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The adage that “you get what you pay for” is very true for a segment of the plastic surgery market. In fact, it can be further modified to state that “you get what you pay for – and less!” What I am referring to is seemingly bargained priced cosmetic surgery that is not being performed by plastic surgeons but instead by those who have had little training and may not have your best interests at heart. These often includes physicians who have not had extensive formal surgical training but instead have taken even just “weekend” courses to learn and earn their way to luxury.

Unfortunately, many patients seeking plastic surgery select their physician based on price or glitzy marketing but neglect to thoroughly investigate their credentials and reputation. I have seen too many patients in consultation who were subjected to considerably substandard cosmetic surgery performed on them often by unscrupulous, greedy and poorly “trained” doctors who deceitfully and dishonestly portrayed themselves as plastic surgeons either overtly or by overwhelming inference.  They may use the term “cosmetic surgeon” as if it is a synonym for a “plastic surgeon” in name and training which it is not. These commonly have included physicians with primary medical training in internal medicine, family practice, gynecology, emergency medicine or general surgery.

The attraction invariably was much lower total prices along with fancy ads. Ironically, many experienced the bait and switch scheme resulting in total expenditures that often far exceeded what they would have paid to have their surgery performed by a reputable, well-trained plastic surgeon. Of course, if you then add in the total costs for corrective surgery (which may never fully reverse the inferior outcome that they were left with) and the final outlay can be multiple times higher.

As a health care consumer, you need to do your homework though it can be daunting and you still can be deceived. Don’t be swayed by marketing, suaveness of the physician or their staff, a luxurious appearing office and low prices as these are often ruses and props used to further deceive you into believing that you will receiving top notch care. It is quite often just the opposite.

Make sure that the doctor that you are considering is residency trained in plastic surgery and board certified or board eligible (this board eligible part can be confusing) by the American Board of Plastic Surgery though this doesn’t guarantee a particular result. It does at least inform you that he or she has received a certain level of training necessary to be able to perform as a competent plastic surgeon.

The often cited and wannabe “American Board of Cosmetic Surgery” is not officially recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties but is instead somewhat of a marketing deception that uses its official sounding name to confuse the public into believing that their “certified” physicians are the equivalent or better than residency trained and board certified plastic surgeons.

Buyer beware!

As most of you already know, I trained in a plastic surgery residency program in Massachusetts and am a board certified plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery which is a recognized board by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

If you would information on any type of plastic surgery that I perform such as breast augmentation surgery, tummy tucks, rhinoplasties and facelifts, you can call my office at 480-451-3000. We would also be happy to schedule a complimentary consultation for you if you so desire.

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

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