University affiliated clinics provide cosmetic surgery for substantially less than you would pay for procedures performed by doctors in private practice.
SUPER VALUE | It’s one of those evergreen stories, and every glossy fashion and beauty magazine from A to V (that’s Allure to Vogue) everywhere in the world does it. It’s the annual roundup of doctors and clinics offering cosmetic treatments such as breast implants, tummy tucks, facial profile procedures, etc. What’s conspicuously missing from the lists I’ve seen is a resource available in cities where there is a resident cosmetic clinic providing training for physicians who want to become plastic surgeons.
The University of British Columbia Division of Plastic Surgery operates such a clinic with an outpatient department at Vancouver General Hospital. If you qualify under their guidelines, you may become the surgical candidate of a senior (fifth-year) plastic surgery resident, who will perform the procedure you seek. UBC plastic surgery residents work under the direction and supervision of a staff surgeon to execute a host of procedures—everything from breast implants and facelifts to rhinoplasty and scar revision. The cost for this work is substantially less than it would be if it were done by a community-based plastic surgeon.
One common concern about using a resident for cosmetic surgery is that the doctor won’t be seasoned, which is true on a certain level, says Lisa Reling, who had a breast augmentation done through the UBC cosmetic clinic is thrilled with the results. “I did worry briefly that I was going to be someone’s guinea pig,” she says, “but I spoke with my family doctor and she thought it might be more safe to have the surgery done through the school because they have access to the latest and greatest technologies; everything the resident does is overseen by a senior surgeon who will be there when the surgery is performed.”
Reling’s augmentation was straightforward. After nursing three children, she wasn’t looking to enlarge her breasts but to regain some of the fullness they’d lost and to improve their overall shape. The surgery she required, which cost $3,600, was performed at the False Creek Surgical Centre and did not involve an overnight stay. “I could not imagine anyone other than my resident, Dr. Tung, performing this surgery. He was so thorough and knowledgeable,” she says, adding, “these are not junior doctors but M.D.s who are going to have their own practices very soon.” —Carolann Rule
For more information on the UBC’s Resident Cosmetic Clinic, contact Gail Harvard, Sr. Administrative Assistant, Burn, Plastic & Trauma Unit, JPP-2, 889 West 12th Ave., Vancouver V5Z 1M9, 604-875- 4969. Or email her at Gail.Harvard@vch.ca