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Learning from Solange Magnano - Asking the Right Questions About Plastic Surgery


Following the death of beauty queen Solange Magnano, much concern has been raised about the safety of plastic surgery. While there is no 'no risk' procedure, patients must do their due diligence in researching and choosing a physician for the lowest risk possible.

Solange Magnano, former Miss Argentina, died on November 29 due to complications following a cosmetic surgery intended to plump up her rear using injections. Argentinian news sources stated that the injections used were a synthetic polymer known as Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA). According to Wikipedia, PMMA is often used in the construction industry as a replacement for glass, and is known by many brand names, including Plexiglass. The material can also be used in medical applications and "in cosmetic surgery, tiny PMMA microspheres suspended in some biological fluid are injected under the skin to reduce wrinkles or scars permanently."

doctor consultation It has since been reported by CNN that Magnano visited Dr. Guillermo Blugerman and requested that he use silicone injections to provide her with a firmer, more lifted behind. He turned her away stating that it was not allowed to be done in Argentina. He believes she then sought out someone who would perform the surgery.

A mistake that's made too often is a belief that plastic surgery is somehow less risky than other surgeries. The elective nature of any procedure doesn't mean that the procedure carries no risk. Dr. John Millard, fat transfer specialist and cosmetic surgeon in Lone Tree Colorado at the Millard Plastic Surgery Center, says "there are inherent risks to every procedure." There are steps that a patient can take to help decrease their risk by ensuring that the physician they choose has the proper certifications, training, and experience to perform their desired procedure. According to Dr. Millard, "Fat transfer properly performed with proper training is a very low risk procedure with high success rates."

One news source mistakenly reported that Magnano's death followed a fat transfer procedure. These procedures are growing in popularity in the US as a "two birds with one stone" deal. Patients are able to have unwanted fat removed from one area and re-injected back into another area of their desire. VASER Lipo or {!Body-Jet} are two lipolysis methods that are able to better maintain the integrity of the cells removed. In this way, a higher quality of fat is harvested and processed for reinjection. Often times the breast and buttocks are the chosen area for re-injection, and the procedure is also useful in the correction of prior liposuction surgery.

Some questions that a patient should ask of their surgeon:

  • Are you board certified? - Board Certified means that your physician has gone through the specialized training required to earn certification from a group of specialists in the field.

  • Is your office accredited for performing this procedure? - As most cosmetic procedures are performed at outpatient clinics rather than hospitals, it's a good idea to make sure that the facility has been accredited as having the necessary materials to safely perform your procedure.

  • Would there be any reason that I would not be a good candidate for this surgery? - You need to make certain that the procedure in which you are interested is appropriate for your body type and health. Surgery is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor.

  • Do you have a patient referrer list so that I may contact one of your past patients and speak to them? - Speak to other patients about their experiences with the physician to gain several opinions of the doctor.

  • Do you have privileges at a hospital to perform this procedure? - Though you'll likely never go to the hospital, it is a good gauge of the physician's ability if a hospital has deemed him worthy of granting privileges to work there.

  • Will I have an anesthetist or a doctor of anesthesiology if I have general anesthesia? - It is important to distinguish whether or not the person providing and monitoring your anesthesia throughout the procedure is a doctor or a nurse anesthetist. Both are highly trained, but a nurse anesthetist has not earned their medical degree.

  • How many of these procedures have you done? - A confident, qualified surgeon should expect you to research and will not have an issue answering this question.

    After you have the answers, shop around and speak to other physicians before making a final decision on which you will choose. Make sure to discuss what your desired outcome and what the reasonable expectations are for your body type and procedure.

    You should also discuss with your doctor what preparations you should make before the procedure as well as what you should expect after. Inform your doctor of all medications you're taking including any herbal or vitamin supplements.