The importance of choosing a qualified plastic surgeon

American Board of Plastic Surgery

Last month’s news covered a slew of patients turning to illegal cosmetic surgery practices, many of them unaware of the dangers in being treated by someone not licensed to practice medicine.

Dr. Larry Nichter of the Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery would like to make prospective patients aware of the dangers of having surgery with someone who is not a surgeon. Patients can risk not only a bad result, but their health or their lives in the hands of someone who is not a licensed and certified plastic surgeon.

In Las Vegas last month, 55-year-old Jing Qu was arrested for operating an underground cosmetic surgery practice. The makeshift operating room was discovered when a neighbor knocked on the door and got a look inside. The woman Qu was performing a facial surgery on could have gone blind. Qu is in jail and is charged with two counts of practicing medicine without a license.

In a highly publicized case, Oneal Ron Morris was arrested in Miami—also for practicing medicine without a license. A woman came to Morris, who was actually posing as a real doctor, seeking buttock enhancement surgery. Morris filled her buttocks with cement, mineral oil, and flat-tire sealant. The truth about the victim’s surgery came to light when she went to the hospital with severe abdominal pains and sores on her buttocks.

There has also been an increasing trend of illegal buttock silicone injections. Plastic surgeons no longer use injectable silicone in any procedures today because of the health risks it poses. Underground practitioners often use silicone purchased from home improvement stores. Kimberly D. Smedley, of Atlanta, was arrested in Washington in October this year for injecting silicone into the buttocks of exotic dancers in a Baltimore hotel.

Many of these patients-turned-victims opted for an underground practice for financial reasons. But these patients often end up paying even more than they would have for a legitimate surgery; the illegal procedures leave them with serious medical problems that require expensive treatment. The risk they take with their health and their lives is not worth it.

At the Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery, our doctors are the polar opposite of the criminals in these news stories. Dr. Nichter is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the highest standard of certification for plastic surgeons. They stand among the most experienced and talented surgeons in the country.

To become a board-certified plastic surgeon, a doctor has to not only complete medical school and a residency, but also a plastic surgery-specific residency as well as intensive further education. In addition, doctors must keep up to date on the latest medical research and techniques in their field.

At the Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery you can expect the highest standard for surgical procedures and medical care.