The number of cosmetic procedures performed in shopping malls, spas and walk-in clinics has risen dramatically in the past several years. Unfortunately, patients who choose to have procedures in such locations may be forgoing safety for convenience of location and bargain prices. The American Academy of Dermatology urges patients to select a board-certified physician for cosmetic surgery. The Academy recommends patients do their homework and consider the doctor’s training and credentials before making a final decision.
Many providers in “the mall” setting are inadequately supervised and are performing cosmetic procedures outside their scope of training. While these locations may offer convenience, the limited training and supervision of the person performing the procedure and the equipment available to handle complications or medical emergencies can jeopardize your health and appearance. Staff members may not be adequately trained or sufficiently knowledgeable about the risks and complications. To assist people in choosing a qualified dermatologist, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that before undergoing any cosmetic procedure, patients ask the following questions:
What are the physician’s credentials? Is s/he a board-certified physician or other appropriately trained surgeon? What training does the staff have?
Ask to see credentials! Dermatologists are surgeons who have received extensive training and safely perform thousands of cosmetic surgery procedures with excellent results. The education involves at least four years of postgraduate residency training in programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). This includes at least one year of training in internal medicine, pediatrics, general surgery, or another ACGME-approved broad-based program, followed by at least three years of intensive training in dermatology including dermatopathology and dermatologic surgery. To become board-certified, dermatologists also must pass a certifying examination given by the American Board of Dermatology. Dr. Rick Noodleman received additional training beyond these rigorous standards, having served a postgraduate fellowship in dermatologic surgery at Duke University Medical Center.
How many of these cosmetic surgery procedures has the physician performed? What results can be expected?
Ask to see before and after photos. You will find that Dr. Noodleman is always forthcoming about the number of surgeries he has performed and their results.
How long is the recovery time?
Having realistic expectations also contributes to a positive outcome. With any cosmetic surgery, the results achieved largely depend not only on the skill and experience of the physician, but also on a patient’s health status, age and healing capacity.
What are the risks?
The risks involved in most cosmetic surgery procedures are minimal. However, there are inherent risks associated with any type of surgery; these should be discussed with Dr. Noodleman during your Consultation.
Where is the procedure usually performed? Is the facility accredited?
Because our procedures do not require general anesthesia, they are effectively and efficiently performed in the surgical suite of our accredited facility for a safe, cost-effective alternative to the hospital.
What is the cost?
As with any medical procedure, the costs vary depending on the nature of the treatment. It is important to ask up front how much the procedure costs and to determine the value of the fee. Ask about the procedure’s safety record, risks and benefits. Remember, you are giving a gift yourself and making a significant investment.
*We wish to thank the American Academy of Dermatology for providing us with much of the material in this Section.