The Value of a Qualified Plastic Surgeon
By: Eric Mariotti, M.D. (November 2013)
Dr. Eric Mariotti, a board-certified plastic surgeon serving Walnut Creek, CA, discusses how patients get the most from their surgery when they visit a qualified medical professional for their cosmetic treatments.
It's no secret that cosmetic surgery and non-surgical cosmetic procedures are luxury purchases. They're often the kind of thing that people save up for in order to do something special for themselves and give their confidence a boost.
This makes it that much worse when someone ends up with unsatisfactory procedure results; not only are they unhappy with how they look, but they may have spent quite some time saving to have the surgery in the first place.
Part of my commitment to my patients as a board-certified plastic surgeon serving Walnut Creek and Danville, CA is to make sure that each person who comes into my office gets excellent care and value for their investment in the surgery. I do this by backing up my services with extensive training and certification.
I am certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), which is the only plastic surgery board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. To achieve this certification, a physician must have a minimum of 5 years of surgical training and 2 years in an accredited plastic surgery residency program, in addition to passing other rigorous exams and standards.
More and more these days, I see doctors referring to themselves as "cosmetic surgeons," which is legal for any physician who performs a cosmetic procedure, despite not having specific training in plastic surgery. These doctors may be dermatologists, ophthalmologists, general surgeons, or other specialists and they aim to attract the same patients as board-certified plastic surgeons.
Here's a recent example from the news of a kind of cosmetic procedure that is best performed under the auspices of a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist. In October, a study was published in JAMA Dermatology that said there was a growing number of lawsuits over damage from skin laser treatments being done outside of medical offices. More and more patients in the U.S. have suffered burns and cell damage in the past few years.
Not only were these patients physically harmed, but they also lost their money (likely hundreds of dollars) on a bad procedure. Unfortunately, it doesn't stop there. Patients who have spent thousands on surgical procedures have also been "burned." One way less-qualified doctors attract patients is with discounts on cosmetic surgery. There are simple ways patients can avoid these bad experiences, and it all starts with checking on the surgeon's credentials. It's important that patients make sure they are getting a procedure from a board-certified plastic surgeon, rather than just a cosmetic surgeon. It's true that there are some cosmetic surgeons who do beautiful, safe, and meticulous work, but the likelihood of providing that level of care rises the more training and experience the doctor has. Board certification ensures those standards. I am glad to provide my credentials to my Walnut Creek patients, proving I'm a plastic surgeon who is certified by The ABPS, and other surgeons should be as forthcoming.
It's also important that patients don't bargain-shop for surgery. Unqualified doctors are more likely to offer cheap deals, but the quality suffers. Just like you'd pay more for the peace of mind of a car that's never needed repairs or a house with a solid foundation, you're better off paying a little more for quality plastic surgery. It's a better value to avoid repair work or additional procedures down the road.