Florida Medical Alert: The High Price of Cheap Cosmetic Surgery

the high cost of cheap surgeryDr. Paul Wigoda’s Fort Lauderdale plastic surgery center sees one too many nip and tuck disaster cases, many falling to the category of patients that pay the high price of cheap cosmetic surgery and how much it really costs your health.

Several beauty-gone-wrong cases made the national headlines over the last few months. In New Jersey, six women were injected with silicone used for caulking tubs after seeking out butt enhancement procedures from unlicensed providers. Florida, the cosmetic procedure capital of the nation, has seen its fair share of scandals including one where a transgendered man posing as a fake doctor injected cement and superglue into women’s buttocks.

They say hindsight is 20/20 and many wonder how the victims could fall for such scams. The allure of the cheap price and lack of education are the two primary reasons bad cosmetic procedures happen to good people. If you are thinking of getting some work done, here are three tips for avoiding landing in the hospital:

For Injections, Know the Product –
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is pretty strict about cosmetics that are injected into the body. Only certain products, such as Juvederm, Radiesse, and Botox – are approved for injection into certain body parts. Ask the practitioner what product he or she is using and do your research. Consider it a red flag if the product is not FDA approved (or came from your local hardware store). Walk away from the procedure if the person isn’t able or willing to tell you about the materials he or she is using.

Know the Place
Cosmetic procedures should be performed in a sterile environment such as a doctor’s office or hospital to reduce the risk of infection. Additionally, the practitioner should have access to resources that will help him or her deal with an emergency if something goes wrong. No matter how cheap the price, avoid going to a salon and definitely do not have the procedure done in someone’s home.

Know the Doctor
Anyone performing cosmetic procedures of any kind must be appropriately licensed. Licensing and credentialing means the person has obtained the knowledge and experience required to perform the procedure correctly. The person should be a doctor and preferably, a plastic surgeon. Other medical professionals such as physician’s assistants, registered nurses with appropriate training, or nurse practitioners may have experience with some injectable procedures as well, although they do not perform surgery. Before booking your appointment, ask the practitioner about his or her education and training.

Do your research
Even doctors or nurses with the correct credentials may not be well trained or may have a high rate of complications. In South Florida, discount plastic surgery centers are notorious for hiring doctors who may be qualified on paper, but who have had many patients with severe complications or even deaths. Check out the doctor, and if he or she works at a center as a subcontractor (meaning the doctor doesn’t own the center), check out the center as well. A simple internet search can yield a lot of useful information.