If an offer for a plastic surgery operation sounds “too good to be true,” it probably is. How does ‘free’ plastic surgery sound? Well, if you have ever considered discount cosmetic surgery, think again. In many cases, you get what you pay for. While flashy billboards promising dirt-cheap prices on plastic surgery have been popping up around the nation, consumers must realize that undergoing surgery is not like buying a used car.
An article on StyleList.com investigated the dangers of discount plastic surgery and why it is so cheap. Call it clever marketing, however, the doctors performing these operations may not be board-certified plastic surgeons, and even worse, not even doctors! Have we forgotten the tragic death of former Miss Argentina, who died at age 38 following a butt augmentation? If you have, Solange Magnano died following a blood clot that was a result of undergoing a highly controversial buttock augmentation procedure in Argentina using polymethlymetharcylate (tiny glass beads) instead of the more traditional techniques of her own fat or silicone gel implant. True, there are hidden dangers when it comes to medical tourism, but there are also hidden dangers right here at home.
One of the reasons why some doctors discount their operations is because they are able to cut costs in the anesthesia department. If you deduct all anesthesia-related costs from an opeation, surgery will be fairly cheap, but much less safe. The use of local anesthesia combined with minimal oral sedation is marketed to consumers as a safer alternative. However, being awake for many operations is not really safer. When doctors perform cosmetic surgery using only local anesthestics, they are able to get away with doing so in a regular medical office which is not regulated in the same fashion as an accredited surgical facility. Mandated safety features are simply not the same in office-based facilities that are not accredited. This leaves the patient with a much higher anesthetic-related risk and even possible exposure to pathogens and greater risk of infection. Another danger arises when you consider that some of the doctors performing these procedures aren’t even trained beyond a 2 day “weekend course” and have little to no prior experience in operating on the human body.
So how can you make sure you are making the right choice when choosing a cosmetic surgeon?
- Verify that the doctor is a board-certified plastic surgeon.
- Check with your state medical board to see if there are any complaints against the surgeon, or if their license may be suspended
- Check online reviews of doctors.
- If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has the average national pricing for cosmetic procedures available on their website.
- Ask around from friends who have had plastic surgery. See who they have gone to and if they liked their results.
- Use online resources like RealSelf.com and MakeMeHeal.com to hear other patients’ plastic surgery stories. This way, you can cross-reference your consultation with the experiences of other people who have undergone the same procedure.
- Trust your gut! If you have a bad feeling about the doctor, that feeling is most likely valid.