Safe Plastic Surgery

Safe Plastic Surgery
Dr. Ralph M. Rosato Plastic Surgeon Vero Beach, FL

Ralph M. Rosato, MD practices in Vero Beach at The Rosato Plastic Surgery Center as a Plastic Surgeon since 1992, he is board certified by American Board of Plastic Surgery. The Rosato Plastic Surgery Center is an ambulatory surgery center licensed by the state of Florida used exclusively by Dr. Rosato for Plastic Surgery.... more

More people are opting for less invasive procedures when it comes to plastic surgery. Injections and surgery with rapid recovery is what most patients look for. These procedures can be expensive and you need to invest your money wisely. Initially only plastic surgeons and dermatologists offered these treatments to their patients. However, pharmaceutical companies have marketed their products to all medical and even dental professionals. You can have your teeth cleaned and get your wrinkles injected at the same visit. Your family doctor will check your blood pressure and will also iron out your wrinkles as will ophthalmologists, OB/GYNs, ER physicians, and anesthesiologists, just to name a few. All physicians are capable of giving an injection but are they experts in the field of cosmetic surgery? While injection procedures are helpful for many patients, they are not a panacea or a substitute for surgery.

Cosmetic surgery is also not delivered by just the plastic surgeon. Dermatologists around the country offer liposuction, some ophthalmologists offer plastic surgery of the face and liposuction of the entire body, and oral surgeons will perform head and neck cosmetic surgery. Some physicians that practice cosmetic surgery are not surgeons at all, but rather, they are medical doctors without a recognized surgery residency and claim to have “special training”. This special training may consist of watching other doctors operate. And, some doctors may even learn about a procedure at a seminar or training course and then bring it to their patients. Florida law, at this time, does not limit what field of medicine a physician can practice in. Many times controversial procedures are brought in by traveling physicians that are self-proclaimed experts. These procedures have included liquid silicone injections into the face and lips and threads under the skin to lift the face. These procedures can lead to permanent scarring and eventual disfigurement. These physicians were not residents of Vero Beach and they are not here to treat the problems that they caused.

The Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons (FSPS) has helped write a law in Florida that requires all physicians to inform their patients of their level of training. A medical professional must specifically state in which specialty they are board certified. The Board of Medicine does not recognize board certified cosmetic surgeons because the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery is not recognized as a national standard. The FSPS is trying to pass an additional law that would further safe guard the patients of Florida. This new law would require physicians to practice medicine in the field that they are trained in. Many patients are surprised to learn that the physician offering them plastic surgery is not board certified in plastic surgery at all. 

I am called all the time by patients and asked if I am performing the newest procedures.

Many of these procedures are marketed by catchy names, such as the Vampire face lift, liquid face lift, and many others. Most of these fads will go out of favor in a few months because they do not offer anything new. Big business and advertising companies are also involved in plastic surgery and these companies make claims that are simply not true. We all remember the late night commercials offering a facelift over your lunch hour. This company went out of business. These infomercials give patients unrealistic expectations about a new and revolutionary procedure done during their lunch hour under local anesthesia.  The procedure is not new and certainly not revolutionary. Large doses of local anesthesia and heavy sedatives can make office surgery potentially very dangerous. I tell my patients that one procedure does not fit every patient. A surgeon needs to have the training and experience to bring many options to the table and select the proper combination for you to meet your goals and maximize your potential results. Your surgeon needs to listen to your desires to tailor your surgical plan to meet your goals. 

Patient safety is my primary concern. The Hippocratic Oath simply stated is “doctor, do no harm”.   

Many patients request multiple procedures to be done at the same time. This is cost effective and saves recovery time. However, it can be very dangerous and even lead to permanent consequences. It is your surgeons’ responsibility to determine what is a safe number of procedures to combine at one time. For example, the combination of breast and body contouring in a “Mommy makeover” has a well-documented track record.

How can your experience be as safe as possible? Please remember that all procedures including injections have a risk of complications. You can limit that risk by selecting a properly trained physician. If you develop a problem will your doctor have the expertise to minimize its effects or correct the complication? I treated a patient from Vero Beach a few years ago who traveled to another city to have surgery. That patient developed an infection that was not properly treated. When they went to the hospital they had an advanced infection that required additional surgery to treat. The tissue injury from the infection unfortunately resulted in permanent scarring and loss of function. 

To limit your risk I recommend selecting a physician that is board certified in a medical field consistent with the surgery that you desire. You can check with the American Board of Medical Specialties to see if your doctor is board certified. The web site is Does your surgeon have privileges at a local hospital to take care of you in the case of an emergency? Can you have your procedure done in the local hospital if you desire? If you travel for surgery are you prepared to stay in that city for a week or two to make sure you do not develop a problem? Are you able to return to that surgeon easily if you need additional treatment? Check your physician’s reputation by asking physicians and nurses in your community. Who would they use for their surgery? 

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is made up of board certified plastic surgeons that have committed to continuing medical education and a strict code of ethics. The web site for this is This site is an excellent reference to learn about plastic surgery and whether or not you are a good candidate for surgery.  Finally, make sure the operating facility that is being used for your surgery is certified and inspected by the state on a regular basis. The Rosato Plastic Surgery Center is a state licensed ambulatory surgery center with a sterling record since 1998. It is the only ASC in Vero Beach devoted to plastic Surgery. Training and experience are the most important factors in deciding where and who is to do your surgery. “Caveat emptor.”  Let the buyer beware.