SOURCE: American Society of Plastic Surgeons

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

January 06, 2015 12:10 ET

Warning: Not All Doctors Qualified to Do Plastic Surgery

Patient Shares Ordeal, World's Largest Org of Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons Takes Action

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL--(Marketwired - Jan 6, 2015) - Together with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the world's largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons, patients are sharing their stories to warn consumers that not all "doctors" are qualified to perform plastic surgery.

Just in time for New Year's, a time when many people begin considering ways to improve their appearance, ASPS is launching a new public safety campaign designed to help consumers understand how to make informed decisions about plastic surgery.

As more and more stories about plastic surgery nightmares in the hands of unqualified practitioners surface, ASPS says that anecdotally many of their member surgeons are seeing the same, troubling trend. ASPS President Scot Glasberg, M.D. says that members are seeing an increase in requests to "fix" botched surgeries, many of which were originally done by doctors who are not board-certified to perform plastic surgery.

"Plastic surgery is real surgery and patients need to do their homework before they undergo any plastic surgery procedure," says Glasberg. "People spend more time selecting the model and color of a car than they do selecting their plastic surgeon. That needs to change."

ASPS is hoping to change that by raising public awareness by sharing stories like the health ordeal suffered by Nafsika Lourentzatos, a New York City event planner who received silicone breast injections from a non-certified doctor.

"The doctor just promised me the world and beyond. And when you want something so badly, you overlook things and you tend to believe them. I figured the silicone injections were something safe for me to try," said Lourentzatos.

The injections were so dangerous that eventually Lourentzatos needed to have both breasts removed. She is recounting her story in an emotional and revealing video for ASPS as a way to warn other patients.

"I want other women to know that they should do their homework before choosing a doctor because it's so important. I just wish I had done that for myself," she says.

ASPS member surgeon Ron Israeli, M.D. performed Lourentzatos' reconstructive surgeries. He says that her situation, unfortunately, is becoming more common.

"When you see what happens to real people and the kinds of additional surgeries and complications patients have to suffer through, it really sends the message home," says Israeli. "The message that the American Society of Plastic Surgeons is trying to share is that it's critical to do your homework and that there are real people who can suffer significant consequences when they don't."

Tips for verifying your doctor's qualifications:

1) Ask if your doctor is board certified in plastic surgery
2) Look for a certificate in the doctor's office that includes the seal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons
3) Go to www.plasticsurgery.org and click on "Find a Surgeon" to determine if your doctor is listed on the ASPS site. All members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons are required to be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and are required to only operate in accredited facilities.

Lourentzatos' heart wrenching story can be seen at plasticsurgery.org/doyourhomework as part of ASPS's new patient safety campaign.

About ASPS  
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the world's largest organization of board- certified plastic surgeons. Representing more than 7,000 Member Surgeons, the Society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the Society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. ASPS advances quality care to plastic surgery patients by encouraging high standards of training, ethics, physician practice and research in plastic surgery. You can learn more and visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons at PlasticSurgery.org or Facebook.com/PlasticSurgeryASPS or Twitter.com/ASPS_News.

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