There are a lot of different surgeons who perform cosmetic surgery.
They range from plastic surgeons to general surgeons, ENT surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons and even people who are not surgeons at all such as GPs or dermatologists.
This is not a problem in itself as long as the doctor is working within their scope of practice. It may be that an ENT surgeon will be just as competent to perform a rhinoplasty as a plastic surgeon would. The problem comes when surgeons start working outside of their scope of practice and this is something that The Royal College of Surgeons is trying to address by credentialing surgeons which means they will assess them to make sure they are only working within areas that they have been trained to be competent in.
The problem with this is that first of all it has not been launched yet and secondly, it is a voluntary process so unless you know to ask or check whether your surgeon has the appropriate credentials then
untrained doctors will continue to be able to perform procedures on unsuspecting patients who may not know or feel comfortable to ask the necessary questions.
I am always surprised when I talk to people about some of the topics in my book.
They are shocked when they hear that there are surgeons out there performing breast surgery whose formal surgical training may have been in ENT surgery or accident and emergency surgery. While it might sound unbelievable, it is happening and there is absolutely no law against it.
Unfortunately many surgeons do not make what their area of specialist training is, if it does not fit with the more lucrative cosmetic procedures that they mainly perform. You cannot assume that just because your surgeon is working in a plastic surgery clinic and is talking to you about having breast implants that they are a plastic surgeon or have any specialist training in cosmetic breast surgery.
We are very fortunate that the complication rate of most cosmetic surgery is very low but this allows untrained surgeons to get away with performing surgery on patients.
However, the problem comes when there is a complication or if the patient has a complex problem such as a breast asymmetry or a chest wall deformity.
It is in these situations where a surgeon who has experience of not only cosmetic breast surgery but also reconstructive breast surgery will have the necessary skills and experience to be able to foresee potential problems and tackle any issues that may arise.
Cosmetic breast surgery is not easy. All patients will have some degree of asymmetry to a greater or lesser degree.
It is about identifying this, managing the expectations and knowing when and what to do about it.
It may be putting different size implants in, sometimes to maintain the base width of the implant and different profiles of implants will need to be used in each breast and this requires skill and experience.
It may be the use of internal sutures to redefine the inframammary fold and to ensure that the placement of the implants are accurate.
It may require a combination of a breast lift or possibly surgery to address the chest wall.
This is why I feel it is important to see a specialist for your procedure and to Never Accept A Lift From Strangers.
Here at the Staiano Clinic we are all plastic surgeons who specialise in breast surgery. We love seeing people who have done their research and welcome questions.
If you do not feel that you are in a position where you can ask questions of your surgeon in your clinic then beware.
If you want to know more, then you can get a copy of the 5 Questions To Ask Your Plastic Surgeon here.
If you have any questions, then you can tune in watch Consultant Plastic Surgeon and our Director, Jonathan Staiano on Facebook Live every Tuesday night at 7pm for a live Q&A session. You can join in live or post your questions in advance to email@example.com using the hashtag #AskJJ.
If you want to know more about plastic surgery training and what it takes to become a cosmetic surgeon. Check out Jonathan’s book ‘Never Accept A Lift From Strangers – how to choose the best plastic surgeon for your cosmetic breast surgery’. It is available to buy through our website or on Amazon.