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Social media sites have become such an important, influential and essential part of the daily lives of countless millions of people. They can manipulate the information, facts and photos that we see or read resulting in significantly influencing our opinions and affecting the choices that we make. Unfortunately, one of the areas that has been strongly impacted by this has been cosmetic surgery.

And the consequences of being duped into believing that the doctor who you have chosen for your cosmetic surgery is far better, trained, skilled, knowledgeable and ethical than he or she truly is can be quite bad or even disastrous. There are stories all the time in the news about people who have been permanently scarred and disfigured or, even worse, who have died from substandard care.

Many physicians will use terminology or deception to make you think that they are board certified plastic surgeons or an “equivalent” when, in fact, they may be instead anesthesiologists, obstetricians or even cardiologists whose area of training is far different from the realm of plastic surgery.

Some will actually substantially alter (“Photoshop”) their own photos in order to “improve” the outcomes and modify or remove deficiencies to make the results appear acceptable, attractive or changed from their pre-procedure state. There are even practitioners who resort to copying real patient photos from the websites of board certified plastic surgeons and then claim them as their own work in order to appear skilled so as to attract patients.

Instagram is one website where this deception and lack of clarity can be a major issue. A recent study by a researchers at Northwestern University revealed that the vast majority of those who advertise their cosmetic surgery services on this site were not board certified plastic surgeons. In fact, less than 18% of all the postings marketing aesthetic surgery services were actually legitimate plastic surgeons. There were actually dentists, barbers and even hair salons hawking these services. Further compounding the problem was the fact that their postings were far more catchy, aggressive and obvious versus the more sedate ones of true plastic surgeons.

So the moral here is “buyer beware”. Don’t be persuaded or fooled by slick ads or alluring photos into making a foolish decision without doing your due diligence.


Make sure that at minimum the person that you ultimately select to do your cosmetic surgery is a plastic surgeon who is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Of course, this still is no guarantee of results. You should also check patient reviews, try to get references from friends or even your primary care doctor and look at a variety of their photos with a discriminating eye.

And finally – after meeting meet with your potential plastic surgeon, make sure that you are comfortable with him or her on all levels. You should strongly feel that they have you own interests at heart rather than seeing you as a source of additional revenue.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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A Message Regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19

In light of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to let you know of some of the major precautions we are taking in our office to maximize cleanliness and keep the environment as sanitary and safe as possible. Our highest priority is always to ensure the safety of every individual who sees us and we are taking extreme infection-control measures to maintain cleanliness and “sterility” of surfaces and the overall environment.

We will be limiting dates and times for office appointments and consultations due to safety and other issues. Consequently, if you have already made an office appointment or consultation prior to March 18, 2020 to occur at a later time, this may need to be changed.

For anyone considering plastic surgery, we are now offering Virtual Consultations and Telemedicine through Skype. A great number of aesthetic or insurance-related issues can be evaluated via pictures and online video conferencing, making this an excellent way to find out more about particular procedures, determine candidacy for treatment, receive answers to questions and facilitate being able to move forward with care once the government lifts all restrictions.

In an abundance of caution, we are asking all current patients who are experiencing a fever, cough, chills, fatigue or any type of respiratory illness to please delay any upcoming appointments at our practice. We can talk with you by phone or email to establish a new date and time for the appointment.

We are all in this together. Our team urges everyone to follow the guidelines recommended by local health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which include frequent handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds, social distancing, staying home if you are feeling sick, and contacting your healthcare provider if you feel you are experiencing symptoms.

For more information, please read our blog – Coronavirus and You: Important Information

For further updates, please check our blog.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us by phone or email.