David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville, TN (865) 450-9253
HKB Knoxville Staff

Beware: Unqualified Doctors Are Doing Plastic Surgery In Your Town

When we travel, we always save some magazines to look at on the plane, before we can turn on our iPads and Kindles. Usually my wife picks these up and there is almost always one about the world of cosmetic surgery. Recently we/she (I know, it sounds like I laying this all on her, but I am a co-conspirator too!) picked up a magazine called New You put out by the American Academy of Anti-Aging medicine (a.k.a. A4M — cute, don’t you think?).
As you might imagine, there are doctors who have paid to be profiled there. Now, in all fairness, I will say that there was one time years ago when I did work with one such magazine. However, they only profiled board-certified plastic surgeons as the individuals doing plastic surgery.

Anyway, as I leafed through the pages of this magazine, I got to the physician profiles. It listed some of the doctors with their board certifications and what they are doing. Looking at these, the major question I’m left with is: Who are these guys and who said they could do plastic surgery?  Here’s what I mean:

    • a doctor board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation doing breast augmentation, tummy tucks and eyelid surgery.


    • two board-certified oral surgeons doing breast augmentations, breast reductions, body lifts and liposuction.


    • a board-certified emergency room doctor doing fat injections and body contouring.


    • a general surgeon doing facelifts, eyelid surgery, tummy tucks and breast augmentations/lifts/reductions.


    • a father and son board-certified obstetricians doing liposuction, tummy tucks, and breast augmentations.


    • and, of course, a doctor with no board certification doing liposuction and fat transfers.

Appalling? Yes. Uncommon? Unfortunately, no. Do you think these folks should be doing plastic surgery?

We are really in a buyer-beware environment when it comes to elective cosmetic surgery. Prospective patients need to be very careful.  Certainly you wouldn’t go to an oral surgeon for heart surgery, or an internist for brain surgery.  Plastic surgery is not different.

So, for anyone considering plastic surgery, please do your homework.  Make sure that the doctor you are seeing is not just board-certified, but board-certified or board-eligible in plastic surgery. To make this even easier, make sure your doctor is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery. Just look for the ASPS logo. Easy peasy!

All the best,

David B.

American Society for Plastic Surgeons Low Res

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