Economic downturn drives doctors to plastic surgery

Sept. 28, 2011 at 7:04 PM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- The bad economy is driving more doctors into plastic surgery, leading to more botched procedures, the head of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons says.

Dr. Malcolm Z. Roth, head of plastic surgery at Albany Medical Center in New York, told MSNBC unskilled doctors are performing plastic surgery on patients not really qualified for the procedures. He said any licensed physician can describe himself as a plastic surgeon and can say he is board-certified, even if the certification is in pediatrics.

Dinora Rodriguez of Los Angeles learned about the risks of plastic surgery when she had breast implants replaced. The procedure was done by a doctor recommended by a friend.

"My breasts looked really bad," she said. "It looked like I had one big breast instead of two. And the pain was terrible."

Dr. Anthony Youn, a plastic surgeon in Troy, Mich., and a contributor to MSNBC, said what happened to Rodriguez is a condition called "symmastia." He said it happens when pockets for the implants are too close to the center of the chest and one starts migrating toward the other.

"It's a uniboob," he said. "It's where the implant pockets are connected in the middle -- and they definitely shouldn't be."

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