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Consumer Alert: Minimally Invasive Cosmetic Procedures Should Not Be Taken Lightly
Date:7/29/2009

than of another physician's work.

"To help them learn about the expected outcomes and downtime involved with a procedure, patients should ask their physician if they can speak with a patient who has undergone the procedure," said Dr. Hanke. "This might help them feel more comfortable about asking questions and to determine if a procedure is right for them."

The American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) also recommends that consumers ask physicians how many procedures they have performed, what results can be expected, how long the recuperation period is and what are the risks.

  • Consider the highly trained skills of a dermatologist for minimally invasive cosmetic procedures.

Dr. Hanke explained that most of the minimally invasive cosmetic procedures available today were either developed or refined by dermatologists, such as tumescent liposuction (liposuction using tumescent local anesthesia on awake patients), soft tissue (skin) fillers, and cutaneous laser surgery which includes the removal of tattoos, unwanted hair, and vascular birthmarks, and the treatment of sun-damaged skin.

"Dermatologists specialize in minimally invasive procedures that do not require general anesthesia. This greatly reduces the potential for complications since the patient is awake during the procedure and recovery times are decreased," said Dr. Hanke. "These procedures offer patients an enhanced version of themselves, and most patients would rather have subtle results than a drastic change, which is indicative of a major procedure."

  • Ask who will be performing the procedure.

Dr. Hanke acknowledged that there is inconsistency among physicians as to which cosmetic procedures can be safely and effectively performed by non-physicians. In its official position statement on the use of non-physician clinical personnel that
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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