Recent advances in medical technology have ensured that most medical procedures today are safe and that complications from them are extremely rare. This is especially true when the doctor who performs the procedure specializes in it. For example, a heart patient would not go to an oncologist for bypass surgery, nor would a cancer patient seek treatment from an OB-GYN.

Nevertheless, an article this week in the Chicago Tribune stressed the need for patients to do adequate research before having cosmetic surgery. As the article emphasizes, complications from cosmetic surgery are rare, but problems increase when cosmetic procedures are performed by doctors without board certification. In Fort Worth, it is perfectly legal for a non-board-certified doctor to offer cosmetic surgery services. However, just because something is legal does not always make it the best choice for patients.

As reported in the Tribune, it takes six years for a physician to become board-certified in cosmetic surgery. During that time, the doctor learns the intricate anatomy of the face and all of the nerves that can be affected in the process of cosmetic surgery. Because board-certified cosmetic surgeons have more training, they are in a better position to perform cosmetic surgery procedures safely.

According to the Tribune, an Indiana woman sought a tummy tuck and breast augmentation from a surgeon in Chicago as she neared her 40th birthday. Although the surgeon came recommended from a friend, he was not board-certified. Following the procedure, the woman passed out at home while in the shower and her husband had to rush her to the emergency room. She was found to be in septic shock and was taken by helicopter to the ICU of the University of Chicago Medical Center, where doctors later removed her implants and the skin flaps left over from her tummy tuck.

Again, although such instances are rare, they do point to the fact that some patients spend more time checking out a plumber or auto mechanic than they do a doctor who will be performing surgery on them. If you live in the Fort Worth area and are considering cosmetic surgery, do the smart and safe thing by having your procedure done by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Such individuals have the training and experience necessary to ensure that you avoid painful and dangerous complications. You can even look into finding a surgeon who is double board-certified in both cosmetic surgery and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, in order to have the absolute safest surgery possible.