“When a patient decides to change his or her life by having cosmetic surgery, it’s a very big and brave step,” says Dr. Renato Saltz, the newly elected president of ISAPS, in an announcement last week at the organization’s biennial congress in Kyoto, Japan. “What many patients don’t realize is that in most countries around the world, any physician with a valid medical license can legally perform liposuction or breast augmentation, or any cosmetic surgical procedure, with very little or even no aesthetic surgical training.”

That’s a terrifying thought for the estimated over one billion people around the globe who consider having some kind of cosmetic procedure each year. Knowing how to keep yourself safe by choosing the correct aesthetic plastic surgeon is Dr. Saltz’s core mission as ISAPS’ president. “Patient safety is a growing concern in every country,” adds Dr. Saltz. “Very sadly, we hear of doctors performing cosmetic procedures without the correct training, and the results can be catastrophic – even fatal. That’s why it’s essential that patients get educated about the right questions to ask and are able to use a trusted resource, like ISAPS.org, to learn more about a cosmetic surgical procedure and to find a physician in their country with the requisite level of aesthetic training and expertise.”