Plastic Surgery Advice Raises Some Eyebrows

Article excerpt

Dear Abby: Having a rhinoplasty ("nose job") performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon does not necessarily guarantee success, as was suggested in a recent column. Many ear-nose-and-throat surgeons started to do these procedures in the 1940s because the rhinoplasties performed by plastic surgeons of that era often failed to provide adequate post-operative nasal respiratory function.

Today, many (but not all) board-certified plastic surgeons peform excellent rhinoplasties. Advice to the person considering surgery: Consult your physician for a referral; consider why you want a rhinoplasty (the variety of reasons will amaze you!); ask others (physicians, medical society, patients) about your prospective surgeon; ask for a list of your surgeon's rhinoplasty patients and call, or better yet, visit with them; don't put your trust in before-and-after photographs (pictures lie!), and get a second opinion.

I am signing my name, but if you print this letter, please sign me . . . RETIRED M.D. IN HOUSTON

I appreciated your valuable letter. Please read on:

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Dear Abby: It appears that you have bought into the party line of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. It is particularly demeaning, unfair and misrepresentative to the general public, in the light of the fact that the original plastic surgeons were otolaryngologists who advanced the science to the level that it is today.

Patients should carefully chose, based on performance - and not necessarily board certification. Many ophthalmologic plastic surgeons are not board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and in fact do excellent eye plastic surgery. Likewise, many oral surgeons, who are not actually MDs, do excellent plastic surgery on the face. …