Thinking of having breast augmentation or liposuction? Make sure you go to a qualified doctor.
More than half a million Canadians seek cosmetic enhancements each year and surveys show only one-quarter of them have done their homework beforehand.
Tania from Waterdown, Ont., made sure she was educated before making the big decision. She had a breast augmentation in April 2008, when she was 31. “I was an A. I’m a C now,” she says. “I love it, I love it. You know what? I love it!”
Tania researched for two years before deciding to have her surgery done by Dr. Frank Lista, a certified plastic surgeon and medical director of the Plastic Surgery Clinic in Mississauga, Ont.
But not everyone goes to a qualified surgeon. Lista is very concerned that people are being lured by non-surgeons.
“A non surgeon can do surgery on a patient without restriction,” he says. “I see people all the time who say, ‘my breast surgery was botched or liposuction has ruined my life.’ I ask who did it and find out it was not a plastic surgeon. People are being misled,” says Lista.
For instance, someone might advertise that they are a “licensed cosmetic surgeon” but there is no such specialty. “These people are sneaky,” says Lista.
Unfortunately, buyers have to beware because, he says, the field is not regulated. “Restaurants are better regulated than surgical facilities,” he adds.
The Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons have teamed up to let Canadians know that they need to be cautious when seeking procedures like breast augmentation, liposuction and facelifts.
Ask four questions before committing to a surgeon: Are you a certified plastic surgeon? How many surgeries like this have you performed? Do you have hospital privileges to perform these types of procedures? At which hospitals?
Tania ended up choosing Lista because she checked his credentials on the centre’s website and she felt he was very credible. She also “liked the vibe” of his clinic when she went for a consultation. The breast surgery cost her $6,500. “Do a lot of research,” she suggests to those who are interested. “Speak to someone who has had it done. If you go in looking for a deal, you’re looking for trouble.”
She is very pleased with her new size C breasts. “I feel they’re part of my body and I’ve always had them.”
To find out if a doctor is a specialist and what kind of specialist he or she is, go to www.royalcollege.ca and type in their name. Their specialty will be listed there.