Dr. Rohrich Urges Extreme Caution to Discount Plastic Surgery Shoppers

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As deal-of-the-day type services begin to offer discounts on elective surgery, Dr. Rohrich urges patients to exercise extreme caution on discount plastic surgery.

Any time you are feeling pressured into cosmetic surgery, it's a strong signal that you should back out.

Social media deal-of-the-day services have begun to offer more and more deals for discount plastic surgery. Many doctors, including Dallas plastic surgeon Rod J. Rohrich, are concerned about the safety of such offers.

"Surgery is not a bulk, one-size-fits-all service," explains Dr. Rohrich. "Surgeons need time to evaluate a patient and develop a surgical plan that is tailored to the patient's needs." As Chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Dr. Rohrich and his faculty see many secondary patients after other plastic surgeons, many of whom are not board certified, have left them with unsatisfactory results. Over half of Dr. Rohrich's Dallas rhinoplasty patients, for example, are for secondary rhinoplasty.

Dr. Rohrich reminds patients that all surgery should be taken very seriously and should never be entered into lightly. "Every surgery, even a seemingly minor or routine procedure, has genuine risks involved. Serious complications and even death are real possibilities in any surgery," says Dr. Rohrich.

Many of these offers are extremely time sensitive and often expire by the end of the day. These kinds of offers might make consumers feel pressured and cause them to rush into having surgery without having a chance to research their surgeons or their procedure and to carefully consider their decision. "Any time you are feeling pressured into cosmetic surgery, it's a strong signal that you should back out," warns Dr. Rohrich.

One discount service, for example, recently offered subscribers in the United Kingdom a discount up to 70 percent on cosmetic procedures performed in a clinic, but only if they purchased their vouchers before midnight the same day. Such ads have since been banned in the UK but continue to be offered in the United States.

Similar offers, such as liposuction in a New York clinic at a 75 percent discount, eye lifts in Dallas at 63 percent discount, and even facelifts in a Detroit clinic at 56 percent off, continue to be offered for anyone who signs up fast enough. Dr. Rohrich believes this trend is quite alarming.

"These offers downplay the most important factor in all of plastic surgery, the skill and expertise of the surgeon. Surgeons need time to go over all the important aspects of what to expect pre- and post-operatively as well as the informed consent about the risks and benefits of cosmetic surgery," says Dr. Rohrich. These offers also downplay factors such as the importance of having your surgery in an accredited facility, the use a certified anesthesiologist, and the team of people who will be in the operating room. "What will happen if there is an intraoperative emergency in the OR?" asks Dr. Rohrich who operates on his plastic surgery patients in an accredited operating facility and uses board certified anesthesiologists.

Dr. Rohrich also questions where the savings are obtained within the clinical business unit and worries corners may be cut in areas such as patient safety. "It's hard to imagine the best medical care and safest surgical facilities will be provided to those with coupons," says Dr. Rohrich. "Unlike other things you buy, you can't take it back after it's done. You can't walk in, ask for a refund, and get your face back...or your life."

About Rod J. Rohrich, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Dr. Rohrich holds the Betty and Warren Woodward Chair in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He also holds the UT Southwestern Medical Center Crystal Charity Ball Distinguished Chair in Plastic Surgery. He is a graduate of the Baylor College of Medicine with high honors, with residencies at the University of Michigan Medical Center and fellowships at Harvard University (hand/micro surgery) and Oxford University (pediatric plastic surgery). He has served as president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He has been repeatedly selected by his peers as one of America's best doctors, and has twice received one of his profession's highest honors, recognizing his contributions to education in his field: the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Rohrich also serves as editor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal and has delivered over 1500 scientific presentations, lectures, and courses around the world. He is a native of North Dakota and currently resides in Dallas, Texas with his wife, Dr. Diane Gibby, and their two children.


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Rod J. Rohrich, M.D.

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