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Check Plastic Surgeon's Credentials or Risk Tragic Results, Experts Warn
Date:9/26/2011

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- "I was in shock," recalled 40-year old Dinora Rodriguez. "It was a nightmare."

Rodriguez had woken up from cosmetic surgery only to find that she could not move her arms or even close her eyes. And so begins a harrowing account of plastic surgery, in her case involving breast implants and a facial scar, gone terribly wrong.

As a cautionary tale, Rodriguez' experience highlights the urgency behind a new safety campaign launched this week by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

The goal: to draw attention to the physical disfigurement and emotional torment that can follow when patients fail to check a surgeon's credentials before they go under the scalpel.

"I already had implants put in five years earlier, in Mexico," explained Rodriguez, who lives in Los Angeles. "And that time, the first time, I had no problems. But I wondered if they were still OK, or if it was time to replace them."

"So I had this friend who recommended this doctor to me," she continued. "She said she had had liposuction done on herself, and both her daughters also went to this woman. So I went. I never checked on her background or if she was certified. I just went."

"And she told me," remembers Rodriguez, "that I needed a mammogram [to check the implant]. And after, she told me that it showed that one of the implants was leaking, and I needed to replace them right away because it was not good for my health."

It would be months before Rodriguez would find out the truth: her doctor had lied. There was no leakage, and thus no need for new implants.

"But that wasn't all," she said. "That day she also discussed a scar I had on my face [near the eyes], because of an accident. She said she could fix it. And I said I would think about it. On the day of the implant surgery she asked again, about my eyes. She said she could fix it at the same
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