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In an article posted on June 21st, I discussed the risks that people take by seeking cosmetic surgery south of the border (Don’t Seek Plastic Surgery South Of The Border). Attempting to save money, too many patients expose themselves to substandard and poorly regulated medical care that results in disappointingly inferior outcomes for the “fortunate”, permanent and irreversible severe scarring and deformities for many or even death for the very unlucky. Expenses for corrective surgery, which doesn’t fully resolve the deformities, can far exceed what the aesthetic procedure would have cost to be performed by a board certified plastic surgeon in the United States.

A variation on this theme involves cosmetic surgery being performed in this country by individuals who are unlicensed, may not even be formally trained or who may be enterprising illegal aliens individuals who exploit their own ethnic community in order to make money. At times, this can be a difficult deception to discern especially for those who are not well educated or at least versed in what to look for or inquire about. These practitioners often lie about their credentials, licensure and experience and may even operate out of a store-front or their home and under the radar.

Such was the case involving two sisters of Mexican descent who were running an illegal cosmetic filler practice in Sylmar, California. Their injection of liquid silicone into the buttocks of a perfectly healthy 22 year old Hispanic female in July lead to her needless death – a horrific but not rare tragedy that can be perpetrated by these illicit operations. The women who performed the injections fled to Mexico.

Deciding where to seek plastic surgery is very important and should be taken seriously – and not just for a breast augmentation, tummy tuck, rhinoplasty or even liposuction – but also for injectables such as Juvederm®, Radiesse® and Botox®. Your decision should be based primarily on qualifications and reputation and then secondarily on price. Though there is never any guarantee of outcome, make sure that the physician that you are considering is either board certified or board eligible by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) which has rigid ethical standards. (I am both board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and am a member of the ASPS.)

If you have any questions regarding my qualification or certifications in plastic surgery or on any cosmetic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule a complimentary consultation with me, please call my office at 480-451-3000.

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

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