Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A monster in Munster... (a very painful Plastic Surgery pun indeed)



I bet most of you did not now that the moniker for Otolayngolgy (Head & Neck Surgery), "ENT" no longer stood for Ear, Nose, and Throat. Somehow along the way it's turned into "ear, nose, and tummy-tucks" as otolaryngologists have sometimes ventured into cosmetic surgery below the neckline.

As insurance reimbursement for their traditional procedures have diminished, they (like a number of other physicians) have decided to reinvent themselves as Plastic Surgeons. A number of years ago the discipline of "Facial Plastic Surgery" was created. The title was chosen somewhat deliberately to confuse patients & restricting the use of this was unsuccessfully litigated at the time by the Plastic Surgery societies (the courts in that decision would not grant a copyright for the term plastic surgeon).

Sometimes the grass isn't always greener as in this story here, from Muncie, Indiana. In this episode an ENT and the medical center which gave him operating privledges are being sued for over $1 million after complications from a breast surgery. The suit says Dr. Jung-Il Park posed as a certified cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon at St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Systems, but instead is a certified ENT. I don't know the specifics of this case, but it sure sounds like they better get their checkbooks out, as this is going to be extremely hard to explain to a jury.


Most Plastic Surgeons do not begrudge our ENT colleagues who practice plastic surgery-type procedures of the head & neck. Raised eyebrows, groans, and criticism do however follow when ENT's, Dentists/Oral Surgeons, and others start performing procedures many would argue they are undertrained to perform.

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9 comments:

Irishdoc said...

I can't imagine the cajones it takes to be an ENT and think it's safe enough to do breast augmentation

Anonymous said...

Come on... how hard is it really to perform breast augmentations? Make an incision, create a pocket, stuff in an implant, then close the wound.

Dr. Rob Oliver said...

Getting predictable (and safe) results from breast augmentation is infinitely more complex then just stuffing a silastic bag full of salt water or silicone in.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Park is well-known plastic surgeon within the Chicago-land area. He's been highlighted as a speaker at a number of events and colleges regarding plastic surgery. He's board certified as a plastic surgeon, as well. One mistake doesn't mean that a doctor's a fluke.

Dr. Rob Oliver said...

I have no personal knowledge on way or the other of Dr. Park's credentials. Apparently from the article and other reports on this he has in fact never undergone accredited Plastic Surgery training and is not eligible for board-certification by the ABPS.

The laundry list of "boards" you can find on his home page is usually a sure tip-off that someone is not a Plastic Surgeon, but another provider of some background who does cosmetic procedures. It is hard to defend yourself doing abdomen or breast cases when you have complications being an ENT as witnessed by this lawsuit.

That being said, the fact that he was sued does not mean he did some horrible procedure to someone. It may merely represent an argument (ie. he was undertrained or misrepresented his credentials) put forth to support a med-mal claim.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Park is very well respected throughout the entire Chicagoland area. Doctors get sued, but one dissatisfied customer out of thousands hardly warrents the lable "monster"

BTW, Dr Park is affilliated with the following:

American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
American Board of Cosmetic Surgery
International Board of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery
Fellow, Amercian College of Surgeons
Member, American Society Cosmetic Breast Surgery
Member, American Society of Liposuction Surgery

Dr. Rob Oliver said...

"monster" was a pun on the location (Munster) rather then directed at the surgeon involved in this case. Sorry if it seemed otherwise.

The take home message is that if you're not trained in Plastic Surgery, don't do it. No amount of "boards" that you join with a check substitutes for formal training by an American Board of Medical Specialties approved training program in Plastic Surgery. The reality of it is that an ENT who performs breast or body cosmetic or reconstructive surgery is in an indefensible legal position when complications arise.

mewith3 said...

This messgae is for anonymous....ONE mistake, hardly. Due to the pending lawsuit I cannot comment on the details, but this doctor has ruined many lives and almost caused the loss of one that I know of due to ONE of his MANY mistakes. I suggest you not make an assumption that only ONE mistake was made until you have all your facts on the table.

Me said...

This message is for anonymous. One mistake? Hardly! This doctor has ruined many lives and almost caused the loss of one that I know of due to ONE of his many mistakes. I suggest you do not make the assumption that only ONE mistake was made until you have all your facts on the table.