About Plastic Surgeons in Hawaii
Some thoughts by Dr. Pasquale after 20 years in Hawaii on Hawaii Plastic Surgeons and competition
Hawaii Plastic Surgeons are a significant group of all the Plastic Surgeons in the world of plastic surgery. Overall, Hawaii plastic surgeons are very well trained, experienced and what one would say are above the average of plastic surgeons as a group. The newer plastic surgeons in Hawaii although may not have the experience or board certifications, appear still to be quite capable. One likely reason for this is that Honolulu Hawaii it is a very competitive market with upwards of 25 plastic surgeons in the community for a population of about 1 million. Competition does indeed bring out the best. That is a good thing for the people of Hawaii and for those who travel here for treatment with Hawaii Plastic Surgeon. Simply put you get some of the world’s best plastic surgeons.
Hawaii is still part of the USA which means physicians are strictly regulated and the standard of care is very high. Those who travel say to Mexico for cheaper prices may not know what quality is there and many of the places are regulated very little. A patient would have no recourse if a problem resulted in underdeveloped country even though the price may be cheap. Hawaii Plastic Surgeons are closely scrutinized for quality and safety of their practice.
Now one must consider what makes a person a Hawaii Plastic Surgeon?
Well obviously to be a Hawaii Plastic Surgeon one should practice in Hawaii. Another consideration is that one must be a plastic surgeon. This leads to the question of what is a plastic surgeon. Well the best answer is a person must have completed an approved training program in plastic surgery and practice plastic surgery. Board certification in Plastic Surgery is usually a great indicator, rather than another specialty like emergency medicine or neurology may make the doctor a better physician, but make him or her plastic surgeon.
Cosmetic LASER clinics, botox centers and the like verses Plastic Surgeons in Hawaii
Today from recent years seems there is a new "cosmetic" clinic springing up every other week. The reason of course is the financial benefits. Doctors like others are suffering from the bad economy and courses are springing up all over to educate in quick courses "how to inject botox" or "how to learn a quick way to liposuction to increase your revenue" for family doctors and nurses. Recently we have seen chiropractors advertising they are doing liposuction type procedures. We are not making judgements about who should do what yet we question some of the motivation. If cosmetic surgery was these practitioners passion why only now do they learn this ? Seems that if they were truly devoted to a specialty as an art and science then that would have been their chosen fields, rather than financial gain only.
Doctors in general can practice cosmetic surgery and in Hawaii there are places which advertise as Plastic Surgery Centers or clinics and and there is no plastic surgeon there so beware! Cosmetic Surgery does not require a special license or special board at this time to practice and its not illegal nor dishonest as the law governing cosmetic surgery is fairly broad. The fact is legally any doctor, even your family doctor can practice cosmetic surgery.
Yet for one to call them selves a plastic surgeon the criteria that is generally accepted is as follows:
1. Must have completed a Plastic Surgery residency meaning that they must have trained in a program of at least two years duration in Plastic Surgery that is approved.
2. They must have completed the prerequisite training in SURGERY before entering plastic surgery training (#1 above) which ranges from 3 years of general surgery to up to 5 years of general surgery or another approved SURGICAL specialty before one can enter a plastic surgery training program. One cannot by any means call themselves a plastic surgeon after a month course or fellowship but must have approved training of two years duration or more on top of the prerequisite surgical training.
3. There are two approval bodies for plastic surgery training, one under the MD certification pathway and one is under the D.O. or osteopathic pathway. Both are considered equal by the state and federal government as well as Hospitals such as Queens medical Center, the military, Medicare and the like. Both are very similar in terms of years of training required. The differences are more philosophical than in years or types of training.
4. There is also a Cosmetic Surgery Board which is not similar in its training requirements. This board does not require approved plastic surgery residency as a prerequisite to their certification. This board is for physicians who may be board certified in another specialty but wish to practice some aspect of cosmetic surgery. There are several experienced cosmetic surgeons in Hawaii who have very good reputation who do very good work, but they are not Plastic Surgeons nor would they tell you that they are.
The other group aside from the True plastic surgeons and the cosmetic surgeons are the non surgeon and in some cases some nurses who inject botox, injectables and the minor procedures.Some are good some may not be but they are largely unregulated. So take care when you see the cheap prices and realize that there are some serious ramifications such as skin loss, paralysis and the like to even simple injectables such as Restleyene, Juviderm and the like.
Cosmetic surgery and procedures are not simply like going to the beauty parlor nor going to get your nails done. It is very serious business which requires proper training and credentials so do not take your decision lightly.
Very lucky to live in Hawaii
Those in New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris or other major cities have many excellent plastic surgeons to choose from, but...there are also many doctors not of high standards. Hawaii is different, its easy to choose on the basis of quality as the plastic surgeons here are ALL of high quality.
Hawaii is a very diverse international place, but small in population
Hawaii is a small geographic area with a relatively small population - around 1 million. There is also something known here as the "coconut wireless" which is another way to state that people talk amongst themselves very often and live in very close knit communities. The bad doctors just do not last here and soon leave due to the pressure of the cocconut wireless as information spreads quickly. This means that any plastic surgeon who is not of the highest standards will not survive here due to "word getting out" fast. Simply put, it is too small a place for a bad doctor to hide, so any physician who makes too many mistakes or a plastic surgeon who does not have consistantly good result will not remain. As you will see later we have presented each plastic surgeon and how long they have been in Hawaii so consider this in your decision.
Hawaii - a desirable location can attract the Best Plastic Surgeons
Although Honolulu is a relatively small place compared to Los Angeles or Tokyo, the state of Hawaii due to its desirable location tends to attracts leaders in their fields. Plastic Surgery is no exception.
Most of the senior plastic surgeon here are well published authors, noted teachers and are highly respected by their peers around the world.
Many of the plastic surgeons here have conducted courses, lectured and been involved in training plastic surgeons from around the world. For example, Dr. Flowers has written many books and articles on plastic surgery, Dr. Parsa has been a senior advisor to many surgeons and author as well. Dr. Rizzo has taught asian nose surgery courses. Dr. Pasquale has taught hands-on courses such as "buttock augmentation" internationally, most recently in Korea. Dr. Peterson has lectured in Japan and on the mainland. These are some simple small examples, but all the plastic surgeons here have been wiling teachers and have contributed to the science. Rest assured that you are in good hands if you choose any of the Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in Hawaii.
The competition here assures quality
Another check and balance here is that there are a relatively high number of plastic surgeons for this small population. Although many of the plastic surgeons here have clients from Asia, the mainland and other parts of the world, it is still a very competitive environment. This means the pressure is on for each of these surgeons to perform his very best for you. Rest assured, if one surgeon makes you unhappy there are others here who will do their best and they all know this. This is one reason that if you choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in the Aloha State of Hawaii they will be good at what they do.
- Authored by: Michael Pasquale