Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Not all states sufficiently regulate cosmetic surgery

Fortunately for Pennsylvania residents, accreditation and licensing is required for a plastic surgeon to provide cosmetic procedures. There are states in which such practitioners will perform such procedures without any training outside of their own particular specialty. This has led to a number of physician related errors.

In Phoenix, for example, three separate patients died after cosmetic surgery was performed upon them by a particular physician. This forced the Arizona legislature to adopt new guidelines concerning the training of doctors in this particular area that plan on performing cosmetic surgery.

Other states are beginning to address this problem where physicians are working in other areas besides those in which they are trained and board certified. Unfortunately, the majority of states do not have such requirements. This has resulted in a number of botched procedures or procedures that have been performed at a substandard level. And it should surprise no one that with the increased prevalence of cosmetic surgery, we are also finding more failed or substandard procedures that could easily have been prevented if the plastic surgeon had complied with their duty of care.

One of the dangers that have come along with surgeons branching off into areas in which they are inexperienced or untrained is that these physicians will market "cheap" alternatives to many of the procedures offered by more practiced physicians. Even spas have offered liposuction procedures along with other beauty treatments without sufficient safety procedures implemented.

Thus patients may leave a state where plastic surgery is fully regulated to have a procedure performed in other states where statutes might not be in place to protect the patient.

Source: USA Today, "States lax in regulating cosmetic surgery," by Jayne O'Donnell, Dec. 28, 2011

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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