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Statistics show us there is a growth in the number of plastic surgery procedures that are being done by unqualified doctors in the USA, specifically medical personnel not a part of the ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons). An official warning was thus issued in an attempt to let people know that numerous procedures handled by unqualified plastic surgeons lead to the necessity of having another procedure done by a board-certified surgeon who would repair the initial damage. 

Unfortunately, this surge keeps growing in most countries around the world, not just in the US. For instance, Dr. Aditya Aggarwal, Aesthetic, Reconstructive & Plastic Surgery Vice Chairman of Medanta Gurugram declared that regulations are needed so reconstructive and cosmetic procedures would only be performed by qualified professionals. 

Right now, people from all around the world travel to cheaper destinations to get all types of cosmetic procedures done from breast lift surgeries to tummy tucks. 

Statistics released for 2014 showed that in the US there were over 5.8 million different plastic surgery procedures done. This increase was of only 3% from the previous year but the increases was much higher in the following years. 

The big problem is that for numerous cosmetic procedures, it is not illegal to have physicians do them even if they are not certified by a board. Untrained doctors can do them, which can easily lead to making mistakes that would have a huge negative effect for the patient. Untrained doctors can end up making mistakes resulting in injuries, health changes, and even death. 

Common Complications Of Plastic Surgeries

All plastic surgeries carry risks. Many are significant and apply to the very common procedures, like breast augmentations, liposuction, face lifts, and rhinoplasty. This is true even if a competent, qualified physician performs the procedure. The very common complications that can be highlighted are:

  • Scarring
  • Pneumonia
  • Hematoma
  • Infection
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Anesthesia complications
  • Organ damage
  • Perforations
  • Fluid appearing under skin
  • Pulmonary embolism (PE)

Is Board Certification That Important?

Given the United States as an example, the country has 24 specialty boards in medicine that are capable of certifying specialties and subspecialties for physicians. When you want to be certified by the board, you have to undergo extra study and specific specialization for a number of years (this is after medical school is over). A written exam then follows and there are specialties where oral exams are also needed. Right now, the majority of US physicians (85%) are certified by an appropriate board.

Getting back to the subject at hand, most people just trust medical professionals. They do not investigate credentials. This is a very bad thing to do but it will most likely not change in the future since we are naturally tempted to believe our doctors. 

By forcing doctors to be certified to perform plastic surgeries, it is automatically easier for authorities to capture and punish dishonest medical professionals. This in itself could reduce the number of people who would be willing to perform plastic surgeries when they are not qualified for them.