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Plastic Surgery in Canada

Jul 1, 2008
Canadians who are seeking cosmetic procedures often wonder if these procedures are safe. While Canada has a rich history of great plastic surgeons, this type of voluntary surgery always brings questions. If you are considering having a procedure done in Canada, here is some important information you should know.

History of Canadian Plastic Surgery

Canadian plastic surgery has a rich history dating back to before World War I. Dr. E. Fulton Risdon was practicing plastic surgery in the early 1900s, an era when physicians rarely specialized. He was invited by Harold D. Gillies to join a war effort to offer plastic surgery to maimed soldiers. When the war was over Dr. Risdon returned to Toronto and the Toronto Western Hospital where he continued to practice cosmetic surgery almost exclusively. Many people consider him the father of Canadian plastic surgery.

Dr. Risdon was Toronto's first plastic surgeon, and he solidified the study of the specialty at the University of Toronto, where he practiced for 45 years. By 1958 the Division of Plastic Surgery at the University had been established, giving physicians a place to go to be educated in the specialty. Today, the University of Toronto as well as McGill University in Montreal both lead the field of Canadian plastic surgery, focusing on improving techniques and utilizing new technologies to make procedures more effective and affordable.

Is Canadian Plastic Surgery Safe?

As with plastic surgery in almost any country, there are dangers involved with having plastic surgery performed in Canada. For instance, you can find doctors who are not board certified that are practicing cosmetic procedures. These physicians do not have the experience and education necessary to perform complicated procedures, and patients are often left with less-than-desirable results after having surgery with an under-qualified doctor.

To keep this from being a problem, look for a doctor who is certified as a cosmetic surgeon by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. You can also contact the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeon or the Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery to find out if the physician you are considering is qualified.

Another way to ensure that the procedure you will be receiving is safe and monitored is to look for a doctor that performs at a center that is accredited by the Canadian Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities. This organization is made up of certified plastic surgeons who have chosen to allow their fellow plastic surgeons to inspect their surgery centers. If you are having surgery in a non-hospital setting, look for this qualification.

Will My Healthcare Coverage Pay for Canadian Plastic Surgery?

Patients who wish to undergo Canadian plastic surgery procedures need to know that there is a good chance the surgery will not be covered by their medical coverage, whether they have government healthcare or private healthcare. Most plastic surgery procedures that are cosmetic in nature are not covered by healthcare coverage plans. These are considered optional surgeries and are, therefore, the responsibility of the patient to fund.

There is an exception to this, however. Some plastic surgery procedures, such as skin grafts after a fire or surgeries to fix a cleft palate, are considered medically necessary. Medically necessary procedures are usually covered if the patient has the necessary referrals from a regular physician.

If your medical coverage will not cover a procedure, yet you still wish to have it done, you may be able to find a clinic or doctor that has a payment plan structure in place that will allow you to pay for the procedure over time. Some physicians require upfront payment, so you will have to find outside financing. Regardless of how you choose to pay the bill, you need to be aware of the fact that you will probably have to pay for some of the surgery, if not all of it, out of your own pocket, so you will need to decide if the cost is worth the potential benefit.
About the Author
Brampton Cosmetic Surgery Toronto is fully accredited by the Canadian Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (CAAASF), which means it has the same surgery standards as a hospital.
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