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Non-board Certification: The Risks In Plastic Surgery

In recent years it has become more and more common for physicians to perform procedures such as breast augmentation who are not board certified in plastic surgery.  Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for physicians like gynecologists or trauma surgeons to carry out liposuction or breast enhancement surgeries.  The most extreme case in the last six months involves an Arizona internal medicine physician sentenced to 25 years in prison after three patients died due to complications that would not have occurred or that could have been overcome had a physician board certified in plastic surgery been attending the patient.  Why some physicians go beyond the scope of their education, training and specialization to perform plastic surgery procedures is speculative.  However, because most plastic surgery procedures are not covered by health insurance, thereby requiring patients to pay out of pocket before surgery, an argument can be made these physicians are looking for financial incentives.  Therefore, before you or a loved one decide on a surgeon, it’s imperative to find the one that is most qualified to perform the procedure.  Some patients merely accept that a valid license to practice medicine in Texas and the mere mention of “board certification” means the physician is qualified.  Others may feel comfortable if they see or hear that a physician is a member of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, but this organization is not recognized by the American Medical Association – the physician governing organization that recognizes all medical specialties.  There are hundreds upon hundreds of physicians in Houston who hold themselves out as those who can perform plastic surgery procedures, but not all of them are board certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons with high levels of experience.  There are also numerous plastic surgeons in Houston who meet the high standards of the ASPS, recertify on a routine basis, and who have decades of experience.  One of those surgeons is Michael Eisemann, M.D. of The Eisemann Plastic Surgery Center.

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