New president of plastic surgery society promotes safety through education

July 10, 2012

An educated consumer will choose safe and effective plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures
An educated consumer will choose safe and effective plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures

As the popularity of plastic surgery soars, Leo R. McCafferty, MD, new president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), has his work cut out for him. Good weather never makes top headlines and neither does good plastic surgery. Good plastic surgery is a specialty that rarely gets notice because it is, in fact, not very noticeable. 

What is up front and center is bad press about plastic surgery. Recent plastic surgery headlines involve a breast implant scandal in Europe involving unsafe implant materials, reports of butt augmentations gone wrong and stories about unqualified practitioners practicing in less than hygienic surroundings. According to Plastic Surgery Practice, the mission of ASAPS and McCafferty as President, is to “educate the public that in the right hands, in the right setting, and on the right patient, cosmetic surgery can have profound physical and psychosocial benefits.”

In other words, the way to avoid plastic surgery scandals is public education. McCafferty, interviewed in Plastic Surgery Practice said, “It is our job to stress the importance of proper credentials and only having surgery performed in a fully accredited facility, and this will continue to be a focus for us.” The problem is that “safety” is not a very sexy message, so McCafferty wants to come up with a way to make the message exciting.

Another problem McCafferty sees is that industries, such as laser companies, advertise direct to the consumer so patients seek out the machinery first, with little thought to who is operating it. The public needs to know that this machinery is highly technician dependent, i.e., it is only as good as the person who operates it.

ASAPS has the help of the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF), in selecting the best new technologies and procedures. This non-profit foundation researches the safety and effectiveness of cosmetic plastic surgical procedures, devices and techniques and helps plastic surgeons incorporate the best new technologies into their practices.

Remember, as a plastic surgery consumer, you need to be in the right hands in a safe setting, but you also need to be a good candidate for the procedure you’re undergoing. Your first step is consultation with a board-certified practitioner.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

WE ARE AESTHETICS.

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