A federal agency has identified eight Tamaulipas doctors who offer cosmetic surgery without having the necessary qualification.
The head of the state office of the Federal Commission for Protection Against Sanitary Risk (Cofepris) said that doctors — and even veterinarians — sometimes claim to be specialists in certain areas such as plastic surgery.
“So far, we’ve identified eight in Tampico, Reynosa and Matamoros,” Óscar Villa Garza said. “Usually, they claim to be plastic surgery specialists, when they really aren’t.”
Villa said that to address the problem, Cofepris will create an online platform that will allow people to verify doctors’ specializations.
“Soon, we will put information about specialists on the Cofepris webpage,” he said. “Right now, we are cleaning out and updating the information of every specialist, in every municipality, so that people will know who is treating them.”
Villa asked citizens to report unlicensed surgeons so that irregularities and malpractice will no longer go unpunished.
According to Tamaulipas plastic surgeon Sonia Estela González Macay, there are more than 15 general practitioners who illegally perform plastic surgery in the state, and many more people who offer plastic surgery without having medical degrees.
“There are people who aren’t even doctors, and they are doing cosmetic surgery,” she said. “This problem is getting worse and worse, and now there are even some hairdressers that offer plastic surgeries. Some of them are doctors, but don’t have the certification or the training. It’s especially odontologists, ENT specialists, dermatologists, general practitioners and ophthalmologists who do cosmetic surgery without having the proper certification.”
González, who has been practicing plastic surgery for 35 years and is the only woman plastic surgeon in Tamaulipas, said that people looking for cosmetic surgery should only go to surgeons who are certified by the Mexican Plastic Surgery Council, and should avoid hiring “charlatans” for procedures that could be potentially dangerous.
“They inject substances in the mouth, the chest and the buttocks, substances that aren’t even medical products, like baby oil, or mineral oils, or even automotive or kitchen oil,” she said. “They use fillings that haven’t been well evaluated, and that aren’t trustworthy, but are cheap. They offer surgery for 3,000 pesos (US $153), when a real surgery with local anesthesia is never cheaper than 20,000 pesos.”