Beverly Hills, CA (PressExposure) January 16, 2008 -- With the escalating boom of cosmetic surgery in the past 10 years, it seems many doctors have jumped on the bandwagon to become âPlastic Surgeonsâ with or without the proper qualifications. Verifying the credentials of a surgeon before you go under the knife is of the utmost importance. The only problem is that the verification process can be an extremely daunting task. Finding a plastic surgeon is easy.
Verifying the credentials, backgrounds and the specific procedures or specialties the surgeon excels in is the hard part. With the recent high profile death of Donda West, the mother of superstar Rapper/Producer, Kanye West, the media frenzy has chosen to focus on the risks involved with cosmetic surgery and the horrors of choosing an unskilled surgeon. Many speculate that Donda Westâs surgeon, Jan Adams, who was not Board Certified, lacked the proper credentials necessary to perform such serious procedures as the Tummy Tuck, Breast Reduction, and liposuction that allegedly led to her death.
Dr Adams has been highly publicized by the media in the past year, with appearances on popular networks and television shows such as; The Discovery Health Channel, Oprah and Extra. Yet it took the untimely death of a high profile public figure for the facts about this surgeon to finally unfold. Like a kid in a candy store, the media has been peddling their usual display of fear-mongering, while touting the blindingly obvious, âCheck their credentials, make sure their board certifiedâ¦.blah, blah, blahâ¦â While predictably offering no actual solution as to how one would go about this, glossing over their story with no mention of the resources available to do so. I suppose if they gave us the means to easily background check our surgeons, a few high profile Celebrity Dr.âs would be out of a jobâ¦. Iâm just sayingâ¦
One almost needs a degree just to understand the world of Board Certifications and its medical jargon. Sure itâs easy to Google a doctorâs name, if you are already lucky enough to have one handy. Try searching for a surgeon for a facelift. Easy, right? Okay, now try verifying their specialty, find out how many years they have PERFORMED these surgeries on ACTUAL people and how many of these actual people are HAPPY with the results from this surgeon. Once you have completed that we will verify the surgeons credentials, you know, to make sure they are Board Certified. This part commonly results in a jumble of letters, the more the better, this alphabet soup of Abbreviations are the credentials one is supposed to check out. If the doctor has no alphabet soup next to his name, itâs back to the âol drawing board for you.
But if the doc does have the scramble of credentials, you then need to know if they are the RIGHT Board Certifications for your procedure. You donât want a âBoard Certifiedâ surgeon rearranging your face if their specialty is in breasts. This is why I feel that the mainstream media has done a disservice to people, by hyping the IDEA of checking credentials, without offering any simple solutions for everyday people like you and I. If they had actually tried to investigate this, from the perspective of a person seriously considering cosmetic surgery, they probably would have scrapped their story upon the confusion their research would have inevitably lead them to.
Not many people know the difference between ABS, (American Board of Surgery) and ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) or if this certification is greater or less than having an ABCS (American Board of Cosmetic Surgery) certification. Then you have the ASAPS (American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) certification, and the AACS (American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery certification).
And then there are the specialties. Yes, there is a separate Board Certification for the individual specialties, all 24 of them, each with their own cute little acronym. To ease some confusion, keep in mind that the top Board Certification to look for is from the ABPS. âBoard certification with the American Board of Plastic Surgery is the best way to identify a qualified plastic surgeon,â says Dr. Richard A. D'Amico, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, âbecause any doctor -- a gynecologist, a cardiac surgeon, an internist -- can legally perform cosmetic plastic surgery.â DâAmico explains in a November 20th 2007 Los Angeles Times article. Easy for a Board Certified surgeon to sayâ¦
The ABPS is a great start. However, there is more than just Board Certification to consider. Think of an established artist. They may have really âmade itâ after multitudes of art gallery openings, or after being featured on the news or television shows such as Extra or Entertainment Tonight, however, the reality of their success may be attributed to a great publicist or a charismatic personality that allowed them to charm the pants off the right people. Artists with an exceptional artistic flair, that certain, âje ne sais quoi,â or amazing talents are often overlooked. When it comes to someone sculpting your body, that certain âje ne sais quoi,â is extremely important. The results of Cosmetic Surgery will pretty much be set in stone. If your surgery is botched, you can keep chiseling at it, but thereâs no going back to the original, unblemished slab of marble that you once were. Better make sure itâs done right the first time.
One woman who knows âwhoâs whoâ in the Cosmetic Surgery world is Helen Elliott, an âAesthetic Consultantâ who is a walking encyclopedia of inside information, having worked behind the walls of prestigious surgeonâs offices and operating rooms in Beverly Hills for over 25 years. âI could write a bookâ she tells me, âIt would be a #1 bestseller!â She says with much enthusiasm. âBut then, I would be out of business.â She quips, as we both start laughing. I was surprised at what a personable and down to earth lady she is, with a sophisticated air of old world charm and class. Her business is a Guidance and Consulting Service to help people find quality surgeons. Admittedly I was extremely skeptical at first, thinking it sounded too good to be true.
After spending quite a bit of time reading her extensive website, I decided to do some hard-core investigating to see if she was indeed the real deal. I scheduled some consultation appointments, to see how this company really operates. I had done this with about 4 other Consulting Services I found, but all of them turned out to be expensive and not very helpful. One lady in particular I spoke with, representing a Consulting Service whose name I will not mention, was extremely pushy, trying to talk me into excessive procedures. Another was outrageously expensive.
Stories from The Discovery Channel came to mind, about services like these that would send clients to shady unlicensed surgeons, resulting in horrible disfigurements and depleted bank accounts. While some companies do have such shady business practices, only the opposite could be said for H.E.E., Inc. these ladies are the real deal. I was surprised to be greeted by an actual person when I called, who put me in touch with Ms. Elliott herself. We chatted a bit as she explained how her service works, âwe offer options and choices for each individualâs specific need.
We are the personal touch.â She says. Hereâs how it works: You call her, tell her what you want, whether it be Botox, boob job or a facelift. She calls you back and begins the process with three surgeon recommendations. She scheduled my consultations for me, based upon the availability I had given her. Meanwhile, a detailed confirmation letter, surgeon bio and map to the doctorsâ offices were already on their way to my mail box. Consultation Fees are waived, because in Beverly Hills dah-ling, the name Helen Elliott has enough clout to get you V.I.P. treatment, all at no charge.
They practically roll out the red carpet for you. Credentials you ask? Well, I thoroughly checked out the surgeons she recommended, to make sure they were properly credentialed. The doctors she recommended were in fact, Double Board Certified. On the phone, she gave me a rundown of each surgeonâs specialties, certifications and artistic flair. âExpertise you get only after many years of working in the field.â She tells me.
The conversation feels fun, like girl talk, as she gives me the dish on the Beverly Hills surgeons. Through all my suspicions, I found Helen Elliott Enterprises, Inc. quite possibly one of the last companies in the world that offers free, personable and straight forward advice, without gimmicks or persuasive âcar salesmenâ attitudes. What they offer is âinside Infoâ on the backgrounds and specialties of some of the most respected Cosmetic Surgeons in Los Angeles. This Guidance Service does not sugar coat the seriousness of Cosmetic Surgery.
They give it to you straight, just the facts, while offering sensitivity and extensive knowledge. This is one of the few companies left in the world that offers 100% free advice, without a sales pitch or pressure. Elliott did strongly emphasize the fact that they DO NOT make any Medical Judgments or offer any form of evaluation of the client. They leave that to the expertise of the surgeon during the consultation appointment. What their Guidance Service does do is inform, educate, & guide people to the right surgeon with the proper specialty for them. In a world of automation, the company prides itself on personal attention. So, to give you the solution that the local news stories failed to answer in their coverage of âavoiding the pitfalls of cosmetic surgery,â Helen Elliott and her team is the friendly way to become informed and ultimately become a smart shopper. For more information, visit http://www.helenelliott.com.