Blog — Notes of a Plastic Surgeon

Welcome to my blog. I am a plastic surgeon in Seattle and have been in private practice since 1991. I've seen more than a few interesting faces and cases through my years spent in the exam room, the operating room and the emergency room. And I have an opinion on just about everything relating to plastic surgery (and a lot of unrelated stuff). If you like my blog, let me know. Thanks for reading! Lisa

Category: Patient Beware


Brazilian Butt Lift – A Dire Warning.

July 19th, 2018 — 9:29am
This is an email I received last week.  I want to share it here.  Please pass it along to anyone who may be considering a Brazilian Butt Lift:

Not worth dying for.

URGENT WARNING TO SURGEONS
PERFORMING FAT GRAFTING TO THE BUTTOCKS
(Brazilian Butt Lift or “BBL”)
This urgent advisory is in response to the alarming number of deaths still occurring from the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL).The Multi-Society Task Force for Safety in Gluteal Fat Grafting (ASAPS, ASPS, ISAPS, IFATS, ISPRES), representing board-certified plastic surgeons around the world, recently released a practice advisory). Additionally, the Task Force is conducting anatomic studies to develop specific technical safety guidelines.Since the release of the practice advisory, deaths from this procedure continue to be reported. The unusually high mortality rate from this cosmetic procedure is estimated to be as high as 1:3000, greater than any other cosmetic surgery.

The cause of mortality is uniformly fatal fat embolism due to fat entering the venous circulation associated with injury to the gluteal veins. In every patient who has died, at autopsy, fat was seen within the gluteal muscle.

In no case of death has fat been found only in the subcutaneous plane.

The Task Force has therefore concluded that: FAT SHOULD NEVER BE PLACED IN THE MUSCLE. FAT SHOULD ONLY BE PLACED IN THE SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE.

If the desired outcome might require another procedure, then manage the patient’s expectations and discuss the possibility of staging (as often done with fat injections, hair transplants, etc.)

IT IS EASY TO UNINTENTIONALLY ENTER THE MUSCLE DURING SUBCUTANEOUS INJECTION.

Therefore, stay mentally focused, alert, and aware of the cannula tip at every moment; be vigilant about following the intended trajectory with each stroke and feel the cannula tip through the skin. Consider positioning that can favor superficial approaches, such as table jackknife. Use cannulas that are resistant to bending during injection and recognize that Luer connectors can loosen and bend during surgery.

The risk of death should be discussed in your informed consent process, along with alternative procedures (such as gluteal implants or autologous flap augmentation).

No published series of BBLs done with intramuscular injections is large enough to demonstrate it can be done without the risk of fat embolism.

The subcutaneous plane has not been linked to pulmonary fat embolism. Until and unless data emerges that intramuscular injections can be done safely, the subcutaneous plane should remain the standard.

Fat injected into the subcutaneous space cannot cross the superficial gluteal fascia and migrate into the muscle; therefore, any intramuscular fat found at autopsy can be concluded to be the result of injection into the muscle.

Surgeons wishing to continue performing this procedure should strictly adhere to these guidelines. The Task Force is actively performing anatomic studies. and more specific technical guidelines will be forthcoming. We need to dramatically improve patient safety with this procedure through careful technique, or reconsider whether the procedure should still be offered. Patient safety is the number one goal of board certified plastic surgeons across the globe.

Sincerely,

 

Dan Mills, MD
Gluteal Fat Grafting Task Force co-chair
J. Peter Rubin, MD
Gluteal Fat Grafting Task Force co-chair
Renato Saltz, MD
Gluteal Fat Grafting Task Force co-chair
Co-Chairs
Multi-Society Task Force for Safety in Gluteal Fat Grafting* The information in this Advisory Statement while setting forth the strong recommendations of the Task Force, should not be considered inclusive of all methods of properly performing buttock augmentation with fat transfer or as a statement of the standard of care or as a mandate to strictly follow the recommendations of the Task Force.This Advisory Statement is not intended to substitute for the independent professional judgment of the treating plastic surgeon nor for the individual variation among patients.The Members of the Multi-Society Task Force and the participating societies assume no responsibility or liability for injury arising out of any use of the information contained in this Advisory Statement.** The Inter-Society Gluteal Fat Grafting Task Force represents leading clinical plastic surgery societies, including the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), and the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS). Additionally, two scientific societies, the International Society of Plastic & Regenerative Surgeons (ISPRES) and the International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics and Science (IFATS) are represented and provide scientific support. The efforts of the Task Force build upon a foundation of important work by the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF), the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Regenerative Medicine Committee, and the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) Patient Safety Committee. The Task Force is an unprecedented collaborative effort to address a major patient safety concern, investigate factors that lead to increased risk with gluteal fat grafting, perform scientific studies to improve safety, and educate plastic surgeons.

 

I have been a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) for many, many years and do not recall any advisory with the strong wording of this one.  I abandoned intramuscular injection a couple of years ago when the news of deaths from this procedure came trickling in.  I suspect all ASPS and ASAPS members will follow this advisory.  My concern is that many surgeons who do this procedure are not board certified plastic surgeons and therefore not eligible for ASPS and ASAPS membership.  I hope they get this message and change their techniques.  I have seen a few Instagram posts and videos of butts being pumped up to the max that make my head spin and my backside ache.  The only true way to put this dangerous procedure in the rear view mirror is for patients to stop asking for it.  There are docs (and non-docs) out there who will do just about anything if the patient is willing to take the risk.  That Kim Kardashian butt is not worth dying for!

Thanks for reading and please follow me on Instagram @sowdermd and @breastimplantsanity.  

Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

Body Contouring, Fat Injection, Patient Beware, Patient Safety

The truth about plastic surgery chains.

March 22nd, 2018 — 9:57am

I came across this well written article by plastic surgeon Jennifer Greer on www.Kevinmd.com.  I think it provides some good information about plastic surgery chains like Lifestyle Lift (out of business for a few years now) and SonoBello which appears to be expanding.  If you haven’t heard the SonoBello jingle you must never listen to the radio.  According to a recruiting letter I received from them today, SonoBello spends $75K – $100K per month on TV infomercials, radio ads and internet marketing in each market.  That is one ginormous advertising budget!  Anyway I don’t work for any of these chains mainly because I think they provide less personalized and inferior care compared to a private office like my own and I have a visceral disgust of high-pressure sales tactics.  Oh, and I’ve reviewed the records of three SonoBello deaths in the Pacific Northwest, one for a news organization and two for attorneys.   Anyway, the author of this article works both for herself and for a couple of years worked for a chain that sounds like SonoBello.  Here is her advice to prospective patients based on her experience.

One day? Really? I don’t think there is a single procedure I do where patients look their best after one day.

 Over 17 million cosmetic surgery and minimally invasive procedures were performed in the U.S. in 2016. With the increasing popularity of cosmetic procedures, it seems nearly everyone is out to get a bite of the apple.

Cosmetic surgery chains are growing in size and popularity in an attempt to cash in on this market. Examples include: LifeStyle Lift in the U.S., which declared bankruptcy in 2015 and Transform in the U.K. With this growing popularity, consumers should ask themselves whether having surgery at a cosmetic surgery chain is a good idea. Today, I’m going to explain what to look for during your cosmetic surgery consultation and what you should stay far away from.

The first red flag to watch out for is high-pressure sales tactics. If you check websites such as ConsumerAffairs.com and the Better Business Bureau, you’ll find this is a common complaint about cosmetic surgery chains. High-pressure sales tactics may include:
  • Requiring you to put money down before you ever meet a physician.
  • Pressuring you to make a decision that day.
  • Insisting on applying for a loan at your initial consultation.
  • Offering a special “limited time” discount.

High-pressure sales can occur at both a private practice and at a cosmetic surgery chain. Regardless of where you encounter them, they are a huge red flag. As a consumer, you want a doctor who is focused on providing the best care possible, not on meeting a revenue goal. Focusing on money over patient care can lead to some scary medical decisions, like operating on people who really aren’t healthy enough to have surgery.

The second red flag to watch out for is misleading statements about pain during and after surgery. LifeStyle Lift had many complaints that their advertising gave the impression the procedure was quick and the recovery painless. In reality, the procedure lasted three hours or longer, and the downtime afterward was about two weeks. When you see a surgeon for a consultation, she or he should tell you what the average experience is like, as well as best and worst-case scenarios for recovery time. If this part is glossed over in your consultation, alarm bells should be going off in your head.

The third red flag you should watch out for is a surgery center or physician that only offers a very limited number of procedures. The center I worked at did liposuction, but no tummy tucks or skin removal. So if you were looking for a flatter stomach, they would only be able to offer you liposuction, even if you would get a better result with a tummy tuck. This is where the high-pressure sales comes into play again as well; if you have a sales person who needs to meet sales goals, that person is highly motivated to sell you his or her product, regardless of whether it’s actually the best option for you.

The fourth and final red flag to watch out for is the safety of the facility. Hospitals have the strictest oversight for patient safety, followed by surgery centers. But if surgery is performed with only oral medication, it can legally be done in an office that has no type of accreditation. This doesn’t mean having surgery isn’t necessarily safe, but you do want to ask what happens if there is an emergency, and how the staff are trained to deal with that. You also want to ask your surgeon if he or she has privileges to do your surgery in a hospital; non-plastic surgeons usually cannot get privileges to perform cosmetic surgery procedures such as liposuction in a hospital because they don’t have the training. If your surgeon only operates in an office or surgery center, this is a red flag that he or she is not board-certified in plastic surgery.

In my experience working for a cosmetic surgery chain, I was able to give patients some fantastic results. And I myself had a safe procedure by a surgeon I trust. But I think there is a huge difference in the mindset between a physician in private practice and a corporation. Physicians go into medicine because we want to help people, first and foremost.

Corporations exist to make money. Although there are certainly exceptions in both groups, I hope you can use the information I’ve given you to ensure you have a safe surgery experience wherever you go.

Jennifer Greer is a plastic surgeon and can be reached at Greer Plastic Surgery and on Twitter @greerplastics.

Thank you Dr. Greer for giving us a little inside view and some very good advice.  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

Body Contouring, Liposuction, Patient Beware, This Makes Me Cranky.

Silicone injections are deadlier than ever.

March 13th, 2018 — 2:34pm

Silicone has quietly become beauty’s own modern-day scourge. Here’s what you need to know about the infamous injectable.

From Haper’s Bazaar, January 30, 2018 by

We often write about—and unapologetically enjoy receiving—popular cosmetic injections, like line-relaxing Botox and hyaluronic acid fillers. Thankfully for our foreheads and lips, the FDA has deemed these injectables safe and effective. And we trust our board-certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons to administer these treatments 100 percent appropriately.

Marilyn Reed is spending 8 years in prison for her buttock enhancements done with industrial grade silicone and a calking gun. Her patients didn’t get off so easily.

But a disturbing number of news reports have surfaced detailing unlicensed providers injecting all kinds of life-threatening stuff—from industrial silicone to lamb fat—with the goal of Kardashianizing women on the cheap. The FDA issued a safety alert late last year warning the public of the catastrophic risks involved with liquid silicone injections in particular.

All over the country, “people are dying from these shots,” said Beverly Hills liposuction surgeon Aaron Rollins, echoing statements in the FDA alert. Silicone, a permanent synthetic substance, is not FDA-approved for cosmetic purposes, but since it was greenlighted in the 1990s for certain uses in ophthalmology (serious stuff, like retinal detachment), injecting it into the skin to plump and fill lips, breasts, and butts is technically considered “off-label”—i.e. not illegal.

Still, the insidious goo is an infamous troublemaker. “I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole,” adds Rollins. “It may look good at first, but over time, the body forms scar tissue around it, so the injected area keeps growing and growing, as the silicone weaves its way into your tissues, becoming lumpy and hard, and nearly impossible to remove.”

Subtract an experienced injector from the equation, and silicone goes from dicey to deadly. “You hear about these so-called pumping parties at hotels, where unlicensed doctors visiting from other countries are injecting patients with massive doses of silicone,” says Dr. Clyde Ishii, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). “They’re literally buying it from Home Depot or Lowe’s,” he explains, “because it’s so much cheaper and easier to get than medical-grade silicone.” To lower their cost even more, some of these unlicensed doctors mix in toxic filler-type materials, like cement and motor oil, says Miami dermatologist Manjula Jegasothy. “Even in Beverly Hills,” notes Rollins, “there are people using caulk guns to inject stuff into women’s bodies, and tragic things are happening.”

It’s not uncommon for these unlicensed practitioners—inexperienced with human anatomy—to inadvertently shoot silicone into a blood vessel. And when they do, it can travel to the heart or lungs, blocking blood flow, and causing sudden heart attacks and strokes. The risk is especially high when injecting the vascular buttocks. Yet, for some, silicone’s price tag is just too good to pass up. According to Atlanta plastic surgeon Wright Jones, “Silicone butt injections may cost a tenth of the price of a legal gluteal enhancement using one’s own fat”—which is currently regarded as the most effective way to boost a backside. A Brazilian Butt Lift, using liposuction and fat transfer, can cost upwards of $10,000.

In light of the recent wave of silicone horror stories, and with butt augmentation fast becoming one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the U.S., not to mention a burgeoning business for untrained injectors, the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (a division of ASAPS) felt compelled to publish a safety protocol for gluteal fat grafting in the current issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

That’s not to say fat is the only safe solution for a shapeless bottom. Many dermatologists and surgeons do use FDA-approved cosmetic fillers “off-label” here— to either produce an immediate, yet temporary, lift from hyaluronic acid gels; or a gradual, long-term improvement from the collagen-stimulating Sculptra (which is currently only approved to soften the appearance of nasolabial folds). But such shots can be wildly expensive.
Which brings us back to silicone and its unfortunate recipients, many of whom are millennials, says Jones. At age 22, Heather*, a model in Los Angeles, visited a Koreatown medical spa for silicone butt injections. “I was booked to do a big photo shoot, and wanted my bum to look perkier,” she says.

About six months later, she noticed several golf ball-size lumps in her bottom, a common side effect of silicone. On the advice of a trusted friend, Heather says she went to see Rollins, who was able to camouflage the hills and valleys by liposuctioning fat from her arms and injecting it into her butt—an $8,000 fix.

Lips have long been another hot spot for silicone. Tired of having to draw on a juicer pout each morning, Madeline paid $50 to have her lips injected with silicone in a salon basement in Queens when she was 26 years old. Now 40, she says, “I feel like I messed up my mouth for the rest of my life.”

The size and shape of her lips change daily, often with the weather. “Usually in summer [the silicone] lays okay, but in the colder months, it moves around a lot, and concentrates in one area, bulging out.” To have her smile repaired will cost roughly $10,000, she’s been told, and surgeons can’t promise a total improvement.

Cosmetic injections should only be performed by board-certified dermatologists or plastic surgeons. If your injector is not, ask thorough questions about their training and experience. How many years have they been injecting patients? What formula are they using? If you’ve found the injector through a bargain website or coupon—the deal is likely too good to be true. The bottom line: Heed the warnings. “Don’t allow silicone into your body—ever,” says Rollins. At best, “you’ll be buying a problem for the rest of your life.”

Now a word from Dr. Sowder:  The above article is very well written and is not, I repeat, is not alarmist.  People are dying from these injections and others are being maimed for life.  I have taken care of a couple of ladies who had silicone injected into their breasts in Asia and cleaning this up is such a mess.  Whenever I hear about another silicone injection disaster, usually done by a non-physician in some hotel room, I just shake my head.  I mean, really, how dumb can you be?  I do not endorse blaming the victim but in cases like this I think the person allowing a charlatan to inject their butt or breast with silicone bears some responsibility.  Those on the other end of the calking gun need to go to jail and many in fact have.  The lesson here is that you get what you pay for.

Kudos to Ms. Edgar for a cautionary tale and to Harper’s for publishing it.  Thanks for reading and don’t let anyone get near you butt or breast with a calking gun!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

 

Body Contouring, General Health, Patient Beware, Patient Safety, Plastic Surgery, This Makes Me Cranky.

Will the real plastic surgeon please stand up.

November 1st, 2017 — 1:31pm

Is he certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? It would be in a patient’s best interest to check!

Real Seattle Real Plastic Real Surgeon blogs about the difference between a real plastic surgeon and a wannabe.

I participate in a physician only message and discussion board called Sermo.  Lately there have been many discussions about the dangers of plastic surgery performed by doctors who are either poorly trained or, in some cases, not trained at all in surgery.  These doctors may be trained in pediatrics, ophthalmology, family practice, radiology, OB-gyn or even occupational medicine.  The things these doctors do have in common is that they have not completed formal and rigorous training in plastic surgery and they do not have hospital privileges for plastic surgery.  They do their procedures under local anesthetic (this way they do not have to have their facility inspected or accredited) and they don’t know what they don’t know.   It’s that “don’t know what they don’t know” that really scares me.  It should also scare you.

Before signing up for surgery, check to make sure your doctor has hospital operating privileges and is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery – the only plastic surgery board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.  Accept no substitute!

Thanks for reading, Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Follwow me on Instagram @sowdermd and @breastimplantsanity.

Patient Beware, Plastic Surgery

Continuity of Care – A Great Value!

August 31st, 2017 — 1:55pm

Seattle Plastic Surgeon implores patients not to fall for “Botox on Sale”.

Occasionally I have patients come in for Botox or fillers who have flitted around from doctor to doctor looking for the “best price”.   I hear statements like  “the last Botox didn’t work” , “the Restylane didn’t last”, “I’m not sure what she used but I didn’t like it”, and this is my favorite, “it was on sale but it didn’t last”.

This flitting around in search of a “deal” makes it very hard for a hardworking plastic surgeon (moi, for example) to figure out what, where and how much injectable to inject.  In my practice, we keep very accurate records of all of the above so I can judge what works best for any given patient.   And believe me, every patient is different.

Sometimes I think just because it is “cosmetic”,  patients don’t take these treatments seriously enough.  I cannot imagine anyone shopping around for the “best” price on, say, steroid injections into a bum shoulder or the “best” price for an hour of psychotherapy!

Usually continuity of care provides the best value of all, even if the prices are not bargain basement.  So for injectables, find a good doctor and stick (nice pun, huh?) with him/her.

Thanks for reading and follow me on Instagram @sowdermd and @breastimplantsanity.  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

General Health, Non-invasive, Patient Beware, Plastic Surgery, Skin Care

A victory for truth-in-advertising.

September 11th, 2015 — 4:22pm

 

Appeals court affirms previous victory for Utah Society, ASPS, ABPS truth-in-advertising efforts

blog cosmetic surgeons

The 10th District U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver, Colo., on Aug. 31 upheld the September 2013 dismissal of a lawsuit filed by an ENT and oral surgeon against the Utah Plastic Surgery Society (UPSS), ASPS, the American Board of Plastic Surgery – as well as 19 individual plastic surgeons – which had contended that patient-safety education advertisements amounted to monopolistic efforts and messaging that caused direct financial damage to the non-plastic surgeons.

The appellate court decision provides another victory for patient safety and organized plastic surgery, while also serving as implicit validation of the ASPS “Do Your Homework” public-education campaign to improve patient safety.

The plaintiffs claimed in the original complaint that the Utah Society’s advertising – specifically billboards posted along one of Utah’s main interstate highways, as well as media interviews modeled after the “Do Your Homework” campaign – were in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and amounted to false advertising claims in violation of the Lanham Act. The plaintiffs asserted that the campaign was deceptive by indicating that cosmetic surgery is safer when performed by plastic surgeons rather than cosmetic surgeons.

The Appeals Court concluded late last month that the plaintiffs failed to show any plausible antitrust or deceptive advertising violation, and it affirmed the previous ruling in favor of UPSS, ASPS, ABPS and the individual plastic surgeons named in the lawsuit.

“This decision further confirms the value and importance of our efforts to instill public awareness on the distinctions between ABPS-certified plastic surgeons and lesser-trained physicians who present themselves as similarly skilled,” says UPSS President Brian Brzowski, MD. “We were helped tremendously by ASPS through its early financial and material support and its guidance in crafting the overall ‘Do Your Homework’ effort.”

“Despite the hurdles we have had to cross in dealing with the lawsuit, I was always supremely confident that we would prevail in promoting safe plastic surgery in Utah and beyond,” adds UPSS immediate-past President Trenton Jones, MD. “This public-safety education campaign was modeled largely after the ASPS campaign, so it’s a victory for organized plastic surgery and a huge win for the Utah Society.”

“We’re pleased that the legitimacy of the public-education efforts of UPSS and ASPS have been recognized yet again by the federal court,” says ASPS President Scot Glasberg, MD. “We applaud the Utah Society for taking a stand for patient safety and our specialty – and we welcome any local, state or regional society to confer with the leaders of the ASPS Public Education Campaign to raise awareness and promote patient safety in their states and localities.”

ASPS acknowledges Dr. Brzowski, Dr. Jones and the Utah Plastic Surgery Society for their efforts to both bring the ASPS “Do Your Homework” campaign to their state, and for defending patient-education efforts.

Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

Patient Beware, Patient Safety, Plastic Surgery

Modern Day Snake Oil

February 4th, 2015 — 10:29am

Modern Day Snake Oil

blog snake oil

Hey Darlin’. How about a little St. John’s Wort for those post-partum blues?

I was shocked, shocked! to read the recent New York Times article about the “health” supplement industry.  Check out the article here if you want to but here is the abbreviated version:

The New York State attorney general had an independent agency test the ingredients of a variety of supplements sold by large retailers like Target, GNC, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.  The results are almost unbelievable.  Eighty percent (80%!!!!!!!!!) of the supplements tested had zero, nada, zilch of the ingredient on the product label.  They did have a bunch of other stuff like grass, compost and rice in them.

You ask, “how can this be?”   Since these products are labeled as supplements, they are not under the scrutiny of the F.D.A.  They require no scientific trials or testing or proof of safety or efficacy.  Crazy, huh?  People are spending a bajillion dollars on this crap.  In fact, most of my patients take supplements of one sort or another.  And that really rips me because they could have saved their money for plastic surgery!

Thanks for reading and if you have any of this stuff in your medicine cabinet, I would take it back to the place of purchase and demand a refund.   Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

General Health, Patient Beware

Dr. Oz- say it isn’t so.

December 22nd, 2014 — 4:55pm

I do believe in Santa.  Dr. Oz?  Not so much. Blog  Dr. OZ

Okay, I have never seen his TV show but I do read his column in O Magazine every month and more often than not, I think to myself – really, how can you know that Dr. Oz?????  You see he makes these big proclamations like: if you eat blueberries, you won’t get Alzheimer’s disease.   And my scientific mind starts thinking about the kind of research it would take to prove that.  Lets see – get 10,000 50 year olds and make half of them eat blueberries every day and then do brain biopsies on them when they are 65 to see if they have the plaques and tangles seen in Alzheimer’s disease.   Ready to sign up for that one?   That study has never been done and never will be done.  Nor have or will a bajillion studies necessary to back up what Dr. Oz spews as medical fact.

Well, yesterday I had my sneaking suspicion confirmed that all of his spewing was mostly malarkey.  Check out this article in the LA Times.   Seems that only 11 % of what comes out of Dr. Oz’s mouth has any basis in reality and the rest, well, I guess he just makes it up as he goes.  Okay, okay.  He is an honest-to-God heart surgeon so I’m sure he knows a lot about hearts but geeze, all of this other stuff?   Methinks someone just feeds him the lines and he spews them and gets away with it because he looks so hot in surgical scrubs.

Thanks for reading and my blog might not meet the highest standard of scientific inquiry, but it’s mostly true stuff most of the time!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder.

 

 

Patient Beware

Another fake top surgeon racket.

October 28th, 2014 — 2:28pm
blog top breast surgeon

You too, for some $$$, can hang one of these on your wall. No qualification necessary. Just $$$. You can send an email to daniel@americastopbreastsurgeons.com to arrange for payment.

Yet another bogus TOP DOC award I could hang on my wall but won’t. 

Here is the cut and paste of an email I received today from one Daniel Singh.

“You Have Been Nominated – Join the Top Breast Surgeons in America

Only 5 Plastic Surgeons will be chosen per state to be showcased
www.AmericasTopBreastSurgeons.com

Please reply back to this email and we will have detailed information sent to you regarding this exciting opportunity to showcase your practice as one of the Best of the Best in Breast augmentation and reconstruction.

Thank you for your time in advance.
www.AmericasTopBreastSurgeons.com

AmericasTopBreastSurgeons.com is not a credentialing organization.  It is not a surgery association.  It is nothing but a website to promote their bogus awards that are sold to doctors to display in their offices to impress unsuspecting patients.   Do I seem cranky today?  I am because this kind of nonsense makes me cranky.  Check out this blog for more of Cranky Dr. Sowder.
Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

 

Patient Beware, This Makes Me Cranky.

Is your plastic surgeon’s in-office OR certified? You should ask!

June 27th, 2014 — 1:20pm

Seattle Plastic Surgeon is off to Spokane to inspect an in-office operating for the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc.  (AAAASF)

cc inspector

Inspector Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

I am off to my hometown, Spokane, this weekend both to visit family but also to inspect the in-office operating room of one of Spokane’s plastic surgeons for AAAASF.  I’ll be snooping around and looking not only at the facility’s physical space and equipment and medical supplies, I will be scrutinizing their policies and procedures, staff education and certification and looking through about a dozen patient charts.  It’s a very comprehensive evaluation for what is considered by many (me included) the Gold Standard in Accreditation.

One very important thing that sets AAAASF apart from some other accreditation authorities is that AAAASF not only looks at the facility and patient care, they look closely at surgeon qualifications.

In many states including Washington State, anyone with an MD license can play surgeon.  In fact, all MD  licenses from the Washington State Department of Health state “Physician and Surgeon” even if the MD has not set foot in an operating room since medical school.  There are no restrictive “scope of practice” laws in Washington.  Crazy, huh?  Oh, and a little scary.

Fortunately AAAASF thinks that surgery should be performed by surgeons, meaning those of us who have formal training and board certification in surgery.  AAAASF even requires that the procedures done in an in-office OR be within the scope of practice of the surgeons board certification.  And by board certification they mean a board which is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and not some self-designated board.  The American Board of Plastic Surgery is recognized by ABMS whereas the self-designated American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is not.

Also, AAAASF requires that the surgeons using the in-office OR have hospital operating privileges for the procedures performed in the in-office OR in an accredited hospital within 30 minutes of the in-office OR.  It may be shocking to some, but some franchise cosmetic surgery businesses fly non-plastic surgeons in from out of state  to do liposuction for a few days and fly them back home.

So if you are looking into having a procedure done in an in-office operating room, it would be prudent to check to see if they are accredited by AAAASF.  If they aren’t, why not???

Thanks for reading and be sure to do your homework!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

 

Government and Politics, Patient Beware, Patient Safety, Plastic Surgery

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