No matter how much or how little money you have, it’s almost impossible to resist the allure of a good deal. Perhaps that’s why websites like Groupon and Living Social have become so popular. But just because something is cheap doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe.
You may have noticed that cosmetic and plastic surgery treatments from injections to liposuction are available on these sites. Now, experts are cautioning potential customers to do their research before purchasing these deals. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) particularly cautions against these types of deals: liposuction, laser upper eyelid lift and Lasik surgery.
ASAPS says you should always ask the following before undergoing any type of surgery (and we agree):
1. Are you a qualified candidate?
2. Are you going to a doctor that is board-certified in their specialty?
3. Is the facility safe and licensed?
4. Are your expectations realistic?
5. Are you aware of potential complications?
Many experts emphasize the importance of going to a doctor who is also certified in his or her specialty. After all, a dermatologist may be a doctor, but that doesn’t mean he is qualified to perform a face-lift.
Some states have taken note of this importance and have passed laws to help people make better informed decisions concerning plastic surgery. For example, a new Maryland law requires physicians to list both their area of certification, as well as the board that certified them.
"An educated patient is an empowered patient," says Hagerstown, MD, plastic surgeon Henry Garazo, MD. "After years of confusion and delay, Maryland patients will now know if a 'cosmetic surgeon' is a real plastic surgeon. Given the recent rise in popularity of plastic surgery, many non-plastic surgery-trained physicians have been calling themselves cosmetic surgeons and going to weekend courses in an attempt to perform cosmetic surgery. Many of my patients were shocked to learn that a 'cosmetic surgeon' was in fact a family medical doctor or ER physician with no formal training in plastic surgery.”
So given the rise of cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures available on "deal" websites, we want know what you would do. Tell us, would you use a coupon for plastic surgery?