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Some non-plastic-surgeons disciplined for disastrous results

USA Today illustrates the dangers of cosmetic surgery being performed by individuals who are not poperly trained. These examples reinforce the importance of checking the credentials of your prospective surgeon and your prospective surgical facility. A good rule of thumb is to insure that the surgeon you chose has privileges to perform the proposed surgery at a local hospital. See the article at the following link. USA Today (9/14)

Dr. Fleming is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery which is the “gold standard” in plastic surgery certification. Dr. Fleming only performs surgery in fully accredited hospitals and surgery centers and uses board-certified anesthesiologists.

Cosmetic surgery gets cheaper, faster, scarier

USA Today continues its reporting on patient safety risks regarding cosmetic surgery.  This article illustrates why price should not be the primary factor when deciding who will perform your surgery and where it will be performed.   The importance of appropriate training, board certification and facility accreditation in plastic surgery is stressed.  Click on the link that follows to see the full report and video.  USA Today (9/15)

Patients risk lives with uncertified surgeons

USA Today reports that doctors who are not board-certified in plastic surgery are increasingly
offering cosmetic procedures that put patient lives at risk. Lax state laws
regarding office-based surgery allow doctors to perform procedures after
receiving only minimal training, critics say. Many patients aren’t aware there
is a difference between residency-trained plastic surgeons and cosmetic
surgeons, says Dr. Phil Haeck, president of the ASPS, in this article. Click on the following link to see the full story.  USA Today (9/13)

FDA panel confirms safety of today’s silicone implants

An expert panel concluded that currently marketed silicone breast
implants are safe. The committee agreed that patients no longer need to be
advised to get a magnetic resonance imaging test three years after getting
implants and every two years thereafter to check for ruptures. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)
(8/31)

Brow-lift surgery ends migraine pain for some.

Plastic surgeons have noticed that patients who suffer from migraine headaches often get relief after undergoing brow lift surgery, and some are beginning to recommend it. The procedure has few risks, though in rare cases the frontal nerve can be damaged, plastic surgeon Silvio Podda said. One of Podda’s patients who had been suffering from migraines for 33 years got complete relief after Podda removed some nerves and the glabellar muscle from her face. “That was the best day of my life,” she said. KABC-TV (Los Angeles) (08/03)

More senior citizens opt for plastic surgery.

Wanting to look as good as they feel, more 70- and 80-year-olds are seeking plastic surgery, doctors say. “People say, just because my life age is 84, doesn’t mean I have to be happy or content looking 80,” said plastic surgeon Norman Rowe. Most older people seek modest enhancements, Rowe and fellow plastic surgeon Julius Few said. A recent study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found the risks from plastic surgery no greater in people older than 65 than in those younger. ABC News (8/10/11) The New York Times (8/8/11)

Verify the qualifications of your surgeon.

The story below illustrates the importance of verifying the training of your plastic surgeon.  Make sure that your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Inc (ABPS).  ABPS certification indicates that a plastic surgeon has completed rigorous training and passed both qualification and certification examinations.  The ABPS is recognized as the “gold standard” in plastic surgery certification.

 

By Melinda Rogers

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Aug 03 2011 05:15PM

Updated Aug 3, 2011 11:34PM

A Sandy business owner who allegedly masqueraded as a physician by the name of “Doc Hollywood” has been charged in U.S. District Court with mail fraud.

William Ricker Ferguson, 52, is accused of performing medical procedures without a license and dispensing prescriptions without a license while operating Hollywood Body MD at 7430 Creek Road in Sandy, according to court documents unsealed in Salt Lake City’s federal court this week.

Ferguson injured patients while performing liposuction and other cosmetic procedures, the documents state.

Also charged with mail fraud in federal court is Ashlee Choate, 21, who also allegedly saw patients at the business without proper training.

If convicted of the charges, Ferguson and Choate face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Sandy police started investigating Ferguson and Choate after the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing launched its own investigation after being contacted by victims scarred from services at Hollywood Body.

Ferguson advertised his business as “Utah’s only active and Deep FX facial laser and SmartLipo laser and power assisted procedures,” court documents state. The business offered hair removal, acne treatment, skin rejuvenation, cellulite treatments and spa services.

In one case, a victim identified in court documents as “T.B.” visited Hollywood Body to inquire about liposuction. Ferguson told her that only doctors would perform the procedure, but when she received the treatment over two days on Dec. 27 and 28, 2010, she saw Ferguson doing the procedure after another doctor in the room started “sweating profusely while jabbing [T.B.] with a probe,” court documents state.

T.B., awake while on a local anesthetic, was told by Ferguson that the doctors at the business “get tired, so I’m just helping.”

Choate is accused of consulting with patients interested in the HCG Diet, a weight-loss plan in which patients receive hormone injections. An undercover patient working for DOPL visited Choate and received syringes, needles, alcohol swabs and a prescription for HCG injections, court document state.

Choate allegedly told the patient that if she filled a prescription through the business instead of at a local pharmacy, it would be cheaper. The patient chose to use the pharmacy Choate recommended, which was in Florida. Choate then arranged to have prescriptions sent to the patient from the Florida pharmacy, charges state.

The mail fraud charge for Ferguson stems from checks he received in the mail payable to Hollywood Body.

Ferguson was initially charged in state court with 18 felonies, which included allegations of a victim who received third-degree burns on her face from a laser treatment Ferguson performed. The state case was dismissed in favor of federal prosecution, but another state charge remains against Ferguson for making a false insurance claim, court records show.

Ferguson and Choate are scheduled for arraignments before U.S. Magistrate Brooke C. Wells on Aug. 11.

mrogers@sltrib.com

Twitter: @mrogers_trib

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/52319829-78/ferguson-court-choate-state.html.csp

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