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PIP Implants and Regulations in Plastic Surgery

PIP Implants and Regulations in Plastic Surgery

CS photo Numerous types of cosmetic surgery and certain cosmetic procedures have become about as commonplace and Americanized as apple pie and hotdogs. Most likely, you know at least a few people who have gone under the knife or needle in the pursuit of physical enhancement. In fact, if you’re like many Americans, you’ve probably considered cosmetic surgery or have even had an aesthetic adjustment of your own. Unfortunately, some patients undergoing cosmetic surgery experience substandard results. Reports of post-surgical nightmares have come to light in many areas of the world, including the United States.

PIP Publicity

Although PIP breast implants have caused worry, patients who do their research and visit a qualified surgeon should feel at ease.

One of the most well known scandals involving recent cases of cosmetic surgery focuses on the PIP breast implant fiasco. This current situation involves silicone breast implants that are suspected of being defective. Manufactured by the Poly Implant Prothése company, or PIP, these substandard implants are the topic of an intense investigation in France; however, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that the implants were not approved for use in the U.S., meaning that American women would’ve had to have augmentation surgery outside of the country, in order to have gotten these defective products.

Cosmetic Surgery Problems
Even though the faulty implants may not be an issue to American citizens, this overseas situation has brought many concerns regarding the safety of cosmetic surgery into the limelight. Stories of nightmare cosmetic surgery results performed in the U.S. include reports of leg paralysis after liposuction , lopsided ears and hanging skin after facelift surgery, and sciatic nerve damage caused by fat-transfer surgery to the buttocks, as well as breathing difficulties during surgery and even death.

Cause for Concern
PIP photo The increasing concern over flawed plastic surgeries may be a direct reflection of the trend towards something known as the “commoditization of cosmetic surgery.” This term refers to the current movement among practitioners and clinics to make cosmetic procedures more affordable for the masses. Cutting back on costs often involves briefer consultations, lack of lengthy medical screenings and inadequate follow-up. Some doctors even practice outside their field of expertise, performing cosmetic procedures when their training is limited to other areas of medicine.

Surgical Governance
The horror stories surrounding cosmetic surgery can have you wondering whether the risks outweigh the benefits. Although some individuals may question whether cosmetic surgery should be banned because of these reports of substandard practices and products, failed plastic surgeries are the exception, not the norm. State accreditation offices oversee the regulations regarding the practice of plastic surgeons. In order for surgical procedures to be performed in an office setting, rather than in a hospital, many states require the facility to comply with specific rules governing cleanliness, infection control, anesthesia, and record-keeping. Many state medical boards also require doctors wishing to expand their practice into the realm of cosmetic enhancements to meet the same educational standards as extensively trained physicians.

Careful Considerations
PIP photo So, how do you avoid the risk of a botched surgery? Start by asking your family physician for referrals. In addition to obtaining a professional referral, the ASPS recommends that you consider the following: • Research your chosen procedure. Do your homework regarding the known risks and benefits.
• Ask about your plastic surgeon’s certifications and memberships. Physicians who belong to organizations such as the ASPS or the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) must comply with stringent guidelines regarding training, experience, and operating facilities.
• Ask your doctor for a complete medical evaluation prior to the surgery.

Banning cosmetic surgery may help reduce unsavory surgical failures, but it would also eliminate the potential for beneficial cosmetic enhancements provided by skilled physicians. Having realistic expectations regarding your procedure and the expected outcome, as well as choosing a certified plastic surgeon, can help ensure that your procedure meets your anticipations.



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