The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has released a new campaign urging patients to check out doctors' qualifications before going under the knife, prompted by a series of reports of botched surgeries.
The campaign entitled White Coat Deception announced on Monday follows a series of reports of botched plastic surgeries from doctors who perform outside of their realm of specialty.
Currently, there is no law in the U.S. stating surgeons must adhere to their sphere of know-how, leading to failed surgeries that can be fatal at times, according to the ASPS.
Patients are getting injured, some are dying during procedures performed by non-board-certified plastic surgeons, said ASPS President Dr. Malcolm Z. Roth in a press release. We want patients to understand what to ask their doctor and what to look for so that they can maximize their chance of a safe and successful procedure.
White Coat Deception is a new public safety campaign, Roth explained, to warn patients to beware that not every doctor who dons a white lab coat is qualified to perform certain types of plastic surgery, if any at all.
Aside from the four states with transparent policies - California, Florida, Louisiana and Texas - any American doctor with a medical license can practice in any medical field, as no law bars them from doing so.
There is a misconception among consumers that as long as a doctor is certified in a medical field that he or she is qualified to practice plastic surgery. This is absolutely wrong and it is dangerous for patients, Dr. Roth said.
The ASPS was prompted by multiple accounts of plastic surgeries gone bad, including testimony from Dinora Rodriguez in California. Rodriguez underwent breast implant surgery from a non-certified doctor which resulted in fused-implants. She also said her eyes, which she can no longer close, were operated on without her consent by the surgeon.
It was a terrible experience waking up from surgery and seeing that this had happened. I didn't know to check my doctor's qualifications and I regret it, Rodiguez told the ASPS.
In line with the White Coat Deception campaign, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons urges patients to inquire about the credentials a doctor has and to verify any certification concerns on the ASPS Web site.