21 September 2011

AADA and ASDSA respond to USA Today articles about cosmetic surgery

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (Sept. 16, 2011) —

USA Today
Letters to the Editor
7950 Jones Branch Dr.
McLean, VA 22108

Dear Editor,

Thank you for the recent two-part series about the risks of cosmetic surgery.

Dermatologists are concerned about the growing number of non-physicians and other doctors who are performing cosmetic procedures outside their scope of training. Locations such as spas, walk-in clinics or malls offer convenience, but typically are not required to follow the same laws as doctors’ offices, surgery centers or hospitals. This can threaten a patient’s safety and have devastating results.

Patients should choose an appropriate board-certified medical doctor to ensure their health and safety during and after cosmetic procedures. Like plastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons and occuloplastic surgeons, dermatologists have the medical education, training and experience to perform cosmetic surgery.

Dermatologists have led many of the innovations and safety advances in cosmetic procedures. A dermatologist developed tumescent liposuction, which uses local anesthesia rather than general anesthesia. Research confirms that tumescent liposuction is the safest form of this procedure when performed by a medical doctor with proper education, training and expertise. Dermatologists also were quick to understand the power and effectiveness of the laser and use it for tattoo removal and skin resurfacing.

We encourage the public to ask their doctors questions and get references before undergoing any medical procedure. This is critical to ensuring their health and safety.


Ronald L. Moy, MD, FAAD, President
American Academy of Dermatology Association

Richard G. Bennett, MD, President
American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association