I recently saw a woman in consultation for a failed saline breast implant. She had her breast augmentation performed seven years earlier by a surgeon who advertises like a plastic surgeon, but is not board certified in plastic surgery.  And as far as I am aware, has no formal plastic surgery training whatsoever.

The reason she came to my office was because she was seeking a plastic surgeon to address not only her failed implant, but also the prominent double-bubble deformity that has been present since her augmentation surgery. She expressed her frustration and disappointment with undergoing breast augmentation and being dissatisfied with her results shortly after surgery.

Examination showed an obvious double-bubble deformity with the implants displaced inferiorly; the inframammary scars were located about 1.5 cm below the level of her (previous) native inframammary crease, and the bottom of her breast implants were even lower than the scar. Her natural breast shape, visible on the side of the failed implant, was very typical for one that would develop a double-bubble deformity if care was not taken to prevent otherwise. This should have been easily recognized preoperatively and plans made accordingly. The inframammary fold incision should not have been placed as low as it was, care should have been taken to support the level of the inframammary fold to help prevent implant descent, an appropriately sized breast implant should have been selected, and a breast lift should have been performed to properly position the nipple-areolar complex over the breast mound. The reason these things were not done, is likely due to a lack of training and experience.

The bottom line? This non-plastic surgeon cost this poor woman lots of unhappiness and frustration, wasted time, and extra money. And she is one of several patients I have seen for correction of problems and unsatisfactory results at the hands of this individual.

What I find interesting is that this surgeon’s website ranks among other board certified plastic surgeon’s websites on the first page of Google for several plastic surgery related keyword search terms. So Google is not as smart as it thinks it is, and the internet will still only get you so far.

I bring this (real life example) to your attention to emphasize the importance of selecting an experienced and properly trained plastic surgeon – one certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc. As a prospective patient it is important to do your research, about both your surgeon and the procedure you seek. Ask your surgeon during your consultation if he or she is board certified, and by what board. If you know other individuals who have had a plastic surgery procedure speak with them about their experience. If you are seeking a cosmetic procedure you should look for a surgeon who is also a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery; this is an organization that recognizes surgeons that have a special interest in cosmetic surgery. Don’t select your surgeon strictly on price. And, if necessary, seek a second opinion so you can make an informed decision.

Best wishes.