Plastic surgery is a growing field and an increasing number of practitioners are offering various cosmetic procedures. Because of the personal nature of plastic surgery and its desired outcomes, it is crucial to find the right professional to perform the procedure. Thorough research can help ensure that doctors have the proper certification for the necessary procedure and patients obtain the results they want.
Plastic surgery is a broad term that is often used to describe any number of plastic, reconstructive, or cosmetic procedures, despite the differences between the three types. Although sometimes these procedures do address a medical condition, most are considered elective. For example, breast reconstruction following a mastectomy, which is considered plastic surgery, and breast augmentation, a cosmetic procedure, would be paid for out of pocket because they are not medically necessary.
Not All Certifications Are Created Equal
Laws vary by state, but many doctors are permitted to perform surgical procedures by their medical license. Doctors can take seminars or weekend courses on new procedures, but to become an expert requires a much more thorough education. There are many organizations, like the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, that may sound like accrediting institutions, but are membership organizations that do not offer any kind of qualification in certain medical procedures.
Patients researching plastic surgery practitioners should look for credentials from two certifying boards: the American Board of Plastic Surgeons and the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Both require extensive surgical training, including a one-year plastic surgery residency, before doctors can become certified in plastic or cosmetic surgery. It is important to consult a physician who is both certified and experienced in the procedure needed. If a patient wants a breast augmentation, they should go to someone who performs them regularly to avoid surgical errors.
There is an overlap between cosmetic surgery and other surgical fields, as procedures can serve more than one function. For example, an otolaryngologist, someone who specializes in conditions affecting the ear, nose, and throat, may perform a rhinoplasty that reshapes a patient’s nose, but also improves their breathing. That physician may have the expertise needed to perform a nose surgery, but may not be certified in other procedures.
Licensed Facilities Decrease Risk of Surgical Error
Another important factor in finding the right practitioner is the facility. Outpatient surgical centers or physicians’ private offices are acceptable if the locations have the proper certification by a legitimate accrediting institution, such as the Joint Commission. When in doubt, patients should ask whether the procedure can be performed at a nearby hospital. Hospitals have strict training requirements that a doctor must meet to be granted privileges to practice there.
New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Advocate for Surgical Error VictimsIf you or a loved one has suffered injury following plastic surgery, call the New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP. Whether your physician intentionally misled you about their credentials or physician negligence was a factor, our knowledgeable and experienced lawyers will fight tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. With offices conveniently located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, we help victims of surgical errors throughout New Jersey. Call us today at 732-777-0100 or contact us online for a free consultation.