Would you trust the neighborhood plumber or an electrician to perform a complicated facelift procedure on you? Of course not! Then why would you trust your family practice doctor or your dentist to inject your face full of Botox to get rid of eye wrinkles?

The results could be unfavorable or worse.

Unfortunately, in ever increasing numbers non-specialist physicians with absolutely no real training or credentials in facial plastic surgery are performing complex procedures without regulation by state or federal government. It’s a sign of the times and of ever-changing insurance coverage and dwindling revenues in which unqualified non-specialists are trying their hand at plastic surgery.

It is not uncommon to find an eye or ear, nose and throat doctor performing subdermal filler injections or a gynecologist doing liposuction on trusting patients. The trend has resulted in numerous malpractice lawsuits and, in some instances, the extreme disfigurement or death of the patient.

So, why then would an otherwise intelligent man or woman entrust to a general practitioner his or her precious face and undergo a questionable cosmetic procedure? One answer is that looks often can be deceiving. Some non-specialists misrepresent themselves. Or the patient just doesn’t bother to ask the physician if he or she is fully trained in cosmetic surgery and is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

When a client allows an unqualified cosmetic surgeon to perform a high-risk procedure such as a facelift or breast augmentation while under local or general anesthesia, that patient is asking for trouble. And the results may severely disappoint.

In any cosmetic surgical procedure there is always the risk of infection, under-correction or over-correction of the facial flaw, permanent scarring, and nerve damage. So, it is critical for a patient planning to undergo cosmetic facial surgery to do their homework and consult with a qualified, board-certified practitioner.

It could save face – not to mention your life.

Dr. Kyle S. Choe is a board certified facial plastic surgeon at The Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Virginia Beach. To learn more about the risks and benefits of cosmetic surgery, call 757.389.5850 for a consultation.