CAVEAT EMPTOR – Buyer Beware! All Credentials Are Not the Same!

If you’re considering a cosmetic surgical procedure in 2021, Dr Magassy of Plastic Surgery Associates, PC, wants to provide critical reminders. As the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for,” proves itself true time and time again with complications that patients have suffered from seeking their “surgeon” based on price alone. While we all want to save money, choosing who will perform your plastic surgery because “charges are so much less than…” can have catastrophic affects.


While travel has slowed down a lot due to COVID, Colombia has become the fourth leading destination for foreigners seeking cosmetic surgeries, most of them Spaniards and U.S. citizens lured by the lower prices and the promise of maintaining a youthful appearance.

But behind the veil of a perfect body lie the risks of disfigured faces, lifelong scars, damaged organs and even death. Those are the high costs paid by dozens of patients, including foreigners who traveled to Colombia to undergo beauty procedures with scalpels that sometimes have a double edge.

Many patients don’t know there is a lack of laws and regulations; meaning their surgery can wind up in the hands of a general physician or even a dentist. And that’s just one of the industry’s serious problems, which include surgeons who were performing cosmetic procedures for years even though they had never studied the specialty.


A lot of the stigma around plastic surgery has been replaced with acceptance and popularity. With Plastic Surgery popularity, it comes with much hype and confusion about the field and what is meant by “Board Certification”. Telephone directories abound with physicians who did not complete a proper residency in Plastic Surgery and yet market themselves as “cosmetic” or “plastic” surgeons. They can do this because the state has few limits on which procedures a physician can perform or how they can advertise themselves. It is theoretically possible for any doctor—including one with virtually no surgical experience—to obtain a “board certification” in cosmetic surgery in a short period of time.

By contrast, certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery requires a physician to complete residencies in both general and plastic surgery, practice plastic surgery for at least two years, pass exhaustive written and oral examinations, and adhere to a strict code of ethics. Only surgeons who have completed a full residency in Plastic Surgery have learned to perform the full range of aesthetic and reconstructive procedures such as rhinoplasties, facelifts, breast augmentation, breast reconstruction, tummy tucks and accident reconstruction. During their training, a Plastic Surgery resident works full time, spending over 3,000 hours per year under the direct training and supervision of more senior and fully qualified Plastic Surgeons to learn to plan, perform, and follow-up procedures and to properly deal with any complications which might occur.


Educate yourself about the procedure and possible risks, and do not be afraid or too shy about asking your doctor about their Board Certification. Any legitimately Board Certified physician is happy to be asked about this and will freely review their credentials. American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only certifying board of plastic surgery recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, the organization supported by the American Medical Association to certify specialists. ABPS certification is a credential with meaning. Dr. Magassy is one of 48 plastic surgeons in the United States that is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and The American Board of Surgery.

When you’re ready to schedule your consultation with a surgeon that is both ABPS and ABS certified and has decades of experience performing countless surgeries, contact Dr Magassy’s office at 703-790-5454.

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