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Unlicensed Surgeons – What to Look Out For?

unlicensed surgeons

There’s been a rash of news stories lately about people who have suffered life-threatening medical complications as a result of visiting an unlicensed surgeon. While this is nothing new, it serves as a reminder of just how dangerous plastic surgery and non-invasive treatments are when they aren’t performed in the office of a licensed plastic surgeon.

The trouble with finding a reputable surgeon is that the non-licensed ones will often use aggressive marketing tactics and take advantage of the unsuspecting public. We’re going to take a look at the various things that you should consider to avoid an unlicensed surgeon:

Research the Credentials of the Surgeon

One of the biggest giveaways of an unlicensed surgeon is their lack of credentials. Research the doctor by asking them what their credentials are and which organizations they belong to. Look for surgeons who are Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

This means that they have undergone the rigorous training, education, and residency required by this prestigious institution. Another clue are the various medical organizations they are—or aren’t—a member of.

For example, in addition to being a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Adams also a member of the: American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), member and Past President of ASERF (Aesthetic Society Education and Research Foundation).

The Consultation 

Before you undergo a non-invasive procedure or other surgical treatment, a qualified  surgeon should require a face-to-face consultation. Now is the best time to ask them about their qualifications and such other questions as:

  • “How many of these procedures or surgeries a year do you do?”
  • “Are you board-certified?
  • “What is the overall success rate?”
  • “What will my recovery be like?”

When it comes time to make a decision, trust your gut instinct. If the surgeon starts getting a bit squirrely, defensive, or quickly changes the subject when you ask them if they’re board-certified, this is probably an indicator that you need to keep researching.

A board-certified plastic surgeon will be open with his credentials, organizational memberships, and have zero trouble answering any of your questions. They’re there to help you look your very best and have your personal safety in mind.

Cheap Cost

So-called surgeons or medical spas that offer Groupon discounts or other procedures at a severe discount are another huge red flag. No self-respecting surgeon is going to run a Facebook special to attract new clients. Their stellar reputation and referrals from satisfied patients are all that they need to attract new business.

The rise of injectables, or non-invasive surgery, has opened the door for many unqualified surgeons to try and take advantage of the unsuspecting public. They will sometimes operate out of a decrepit strip mall office, or in other cases in the garage or living room of their apartment!

There’s a reason why plastic surgery costs what it does—you’re getting the services of a highly trained and skilled professional who has dedicated a good portion of their adult life towards their medical education and training. In short, cheap procedures yield cheap results. You want to look your very best—why take the risk to save a few dollars?

Examine Their Website

Look at the biography section of the website and try to confirm the information that they’re telling you. Often, fly-by-night surgeons will leave this section blank. A good plastic surgeon will want to share his credentials and experience with the public.

Look at the blog on the website as well. While this isn’t a reliable indicator of whether or not they’re an excellent surgeon, a well-maintained and recently updated blog is a sign that they’re putting effort into their site—and care about their medical practice. 

Keep in mind that anyone can build a website—you don’t need a medical degree to create one. However, a good-looking website with lots of updated content and relevant information that promotes their practice can tell you a lot about the surgeon you’re considering.

Ask for Clarification 

An unlicensed surgeon might start to get jittery or defensive when you ask about such things as benefits, risks, and potential complications. A board-certified surgeon will gladly take the time to explain the procedure and the various risks or complications.

If the person you’re talking to tells you, “everything is going to be fine, there’s nothing to worry about,” this should be a massive red flag that something isn’t right. While plastic surgery procedures performed by a board-certified surgeon have an excellent track record, medical complications can and sometimes do occur—owing to each person’s own personal medical history. 

A qualified surgeon will also ask you about your medical history, any allergies, and other issues that could potentially increase the risk of complications. If the surgeon feels that you’re at risk of complications due to your medical history, they will have no problem informing you of their concerns.

Board-Certified Surgeon in Dallas

By diligently performing research and considering the above five examples, you can help avoid the risk of getting the surgery done by an unlicensed surgeon. If you’re ready to schedule a consultation, give the offices of Dr. Adams a call at (214) 965-9885 or contact us via our website.

Dr. Adams is a Board-Certified surgeon who is also a member of several prestigious medical organizations. He’s also an Associate Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He will be more than happy to sit down with you, discuss your concerns, and offer his expert advice.


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