Letters to the Editor

Research doctors before embarking on plastic surgery

Kudos to El Nuevo Herald reporter Catalina Ruiz Parra for exposing the hidden dangers involved in traveling to Colombia for cheap plastic surgery.

Her Aug. 20 article, “In Colombia, even a dentist can perform plastic surgery,” serves as a warning to those considering plastic surgery abroad without appropriate means of verifying the surgeon’s credentials.

It may well spare a patient and their family the agony of a serious post-operative complication or even death in the hands of a non-qualified surgeon.

Unfortunately, many of the issues exposed by Ruiz Parra’s article are taking place in our community on a daily basis.

Florida does not require physicians to practice within the realm of their formal, post-graduate training.

In other words, general practitioners may legally perform plastic surgery in our state.

As an example, a recent plastic surgery death in our community took place in a storefront clinic at the hands of a physician without formal surgical training in this country.

Prospective patients need to do their homework.

The American Board of Plastic Surgeons website (https://www.abplasticsurgery.org/public/verify-certification/ModDefault.aspx?section=SurgeonSearch) provides information on all board certified plastic surgeons.

Onelio Garcia, Jr.,


Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons,

voluntary assistant professor,

division of plastic surgery,

University of Miami,

Miller School of Medicine,

and patient safety committee,

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery,