HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - May 9, 2013) - With the increased popularity of plastic surgery and other non-invasive aesthetic procedures such as BOTOX® Cosmetic, many medical doctors have made the decision to open their own medical aesthetics spas or laser centers, according to Dr. Sam Sukkar, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston. He says it is perfectly legal for these doctors to do so, but he warns of the risks associated with this trend.

Although other medical doctors might be trained in general surgery and feel more than confident when performing aesthetic procedures such as BOTOX® injections or dermal fillers, Dr. Sukkar says, "A plastic surgeon who is board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery has gone through rigorous training in both cosmetic and reconstructive surgical techniques, and is skilled at managing difficult surgical problems."

Dr. Sukkar stresses that understanding a surgeon's skill set is an important part of making an informed decision. He urges all potential plastic surgery patients to research their surgeon at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons' website to see if they are board certified in plastic surgery. Selecting a doctor who practices plastic surgery without this important distinction could potentially result in an undesirable outcome, says Dr. Sukkar.

The medical staff and surgical facility utilized by the doctor are also important factors to consider in the selection process, according to Dr. Sukkar. He believes having a well-trained and experienced staff means if an emergency should occur, they will be prepared. He adds the facility at which the surgery will be performed should be accredited by an organization such as the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF) or The Joint Commission, in order to ensure patient safety. Dr. Sukkar cautions patients to be aware that a plastic surgery office with its own operating room is not necessarily a certified surgical facility. The Houston plastic surgeon explains that currently "there are few local, state or federal laws requiring office-based operating rooms to be certified," and without certification, patient safety and expected outcomes can be jeopardized due to a lack of proper equipment. He says this also means the level of sanitation is not being monitored, nor is the quality of patient care.

When selecting a plastic surgeon, Dr. Sukkar encourages patients to interview several different doctors, and review the surgeon's "before and after" photos of previous patients. He emphasizes the importance of thorough research, stating that any plastic surgery procedure "should be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, operating in a certified surgical facility, who also has the privileges to do the same procedure in a local hospital."

About Sam M. Sukkar, MD, FACS

Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Sam Sukkar practices cosmetic plastic surgery in Houston. He provides a variety of procedures, including breast augmentation, face lift surgery, and liposuction among others. He is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, as well as the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Dr. Sukkar operates in a facility that is certified by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF) and is also an OR inspector, credentialing other facilities to ensure that they are compliant with national guidelines. He works strictly with highly-trained, actively practicing physicians, and he is also a member of the Patient Safety committee for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS). Dr. Sukkar is available for interview upon request.

Contact Information:

Sukkar Aesthetic Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa
1616 Clear Lake City Blvd, Suite 102
Houston, TX 77062

(858) 200-0044