perform this type of surgical procedure is a serious breach of patient safety. The recent actions taken by the Florida Board of Medicine send a clear message that this type of compromise to patient safety will not be tolerated,” said Felmont Eaves III, MD, President of ASAPS.
ASAPS urges all consumers who are considering plastic surgery to have their procedures performed under the care of properly credentialed and trained medical professionals. A doctor’s board-certification is the best indicator of his or her training in a particular medical or surgical specialty. Patients should select surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), the only Board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) to certify doctors in the specialty of plastic surgery, and avoid those whose liposuction training is based only on the completion of a brief, weekend course. Patients should also be wary of physicians offering “deep discount” procedures, or those offering surgical procedures in non-clinical settings, such as medi-spas.
Liposuction, also called lipoplasty and suction-assisted lipectomy, removes deposits of excess fat from specific areas of the body including the face and neck. It is the second most popular surgical cosmetic procedure in the U.S., with 283,735 liposuction surgeries performed in the U.S. in 2009, according to ASAPS.