Experience in Specialty Helps Ensure Good Cosmetic Surgery

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Members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons report a rise in the number of patients seeking revisionary surgery to repair failed cosmetic procedures, possibly performed by doctors working outside their specialties. Dr. John Noonan, an Albany, Troy and Schenectady area plastic surgeon, discusses this trend.

(March 2012) – Dr. John Noonan, an Albany, Troy and Schenectady area plastic surgeon in practice with The Plastic Surgery Group, says he and other surgeons are concerned about a recent surge in demand for revisionary cosmetic procedures.

According to a recent New York Times article, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/31/health/non-specialists-expand-into-lucrative-cosmetic-surgery-procedures.html?_r=2 members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons say more patients are coming to them for revisionary surgery following unsuccessful procedures performed by other doctors.

“People who have cosmetic procedures from doctors who don't specialize in plastic surgery run a greater risk of complications following surgery,” Dr. Noonan says. "Patients will hear that a doctor is board-certified and automatically assume they're getting the best service available.

“Cosmetic surgery patients must check to see which board issued the certification and whether the doctor is experienced with the procedure the patient is seeking. Typically, a surgeon who has extensive experience in performing ear surgery won't be the best choice for a tummy tuck."

Meanwhile, as The New York Times article points out, a tough economy and declining insurance reimbursements may be forcing more doctors to work outside their areas of specialty.

Dr. Noonan says this could be a contributing force behind the increase he has seen in the number of doctors near Saratoga and the Tri-City area of Albany, Troy and Schenectady offering plastic surgery procedures outside the scope of their specific training and board certification.

"The economy has certainly affected the medical community, but it is important that all surgeons uphold high levels of patient care," Dr. Noonan says.

"Patients who are concerned with the expense of surgery often choose a less-qualified surgeon in an attempt to save money. Many of these patients who do not go to specialists wind up having to have revision surgery, which means they will spend more money in the long run than if they had chosen a qualified surgeon in the first place."

Dr. Noonan says there are simple ways to increase a patient's chances of having successful surgery the first time.

"Checking a surgeon's specific training is the fastest and easiest way to ensuring safe and natural looking results," he says.

He recommends going to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website at http://www.plasticsurgery.org to find a board-certified plastic surgeon nearby. For example, people in his area looking for an Albany, Schenectady or Saratoga Springs plastic surgeon can got to the website and enter their ZIP code to get a list of local doctors who are certified by the board.

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Collectively, the team of 7 Albany plastic surgeons at The Plastic Surgery Group (http://www.theplasticsurgerygroup.net/) bring more than 130 years of training and experience to patients seeking medical spa services, cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery in Albany, Clifton Park, Schenectady, Troy and Saratoga Springs. Located at 1365 Washington Ave. in Albany, The Plastic Surgery Group believes "Confidence is Beautiful™" and is committed to providing patients with a pleasing surgical experience from start to finish.

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Peter Slattery
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