Questions and Answers from Our President:
Q: As the president of the Miami Society of Plastic Surgery part of your platform is safety. How are you educating patients in finding the right doctor?
A: As the President of the Miami Society of Plastic Surgeons, my biggest responsibility has been patient safety. I do my best to inform patients of how to find a plastic surgeon who looks out for their patient in terms of safety and ethics. Many plastic surgeons in Miami do not see their patients before surgery, nor after surgery. Some even do not adhere to intra-operative safety measures. Some clinics perform "bait and switch," which is luring an out of state patient into Miami for surgery, and on the day of surgery, stating that surgeon is not available, and a different surgeon will be performing the surgery. Also many times a single surgeon may be overseeing more than one operating room with "ghost surgeons" doing the majority of the work. In order to minimize patient homework in terms of finding a safe and competent plastic surgeon, a patient just has to go to miamisps.com, which includes only plastic surgeons of the highest degree of reputation in Miami. This list is limited to only about 20 to 30 plastic surgeons and is a very elite society which has extremely strict membership requirements, the minimum of which is to be a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Q: BBL (Brazilian butt lifts) are one of the most trendy surgeries, but the news is riddled with nightmare accidents and botched experiences. Can your explain the surgery and why are patients consistently having issues?
A: BBL or Brazilian Butt Lift is probably the most controversial plastic surgical procedure that exists today. It has the highest death rate of any aesthetic surgery (reportedly as high as 1 in 3,000 patients but this is not the rate when the surgery is done correctly). Even the the name, BBL, is confusing. First and foremost, be wary of clinics that perform a high volume of BBL's per day. A surgeon should only be performing 2 to 3 BBL's per day maximum and not 10 per day by a single surgeon which is done in certain clinics, and which I do not agree given the potential complications. Second to perform the surgery correctly the fat should be injected above the muscle and not in the muscle. To add extra safety to the procedure, an ultrasound may be used to visualize where the fat is injected. That way it is not injected into a large blood vessel which may cause a fat embolus (a piece of fat travelling to the lungs). Third, I do not like the term "Brazilian Butt Lift." Does it make sense that a "Brazilian" butt lift is done in Miami, or who happens to say "Brazilians" have the best butts. Call it what it is. My chapter written on this subject is not titled "Brazilian Butt Lift," but instead titled "Autologous Fat Transfer to Buttocks." In simple terms, this means taking your own fat to augment your buttocks. Unlike breast augmentation where we use implants routinely, implants in the buttocks have a higher complication rate, therefore fat injections are safer. Also you don't sit on your breast implants for several hours at a time! The procedure itself gets a bad reputation, but if done correctly by a competent plastic surgeon who adheres to intra-operative safety, it is a very satisfying procedure. Some surgeons have even recommended banning BBL's, but again the procedure should not be banned (which also sets a very poor precedent), but surgeons should follow a certain protocol, be board certified in plastic surgery, and it should only be done in accredited surgical facilities.