Table of Contents
A nose job that looks like the plastic surgeon was blindfolded during the procedure. A FIASCO breast augmentation. A tummy tuck resulting in internal issues and horrid scars.
We’ve all heard the horror stories surrounding plastic surgery. There are entire TV shows and documentaries dedicated to them!
It’s no secret that botched plastic surgery is fascinating to us because it’s so horrifying to imagine. What if it happened to you? Plastic surgery isn’t always cosmetic or elective, you know!
Medical malpractice happens. That fact makes undergoing any type of surgery, elective or other, a stressful experience. Learn how to protect yourself and avoid botched plastic surgery.
What is “Plastic Surgery”?
First, it’s important to understand what constitutes “plastic surgery.” The answer may surprise you.
Yes, plastic surgery includes facelifts, nose jobs, and tummy tucks. But did you know it also includes non-cosmetic procedures?
Face reconstruction after an accident, hand surgery or reconstruction, eyelid surgery (for saggy eyelids that obstruct vision), ear pinning, and much more. Understand that “plastic surgery” can mean a lot of different things. You don’t want to assume your surgery doesn’t require a plastic surgeon simply because it’s not cosmetic.
ONLY Licensed Medical Professionals!
14.6 million cosmetic plastic surgeries are performed in the US every year! That means there are thousands of surgeons available and willing. But that DOESN’T mean you can trust all of them.
Be sure you consult with a LICENSED medical professional. And keep in mind that “licensed” means something different in other countries than it does here.
Don’t fall into the trap of alluring promises, cheap rates, and quick get-in times. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
Did you know that different kinds of licensed medical professionals specialize in different things? For example, a general practitioner CAN administer your desired Botox, but an esthetic dermatologist would have more experience and training. Look into specializations prior to making an appointment.
Faulty medical procedures are performed all the time by people claiming to be professionals. Don’t hesitate to learn more about medical malpractice and how to spot it. You CAN have a hand in preventing medical error.
Always Get a Second Opinion
Maybe you’ve met with a licensed medical professional and received their opinion on your desired procedure. Don’t stop there! Always get a second opinion, if not more.
Different surgeons have different methods, experience, and training. What one recommends can be the opposite of what another recommends.
Get multiple professional opinions. Multiple consultations with different specialists may seem time-consuming, excessive, and expensive. But you won’t regret it!
You’re far more likely to regret NOT getting a second opinion. Be patient with the consultation process and don’t rush into anything. Remember that the choice lays with YOU as the patient, not with the provider.
Even with a required surgery, it’s smart to consult with more than one doctor. That way you ensure yourself the best possible option.
Ask the Right Questions
Maybe you think your incessant questions annoy doctors. Maybe you assume they know more than you so you don’t have to ask questions.
Don’t fall prey to either of those beliefs! Never hesitate to ask the surgeon, specialist, technician, or provider your long list of questions. This is YOUR body, after all.
Asking the RIGHT questions is crucial. Here are some questions to be sure to ask a plastic surgeon before you commit to a procedure:
- How much experience do you have with this specific procedure or treatment?
- How much experience does this clinic have with this specific procedure/ treatment?
- How often would you say your patients receive exactly the result they intended?
- May I see before and after photos of other times you’ve performed this specific procedure/treatment?
- What are the downsides (also called “contraindications”) to this procedure/treatment?
- What is the downtime afterwards?
- What are the best and worst case scenarios?
- What is the total cost and all of the costs involved?
Don’t hesitate to search the internet, read reviews, and scour before and after photos. You don’t need to feel embarrassed or shy about being thorough, the surgery involves YOUR life!
Beware of “Medical Tourism”
Ever known someone who flew to another country to go under the knife for a cheaper cost? Plenty of people travel to Mexico for inexpensive lap band surgeries. This is called medical tourism.
It’s one thing to fly to Germany to consult with a well-known, trusted, world-renowned surgeon in a specific field. You would do that to receive the best possible care, usually at a high price.
It’s another thing to cross the border to Mexico to get plastic surgery simply for a lower cost. This option can be totally unsafe. Generally there’s a reason the surgery is so cheap.
Other countries don’t have the same medical standards that you may be used to. Like we covered earlier, what “licensed” means in the US is different from what “licensed” means in the Caribbean.
Surgeons in other countries can be less educated, or educated with totally different methods. Less training and experience can be required. Pre-op, hygiene, and aftercare standards can all vary.
And what if you have complications after you’ve returned home? Are you going to fly all the way back to the same place that caused those issues?
If you were a plastic surgeon in the US, would you take on a patient’s complications that came from a foreign procedure? For liability reasons, you may hesitate to. You wouldn’t know the standards or methods used by the foreign doctor, so taking on their complications would be even riskier than normal.
A small price tag in another country might be tempting, but don’t put your health and safety on the line. Again, if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
You Don’t Have to be a Victim of Botched Plastic Surgery
Plastic surgery may be necessary for you if you were born with a physical defect, developed a physical defect, or suffered an accident. Or you may opt for an elective, cosmetic procedure. Both choices are acceptable and normal, but you need to educate yourself beforehand.
Understand that medical malpractice happens. Do everything YOU can do to avoid it. Don’t become a statistic!
Avoid botched plastic surgery by applying the pointers in this article.