Richard V. Dowden, M.D., C.M., F.A.C.S.

Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, Inc.
6770 Mayfield Road, Suite 410
(Mayfield Heights) Cleveland, Ohio 44124
(440) 449-7470

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about
breast enlargement:

Could someone ever die from breast implant surgery?

Of course surgery and anesthesia do impose some stresses on the patient's system, and if there are weaknesses or abnormalities in those systems, that could lead to death. This is comparable to the cases we read about where young fit athletes suddenly collapse and die unexpectedly.

It is possible to die during or after ANY operation, including tonsils, hernias, liposuction, tubal ligation, root canal, and breast augmentation. There has never been a case where a breast implant has caused a death, but there have been cases reported where somebody died from augmentation surgery.

I have never had a patient die from surgery, nor have any of my colleagues with whom I am personally acquainted who are Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Unfortunately, there are unqualified poorly-trained individuals who are performing breast augmentation, often the doctors called 'fake plastic surgeons' or 'cosmetic cowboys' by the media, and deaths have occurred at their hands. (As of the date of latest revision of this page (see below) there have been no fatalities with TUBA done by a surgeon Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.)

There are many things you need to be certain about before deciding on a plastic surgeon:

  1. Is the doctor certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  2. Is the doctor a 'fake plastic surgeon' ?
  3. Does the doctor have considerable experience with implant surgery?
  4. Has the doctor spent enough time explaining everything to you?
  5. Is the surgical facility fully accredited for general anesthesia?
  6. Will there be an M.D. Anesthesiologist?
  7. Will the doctor be the one doing your surgery?
  8. Are you sure the doctor is not just supervising residents doing the surgery?
  9. Are you sure the doctor will not be needed in another operating room while trying to do your operation?
You want to be certain the answer is yes to all of these before deciding.

The way to determine whether a surgeon you have in mind is a real Plastic Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, is to check the Board Certification Verification website, type in the first and last name of the surgeon you are checking, and then click the Submit button. Under Certification it must say 'American Board of Plastic Surgery' then he/she is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. If that exact wording does not appear, then he/she is NOT board-certified in Plastic Surgery, and you may have been given the name of a 'fake plastic surgeon' or 'cosmetic cowboy'. If this statement appears: "We are sorry, but there are no entries which match your search criteria, please try one or more of the following" and you are certain that you have input all the information correctly, then that person is not certified by any legitimate board whatsoever.

Keep in mind that the risk of anesthesia in qualified hands is the same as the risks you take when driving in a car 10 miles in a city.

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This page Copyright © R.V. Dowden, MD, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.
This information may not be reproduced or distributed electronically or in print without permission from Dr. Dowden.

Note that while the information given by Dr. Dowden during a consultation is completely current and up-to-date, the information of this website is only as current as the date of last update, and therefore may become out-of-date.

6770 Mayfield Road, Suite 410
(Mayfield Heights) Cleveland, Ohio 44124
(440) 449-7470

Note: To ensure privacy for our patients, all of our outgoing phone lines have their caller ID permanently blocked; if your phone does not accept blocked ID calls you will not be able to receive any calls back from our office.

Last Update: 1:34 PM on 08/15/2013
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