Sham doctors market plastic surgery procedures on Instagram, study finds

Posted at 5:28 AM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 12:11:47-04

From breast augmentations to tummy tucks, self-proclaimed plastic surgeons on social media are willing to put you under the knife at the tap of a "like" -- but a new Northwestern Medicine study found more than 80 percent of the most popular plastic surgery posters on Instagram don't have the proper training or credentials.

"What bothers me is all these people who are getting hurt by people who aren't qualified to do what they're doing," said Dr. Pablo Prichard, a board-certified plastic surgeon with Advanced Aesthetic Associates. 

"There's no checks and balances on social media," he said.  

The study found about a quarter of doctors marketing "plastic surgery" or "cosmetic surgery" jobs on Instagram were not plastic surgeons. More than 5 percent weren't even physicians, but instead, dentists, spa workers, barbers and hair stylists. 

Prichard told ABC15 procedures from an un-trained "crock doc" can put your life at risk. One patient, he said, received a butt augmentation with hardware store caulk from an uncertified doctor. 

"Especially the millenials are really heavy into social media," Prichard said.  

"They see somebody goes by maybe a flashy name and they've got a flashy website, (they think) they must be great. But that's not necessarily the case."  

How can you best protect yourself?  

Check to see if your surgeon is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery

Review your doctor's status with the Arizona Medical Board.