Dr. Wigoda Comments: Plastic Surgery: Cheaper, Faster, Scarier, USA Today

An excellent review for anyone considering plastic surgery says Florida’s Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Cosmetic surgery is not always pretty. Getting a deal is great if you’re buying shoes or need to fill your pantry with groceries. But there are some things in life where the cheapest price comes with the most consequences. In the realm of plastic surgery, getting the deal of your life could actually cost your life.

USA Today recently published a feature article titled Plastic Surgery: Faster, Cheaper and Scarier about the rise of low cost, high volume cosmetic surgery centers offering popular cosmetic treatments, like liposuction, at a fraction of the price charged by independent surgeons. The article highlights, in graphic detail, the reality that the low prices charged by these discount surgery centers are coming at the cost of medical injury and even death for some patients.

“The article and videos are an excellent review for anyone considering plastic surgery,” said South Florida plastic surgeon, Dr. Paul Wigoda. “Patients should be aware of the risks involved in having cosmetic surgery performed at discount centers with a history of past problems. It’s outrageous that every time these companies are named in articles uncovering patient deaths or medical injuries resulting from their treatment, the only comments made by the center’s attorney is the complication is a rare but well-known potential consequence of the procedure or that their death rate is lower than the national average.”

Every surgical procedure carries risk. Competent surgeons, however, reduce them by properly evaluating patients, using the right tools and procedures, and providing adequate aftercare. Some or all of these things may be rushed or overlooked at discount surgery clinics where (often unnecessary) procedures are sold through high pressure sales tactics and doctors blaze through patients quickly to make more money.

Dr. Wigoda emphasized, “The vast majority of plastic surgeons doing breast augmentations, liposuction, and other cosmetic procedures never have the type of complications noted in the article and will never have a patient death in their entire career. Yet these centers have multiple deaths within a short period of time and claim their death rate is ‘below average’. Often, though, they arrive at their low death rates by exaggerating the number of patients they operated on or by trying to explain away deaths that ‘weren’t their fault’.”

All deaths occurring within 30 days of surgery must be counted in the facility’s mortality rates which puts the mortality rate of many of these cheap plastic surgery clinics well above the national average. Additionally, a high percentage of their patients suffer horrifying medical complications and must have corrective surgery to rectify the botched procedure.

“These centers have a high rate of complications, many of which I have personally seen and taken care of. The care that the patients receive in these centers is often deplorable,” says Dr. Wigoda, “I, and other competent South Florida plastic surgeons, know this because we see these patients after they have had the misfortune of having surgery at these centers. Unfortunately, the countless complications we see are never reported to the state or make it into the newspaper.”

“The problem is this: plastic surgery should not be done as a quick, high volume endeavor. These centers are not making hamburgers like McDonald’s. They are performing irreversible surgery on human beings. Certainly some patients get good results and are happy, but the chance of having a less than ideal outcome is too high. Patients willing to take a chance on their looks and their lives to save a few dollars are playing Russian roulette. Unfortunately, most don’t realize they are playing. They are sold a dream and too often, end up living a nightmare.”