A recent Fox News story shed light on the plan to institute a “Plastic Surgery Tax” as part of the plan to pay for healthcare reform. Comically referred to as the “Botax”, the plastic surgery tax would be a 5 percent excise tax on cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures – ultimately resulting in a rise in cost to the consumer. If passed, the tax is projected to raise $6 billion over the next 10 years.
So if this tax was approved, who would it affect? According to Fox, women and the middle class. Statistics show that 86 percent of plastic surgery patients are women. Also, in a 2004 survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, it was found that about 30 percent of participants considering plastic surgery reported an average household income below $30,000 and only 13 percent of participants had a household income of more than $90,000 – highlighting how many current and future cosmetic surgery patients are part of the middle class.
There is a common misconception that plastic surgery is only for the rich and famous, which is part of the reasoning that went behind the formulation of this tax, but if you look at the facts – the majority of plastic surgery patients are middleclass women.
If this tax is approved and the cost of plastic surgery rises, it will not only result in a decline in the number of plastic surgery procedures, but will also result in a rise in the number of people who seek more “affordable” plastic surgery in the wrong places. In order to take advantage of slash cut pricing, patients may opt to undergo surgery at unaccredited sites with unqualified people. More people will also travel outside of the US for these procedures into countries that have less strict or nonexistent regulations.
When it comes to any sort of medical care, especially surgery, you should not compromise quality in order to save money. It is important that you visit only board certified plastic surgeons for any plastic surgery procedure you are considering. Visit our website to find out about Dr. John LeRoy’s qualifications and certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American College of Surgeons.
Myth #1: The Band Aid Facelift is the same as other mini face lifts.
Truth: The Band Aid Facelift is a maintenance facial procedure that I personally developed with specific techniques I’ve utilized and tweaked through years of practice. I developed this technique in 1997 because most patients don’t want to look different, just younger, like they did 10 years ago. My Band Aid Facelift has been re-formulated to be more “patient-friendly” with natural-looking and long lasting results, meaning people in their 40’s, as well as, people in their 80’s, can take the clock back 10 years as an alternative to a traditional facelift.
Myth # 2: The Band Aid Facelift is painful.
Truth: People believe that because the procedure is done while you are awake with local anesthesia, it is more painful than if you were asleep for the procedure. But the truth is, the Band Aid facelift is done with local anesthesia because it is less invasive than a traditional facelift. I practice a gentle numbing technique, so that patients feel minimal discomfort as they are numbed and no pain during the procedure. Patients will only experience mild discomfort during recovery.
Myth #3: I cannot afford the Band Aid Facelift.
Truth: Someone in their thirties may see some sagging under their chin that they are not fond of, but paying well over $10,000 for a full facelift is an unnecessary expense. Procedures like the Band Aid Facelift cost a fraction of the price of a traditional procedure and can pinpoint the parts of your face requiring a touch-up. Because the Band Aid Facelift is performed in-office, under local anesthesia, there are less surgical and hospital fees. This translates into a lower cost for the patient. I make sure that my patients receive the highest quality care, at a price that they can afford.
Studies are indicating something we in the cosmetic field didn’t quite expect – patients who have had forehead lifts are all harmonizing their voices in saying they also are experiencing migraine headache relief. It is true that we use Botox® (and maybe in the future the recently FDA approved Dysport®) for migraine relief, but that is a rather temporary fix for a problem that can persist for one’s entire life. Even those who have undergone a forehead lift procedure six months ago are still reporting drastically reduced occurrences of migraines.
This news came largely by accident, when plastic surgeon Dr. Bahman Guyuron was told by his patients of their newfound relief. This is great news, as those suffering from chronic migraines often have to make large sacrifices in their lives to accommodate the illness. The forehead lift procedure involves the removal of a certain set of forehead muscles and as it turns out, these muscles may irritate nearby nerves that instigate migraines. More research is needed, but if a cure for chronic migraine sufferers also happens to make them look younger, we’ll all be the better for it!
The cosmetic injectable market has become increasingly competitive, as evidenced by the recent introduction of injectables like Dysport® and Evolence®. Continuing this trend is Hydrelle™, the newest hyaluronic acid (HA) filler available to cosmetic and plastic surgeons. Hydrelle™ was recently featured on the popular TV show The Doctors as the first FDA approved filler to also contain the anesthetic lidocaine, to provide a more comfortable injection.
Like other popular HA fillers such as Restylane®, JUVÉDERM®, and Perlane®, the collagen used in the syringe is made of a substance that occurs naturally in the body and therefore carries a very low risk of allergic reaction. These HA fillers are commonly used in the correction of wrinkles around the eyes, nose, and mouth, as well as for the plumping up of lips – with results lasting up to a year. Another benefit of HA fillers over other types of injectables is that hyaluronidase (enzymes that eat away HA) can be used to dissolve the product if the results are not what you expected.
I recently came across an article in marie claire magazine titled, “Plastic Surgery Nightmares.” Like so many other “plastic surgery gone wrong” stories that came before it, it highlighted unqualified and unethical doctors (or people pretending to be doctors) that have caused harm to patients hastily performing cosmetic surgery in order to get more money.
Featured in the article was one woman who visited a non accredited clinic, never met the doctor before the procedure, and ended up in the hospital when her breast augmentation procedure had completely cut off the blood flow to her nipples. Another woman featured in the article was getting Botox® injections from their family practitioner whenever she took her kids in for a check-up. She ended up having to be rushed to the hospital, for what she thought was a stroke, when she experienced temporarily blindness from the improper injection.
So why are these doctors getting away with it? Because it a lot of states it is technically not illegal. Any medical doctor is licensed to practice medicine (even if they have had no training whatsoever in cosmetic and plastic surgery). Also, any board certified doctor can claim “board certification” even if they are board certified for a specialty completely different than cosmetic or plastic surgery. This means a dentist could give you Botox® injections or an orthopedic surgeon could provide liposuction services. This doesn’t mean however, that they are qualified or trained to do so.
That is why it is so very important to check your surgeon’s credentials before you opt to get any work done. Look at their experience, where they studied their specialty, if they have staff privileges at local hospitals, and most importantly – if they are board certified. Make sure your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery – who will only accept candidates whose major professional activity is limited to the field of plastic surgery and who not only tests the skills of the candidates, but requires them to maintain their ethical and moral standing according to the Board’s Code of Ethics.
Another important certification board to look for is ASAPS or The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery which is the leading professional organization of plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who specialize in cosmetic plastic surgery. This certification goes a step further in ensuring the skill, experience, and expertise of medical doctors in the field of plastic surgery. Most states also have professional affiliation societies, so it is important to check with the American Board of Medical Specialties to check your surgeon’s specific credentials.
I believe in putting patient safety and continued education above all else and have worked hard to achieve board certification with ASAPS and the American Board of Plastic Surgery and retain membership in Georgia Society of Plastic Surgery. Click to learn more about Dr. LeRoy’s credentials.
With the rising popularity of plastic surgery and the increasing ease of purchasing medical supplies online, it is more important than ever to make sure you check and double your surgeon’s credentials before getting a procedure.