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Paul Nelson reportingWould you go to a plastic surgeon to have brain surgery or for dental work? Well, some patients are having plastic surgery done by doctors in other fields.
Stories of botched plastic surgeries seem to be in the news more frequently lately. For example, Priscilla Presley had deformities from an injection in her face. Rapper Kanye West's mother, Donda, died from complications after a cosmetic procedure.
So, how is it that seemingly wealthy people find doctors who use questionable practices in plastic surgery?
Dr. Dan Sellers said, "It's just a trust issue. They're familiar with this person or they had a friend go to that person and had some good work done."
Sellers is a certified plastic surgeon from the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He says some people are having procedures done by people who aren't plastic surgeons. "There are full-page ads enticing OB-GYNs to come to a one-week course or even a weekend course to become a gynecoplastic surgeon."
Sellers says some people are having plastic surgery performed by oral surgeons, family practitioners, and in some cases, dentists. "They might do a great job. It might work out well, but if you had a complication that would require hospital admission and care, could that individual take care of that problem for you?"
I asked, "What's the answer?" He responded, "No."
In Utah, ear nose and throat doctors can do tummy tucks, gastroenterologists can do face-lifts, and cardiologists can perform breast augmentation.
Utah Medical Association spokesman Mark Fotheringham said, "Legally, if they do have an ‘M.D.' or a ‘D.O.' behind their name, then legally they are allowed to do those things."
Fotheringham says you shouldn't be drawn in by the words "board certified." He says there are many different "boards" out there, and while many are great, others aren't worth the paper the certification is printed on.
"The group that certifies these boards is called the ABMS, the American Board of Medical Specialties. They have a Web site, and you can go on their Web site and look to see if this board that the doctor says he's certified under is an accredited board or not," Fotheringham explained.
However, Fotheringham says doctors would be foolish to perform any procedure where they don't have good training. That would open a floodgate of lawsuits. He says prospective patients should look at the doctor's previous work before agreeing to any plastic procedures.