If you are considering cosmetic surgery of any kind, make sure you read this!
Prompted partly by the death of Donda West, Kayne West’s mother, a recent study published by the LA Times looked into who was actually performing cosmetic procedures in Southern California… The results are shocking!
Only 1 in 4 doctors who offer cosmetic surgery are plastic surgeons! And 40% have NO SURGICAL TRAINING at all!!
Another article published in the NY Times discusses the dangers of a new trend: “awake” breast augmentation surgery. If you take a close look at this particular article, you’ll notice a few very concerning things:
1- The doctors featured in this article are NOT plastic surgeons (Dr. Robert True is a gynecologist, and Dr. Ghandhi is a general surgeon)
2- These doctors sometimes operate in unaccredited facilities, which which means it’s often less costly (and more profitable) for them to perform awake surgeries (accreditation isn’t required as long as patients are awake).
3- They are promoting the lack of anesthesia as a benefit to the patient because it allows them to “participate” in the surgery, but they fail to recognize the fact that asking their patients to make decisions after taking oral sedatives is akin to asking someone to drive you home after having a few shots of tequila.
One of the most disturbing quotes from this article comes from Dr. Gandhi, who has no formal training in plastic surgery.
Dr. Gandhi says, “Patients can scream and I would know I can’t be putting my needle there.”
Scream?!? Is he serious?!?
Did I mention that Dr. Gandhi failed his board exam in general surgery? Or that his operating room is not accredited? Hmmm…
Dr. Melanie Carreon, who is a FAMILY PRACTICE doctor, also offers awake breast augmentation in Texas even though she has NO surgical training. She advertises herself as a “cosmetic surgeon“, which she is unfortunately allowed to do even though this title is often mistakenly confused with “plastic surgeon“. A doctor can become a “cosmetic surgeon” by attending a few seminars here and there, while a plastic surgeon must complete 6-8 years of advanced surgical training… these terms are not interchangeable in the way that Dr. Carreon and Dr. Gandhi would like us to believe.
The bottom line is that you should never assume that your “surgeon” is qualified to perform your operation, or that your surgeon is actually a surgeon! In many cases, these doctors are taking advantage of the common misconception that a cosmetic surgeon is the same thing as a plastic surgeon, and are performing awake surgeries to escape the watchful eye of the organizations like the AAAASF that are responsible for keeping us safe during outpatient surgeries. The current regulations state that if a procedure is being performed “without anesthesia”, there is no need for accreditation. This is the reason why the wannabe cosmo-docs out there are offering to do your breast augmentation awake! It has nothing to do with it being a “better” way to do the operation, and there is absolutely no data to support claims to this effect.
Not having anesthesia for a maor operation is cutting corners, plain and simple. What happens if you have an allergic reaction to the sedative pills they give you? What happens if you have an arrhythmia from the tumescent solution they use to make you numb? What happens if you start bleeding during your procedure and your “surgeon” doesn’t know how to stop it because he never had any real surgical training?
The answer to all of the above is that you could die! This is no joke, and it has happened before. It’s very unfortunate that there are no laws in place that protect us from the dishonesty of these wannabe “plastic surgeons”, so it’s up to us to get the word out so we all can stay safe under the knife!
Here are some more interesting links about Awake Surgery!
- Patient Almost Bleeds to Death After Eye Doctor Performs Breast Augmentation!
- Is Your Plastic Surgeon Really a Plastic Surgeon? What you don’t know can definitely hurt you.
- A Guide to Anesthesia for Cosmetic Surgery
- I had liposuction… while I was awake.
- NY Times: Awake for Breast Implants. If you wish.
- LA Times: Study Blasts Lack of Training in the Cosmetic Surgery Marketplace
Nicholas Vendemia, M.D. Plastic Surgeon, New York City MAS / Manhattan Aesthetic Surgery www.ManhattanAestheticSurgery.com
Photo Credit: iStockphoto
NOTICE: None of the celebrities or individuals discussed here have ever received treatment, surgery, medical advice, or evaluations from any author, physician, surgeon, or representative of this blog. All images and photos in this article represent models only. No actual patients or clients are shown.