Check doctor's specialty before cosmetic surgery

Cosmetic surgeryHamburg - People seeking cosmetic surgery are advised to carefully check the specialty of the doctor in charge of their case.

"Doctors who don't know the specialty cannot learn how to do cosmetic surgery by taking a weekend course," said Professor Heinz Bull, president of Germany's society for cosmetic surgery.

Doctors often operate on areas of the body in which they have no specialty. For this reason two to three members of the society are dismissed annually. An example is a dentist who treats facial wrinkles.

Joerg Lauterberg, a representative of an association for patient security, advises people to inform themselves about their surgeon's qualifications prior to an operation, focusing on the area in which the doctor originally specialized.

"The patient also should inquire about the possible complications and risks," said Lauterberg. (dpa)