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

Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

Please be aware that on August 29, 2014
Dr. Dowden's Plastic Surgery practice closed.


The following information may be useful.

Contents:


How can I get my records?

All medical records are stored in electronic form, and are in the custody of Plastic Surgeon Dr. Jason Leedy. Call his office at 440-461-6100 and find out what you will need to do to obtain a copy of your records, and the costs involved.

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How can I find a new Plastic Surgeon?

One option is to see Dr. Jason Leedy, the Plastic Surgeon who agreed to take custody of all Dr. Dowden's patient records. He is a well-trained Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with hospital operating privileges at Hillcrest Hospital. His office is in the same building and on the same floor as was Dr. Dowden's office. His office telephone number is 440-461-6100.

Another option is to ask your friends and other doctors for recommendations, or to search on the Internet. Be forewarned: about half of the plastic surgery procedures currently being performed in this country are done by unqualified, or even fake, "plastic surgeons". You will have to be extremely careful to check the qualifications of any doctor who wants to be your plastic surgeon. There are two essential criteria that must be met - if either is missing, that doctor should be excluded from your consideration:
1. Must be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
2. Must have operating privileges in an actual hospital.
These are explained more fully below.

(1.) Board Certification
Might be difficult to believe, but because the training and qualifications necessary for a doctor to become certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery are so stringent, several made-up "boards" have been created to allow doctors to call themselves "board-certified" without the need for them to take the actual training. The American Board of Plastic Surgery is the only legitimate plastic surgery board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. If a doctor you are considering seeing is not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, then you should protect yourself by finding another surgeon.
How to find out? Very easy, just log onto the Board Certification Verification website http://www.abms.org, type in the first and last name of the surgeon you are checking, and then click the Search button. If the name is returned, click on it. You hope that under "Certification" it will read: American Board of Plastic Surgery. If that exact wording does not appear, then he/she is NOT board-certified in Plastic Surgery, no matter what they or their website attempt to tell you.

(2.) Hospital privileges
If the doctor you are checking is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, that is only half of your necessary investigation. Next it is essential to verify that the doctor has privileges to perform the operation you may be considering in an actual hospital. The surgeon may have a nice operating room in his/her office, or might operate in a great surgery center, but for your safety you need to know that he/she has hospital operating privileges as well. Why is it essential that the doctor has hospital privileges? (It is not what one might think, to have a place to transfer a patient should a problem develop.) It is because having hospital privileges is proof that the doctor has passed stringent background checks:
An MD degree from an accredited medical school?
Valid Medical License in the state eg Ohio?
No history of revoked license in another state?
No history of having been dropped off staff at other hospitals?
No major felony background?
Reasonable malpractice history?

These checks are so important, but difficult for patients to do alone, that it is fortunate that hospitals do these checks before granting privileges! Hospital privileges are so easy to get (if the doctor has a clean background) that if a doctor does not have hospital operating privileges, that is a big Red Flag that warns you to steer clear of that doctor.

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How can I find someone who can replace my implants through the navel?

Dr. Dowden is one of more than a dozen Plastic Surgeons in the United States trained to do breast augmentation through the navel, also called the Transumbilical Breast Augmentation, ("TUBA") which he performed from 1992 to 2014. (Cities in which Board Certified "TUBA" surgeons are located include: New York, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle)
Dr. Dowden also routinely replaced or changed implants through the navel, and in fact it was Dr. Dowden who published the description of the technique for navel implant change in the plastic surgery journal. It has been a source of disappointment to Dr. Dowden that so few surgeons have taken the trouble to learn how to replace implants via the navel, because it is such a safe and low-pain procedure.
If you find a surgeon who replaces implants via the navel, be sure to verify that he/she really is qualified to perform plastic surgery as outlined above in the section about finding a real Plastic Surgeon.

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What alternate incisions can be used?

Although through the navel is the ideal way to do saline implant replacement, very few surgeons know the technique. The reason that replacement has so little pain connected with it is that all the hard work was done at the original operation; all that is required is to slide out the old implants, and slide in the new. Usually no internal work is required, specifically no work on the pectoral muscles. But any plastic surgeon should be capable of replacing saline implants using short incisions underneath the breasts, just above the crease.

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What about antibiotics for teeth cleaning?

To help prevent late capsular contracture, or worse, a late infection, Dr. Dowden has recommended taking a single dose of antibiotic about one hour before every teeth-cleaning procedure, for as long as the patient has implants. Please be aware that, with the closure of the practice, it will not be possible for Dr. Dowden to write prescriptions.

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Is there any way to contact Dr. Dowden?

Not really. For a limited time, correspondence mailed to this address should reach Dr. Dowden:

6770 Mayfield Road, Suite 410
Cleveland, Ohio 44124


but please be aware that Dr. Dowden will not be able to review patient history or patient photos, will not be able to give medical advice, and will not be involved in legal testimony.

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