Two cautionary tales illustrating the dangers of seeking discount cosmetic surgery and injectable treatments have recently surfaced in the media, reminding consumers that when prices seem too good to be true, they probably are.
Plastic surgery performed by non-plastic surgeons
The first story, featured by CBS Atlanta, described the near-fatal experience of Kenyatta Brown, an Atlanta-area mother of four who nearly bled to death after seeking breast augmentation with an eye doctor practicing plastic surgery outside his specialty of ophthalmology.
Breast augmentation surgery is relatively routine for board-certified plastic surgeons who perform thousands of these procedures each year, but for a physician who has not completed a plastic surgery residency and has little experience performing plastic surgery, breast augmentation is risky and may produce disastrous results.
It is important to note that medical authorities, such as state licensing boards, do not monitor or restrict specialty practice, so any licensed physician is legally allowed to practice plastic surgery or any other medical specialty regardless of his or her training or experience level.
Unlicensed cosmetic medicine practitioners
In an even more troubling and more recent incident reported by the Orange County Register, 22-year-old Mayra Contreras died after receiving silicone butt injections administered by two sisters running an unlicensed cosmetic medicine clinic out of their San Fernando Valley home.
Since Contreras’s untimely death, the women allegedly responsible have fled to Mexico in an effort to escape arrest.
Contreras didn’t realize she was taking her life in her hands by allowing non-medical personnel to inject her body using silicone, a substance that is already widely known for producing granulomas and other complications, even when administered by a doctor or other qualified medical professional.
Each of these unfortunate cases underscores the fact that medical aesthetics is truly a “buyer beware” industry. Unscrupulous and unqualified practitioners offer deep discounts to lure potential victims with low prices in an effort to cash in on this lucrative industry where upfront payment is the norm.
Before you consider cosmetic treatment prices
To avoid putting your health and aesthetic outcome at risk, research your doctor’s credentials and training, view his or her before and after photos of similar patient cases and get feedback from other patients before undergoing any cosmetic procedure. Make price the last consideration in choosing a doctor to perform your cosmetic enhancement.