CF raises awareness as popularity surges for cosmetic surgery
By Ann Yu, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Consumer's Foundation (CF) yesterday sought to raise awareness among those seeking cosmetic surgery, reminding them to see doctors who have been certified by the Department of Health (DOH) under the Executive Yuan.
March 5, 2013, 12:35 am TWN
With the rising popularity of cosmetic surgery, the CF explained that it has been receiving a significant number of complaints from consumers who are seeking legal advice after they were denied refunds for surgeries gone wrong.
Most consumers are convinced by the commercials that surgery clinics produce and neglect to verify doctors' backgrounds, their surgical equipment or their own physical situation, said the CF's magazine publisher, Chen Chi-yi (陳智義).
Moreover, Chen said, Taiwan's medical system even lacks specialized cosmetology training. “Most doctors who perform these surgeries are actually from the dermatology department,” he said.
“Taiwan's physician laws fail to acknowledge the criteria for becoming a cosmetic surgeon, meaning that they can perform cosmetic surgery as long as they're a doctor,” he said.
That is the reason why consumers must look for dermatologist certificates approved by the DOH when they go to clinics, Chen advocated. “Many certificates are approved by a cosmetic surgeon committee, if you look closely,” he added, “which is illegal.”
It wasn't until last year that the DOH realized the need to establish cosmetic surgery training in medical schools and hospitals, he added.
CF Medical Dispute Committee member Dr. Shih Po-yu (石博宇) touched on several points that consumers should look for before deciding on undergoing cosmetic surgery.
Other than making sure the surgeon is a certified physician, the consumer should fully understand his or her own physical situation. “Some patients have allergic responses from medication after the surgery. All patients should do a thorough check-up on their skin's health before committing to a cosmetic operation,” Shih said.
Knowing the origin of your skin problems is the first priority, he explained. “Sometimes, skin disease may be misinterpreted as black spots, and using lasers or other cosmetic procedures could make it worse.”
In addition to protecting oneself, Shih added, a patient should take a presurgery picture that can be used as a postsurgery comparison. “This will provide evidence if patients get into a medical dispute,” he said.
CF Chairman Mark Chang added that the group encourages cosmetic surgery only for people who need it, such as people with severe injuries or burns.