Possible dangers of cosmetic surgery  

More from this show

Naturopaths in Arizona are allowed to perform cosmetic surgeries such as liposuction and Brazilian butt lifts. Under Arizona law, a naturopathic license allows for minor surgeries. However, neither the law nor the license explains or defines what a minor surgery is.

That has left a legal gap for cosmetic surgeries such as Brazilian butt lifts, one of the most dangerous cosmetic procedures that exist. On Arizona Horizon, we spoke about this issue to Dr. Brian Wilhelmi, a member of Physicians for Patient Protection.

Physicians for Patient Protection is a grassroots organization of practicing and retired physicians, residents, medical students, and assistant physicians. Their mission is to ensure physician-led care for all patients. They also advocate for truth and transparency regarding healthcare practitioners.

What is Cosmetic Surgery?

Medical terms can sometimes be hard to understand. Many people wonder what cosmetic surgery actually is. “Cosmetic surgery is a branch of surgery dealing with cosmesis, or essentially improving your looks,” said Dr. Wilhemi.

What are the Dangers?

“The mortality rate could be as high as 3-4%, due to fat being injected into vessels and traveling directly to the heart and brain,” Dr. Wilhelmi told us.

Who Can Perform these Surgeries?

When it comes to having any type of surgery, patients want to feel safe. Some question whether naturopaths should be performing cosmetic surgeries. Naturopathic medicine, as defined by webmed.com, is a system that uses natural remedies to help the body heal itself. It embraces many therapies, including herbs, massage, acupuncture and nutritional counseling. Additionally, naturopathic.org says that Naturopathic doctors are educated and trained in accredited naturopathic medical colleges. They diagnose, prevent, and treat acute and chronic illness. Their goal is to restore and establish optimal health by supporting the person’s inherent self-healing process. 

“In the state of Arizona, the obvious people who will be performing surgery would be surgeons,” said Dr. Wilhelmi. “These are traditionally people who have gone through medical school for four years, and they have achieved their doctorate; they’ve taken several tests along the way to achieve their medical license. They then went to a residency program.”

Illustration of columns of a capitol building with text reading: Arizona PBS AZ Votes 2024

Arizona PBS presents candidate debates

Earth Day Challenge graphic with the Arizona PBS logo and an illustration of the earth

Help us meet the Earth Day Challenge!

Graphic for the AZPBS kids LEARN! Writing Contest with a child sitting in a chair writing on a table and text reading: The Ultimate Field Trip
May 12

Submit your entry for the 2024 Writing Contest

The Capital building with text reading: Circle on Circle: Robert Lowell's D.C.
May 2

An evening with ‘Poetry in America’

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: