Family Doctor or Plastic Surgeon?

Terrible story coming out of Las Vegas. A woman won a free breast augmentation by the doctor of a medspa, the Skin Body Institute. She had the surgery performed under local anesthesia, but then sufferred horrible complications. Some details from ABC 13:

– She was awake for the whole procedure, and was crying the entire time. The doctor reprimanded her for complaining during the painful procedure.
– Just weeks later the implant became infected and was exposed through the skin.
– She subsequently underwent 10 hours of surgery under local anesthetic to try to fix the problem.
– Two weeks later she presented to the ER with ruptured and exposed implants.
– The doctor had made ten centimeter incisions (mine are typically 3 cm for saline, 4 cm for silicone).
– The doctor’s website had stated he was board-certified.
– He was not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, but by the Family Practice board.
– Still, his website listed him as an associate member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery, American Society of Liposuction Surgery, and the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery.
-His license has been suspended.

This is another terrible incident where the patient didn’t do her homework and was the victim of a phony plastic surgeon. This unfortunately happens more often than most people realize. Always choose a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. As you can see above, a doctor in a bunch of other societies isn’t the same.

Thanks for reading.
Michigan-based Plastic Surgeon
Anthony Youn, M.D.

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Posted in: Plastic Surgery News


  1. This is really horrible. There are so many unqualified "surgeons" willing to take people's money. People looking for a surgeon should be aware that reputable and professional surgeons don't discount prices or run competitions (they don't need to). Always, always ask around if you intend to have something done. Do your homework. If needs be take out financing rather than go with the cheapest. It's just not worth the risk.

    Comment by Rosina at Middle Ageless on August 30, 2009 at 12:23 pm

  2. The first bullet point about her being awake, crying and being reprimanded is the most disturbing thing I have ever read. How can anyone think a surgical procedure like that can be done awake and with a local? This is so disheartening not to mention frightening and disgusting. I hope this woman can get reconstructive surgery because no doubt she had to have suffered some disfigurement from his butchery. Do you think she had some disfigurement, Dr. Youn?

    Comment by Anonymous on August 31, 2009 at 11:55 am

  3. As you well know these types of horror stories are happening all over the country if not the world, with metro Detroit being no exception(ER docs and ophthalmologists doing breast augs for example). The only way to eliminate these scenarios is to enforce the same guidelines for accreditation that hospitals utilize for credentialing their staff doctors. By applying the same rigorous standards to office-based operating suites and surgicenters is the only way to ensure that appropriately trained surgeons are performing procedures within their "domain". It is a straightforward solution to a problem that is only going to get worse.

    Comment by Dr Hainer on August 31, 2009 at 1:54 pm

  4. Dear Dr. Youn,

    Wow! That story makes me sick.

    Most patients do not understand that not all "Board Certifications" are legitimate. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) recognizes 24 "real" Boards. The only member Board that qualifies physicians to practice plastic surgery is the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).

    This might seem obvious, but notice how confusing the situation can get. The offending family doctor also claimed certification by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS), etc., etc. The average person cannot know that the ABCS is not recognized by the ABMS, and that in most states, the ABCS has no standing.

    Dr. Hainer is right. We doctors need to lead the charge on these issues. No more should doctors be allowed to practice outside of their formal training. Otherwise, they really are just "practicing."

    Michael C. Pickart, M.D., F.A.C.S.

    Comment by Michael C. Pickart, M.D., F.A.C.S on September 1, 2009 at 1:08 pm

  5. I can't understand why she didn't get up and call the police when she noticed that she was being treated without enough analgesia.

    I've never needed surgery but I think I would have stopped it at the beggining if I had felt pain.

    The only similar thing I've suffered is endodontics, and they had to put me 5 doses because I could feel pain.

    Sorry for my English (I'm Spanish)

    Comment by Anonymous on December 5, 2009 at 1:31 am

  6. And what is this doctors NAME? Why aren't the NAMES of these wackos ever published? If his license was revoked then it can't be illegal to publish his name, right? It's just a fact. Every plastic surgeon in the country should want the names of these kinds of doctors published on a big blinking billboard for all to see. After this guy pays the fine he'll just go to another state and set up practice again. These hack docs need to be OUTED. Where's the blog for that?

    Comment by Anonymous on February 11, 2010 at 12:27 am

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