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Cosmetic Procedures in Nova Scotia – Qualifications Required to Perform

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Professional Standard on Qualifications Required to Perform Certain Cosmetic Procedures in Nova Scotia

Introduction

Recent tragic events in Canada and other parts of the world have highlighted the need for high levels of training and experience among physicians who undertake cosmetic procedures.

In keeping with its public protection mandate, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia has surveyed several experts in the field and has produced the following list of cosmetic procedures whose degree of risk warrants that they be performed only by highly trained and experienced specialist physicians working within the scope of practice of their specialty.

Qualifications and Procedures

Only physicians who are

  • listed on the speciality register of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia;
  • working within the scope of practice of their speciality; and
  • appropriately trained and assessed to be competent to perform procedures

may perform the following medical procedures in Nova Scotia:

  1. Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)
  2. Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)
  3. Deep chemical peel
  4. Implantation or removal of aesthetic prostheses, such as those of the breast, buttock, calf, cheek, chin, or nose.
  5. Lipoplasty, liposuction, lipolysis, or lipectomy (surgical fat removal and/or sculpturing)
  6. Breast enlargement, lift, or reduction (male or female)
  7. Otoplasty (ear surgery)
  8. Rhinoplasty (nose surgery)
  9. Rhytidectomy (Facelift, mid-face lift)
  10. Surgical lift of arm, breast, brow, buttock, thigh or total body; including body contouring

Physicians who meet these criteria are nevertheless responsible to ensure that they have the necessary training, experience, clinical support and back-up to undertake these procedures.

This list is subject to periodic review. See Document History below.

Exemptions

This professional standard contains no “grandfathering” provisions. Physicians who have previously undertaken procedures identified by this professional standard but who do not possess the qualifications required by this professional standard may not undertake these procedures as of the professional standard’s effective date, January 1, 2010.  Please note that failure to comply with this professional standard may lead to a referral to the College’s investigations process.

Use of “Specialist” Designation

Only physicians who are listed on the speciality register of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia may refer to themselves as “specialists” when communicating with patients or prospective patients. The College regards the use of the term “specialist” or any variant thereof by a physician who is not recognized as a specialist by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia as deceptive and unethical practice.

Use of “Surgeon” Designation

Only physicians who are listed on the speciality register of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia as surgeons may refer to themselves as “surgeons” when communicating with patients or prospective patients.  The College regards the use of the term “surgeon” or any variant thereof by a physician who is not recognized as a surgeon by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia as deceptive and unethical practice.

Use of the Term “Plastic” when Describing a Medical Practice

Only the following groups of physicians who are listed on the speciality register of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia may use the term “plastic” in any configuration when describing their practice or services.  (e.g. facial plastic, oculoplastic, ophthalmic plastic).

  1. Plastic surgeons
  2. Otolaryngologists-Head and Neck Surgeons
  3. Ophthalmologists

The College regards the use of this term by any other physician as deceptive and unethical practice.

Advertising and Public Communications Regarding Qualifications

Advertising or other public communications by qualified physicians regarding procedures described in this professional standard must clearly state the physicians’ specialty qualifications in a non-abbreviated form as indicated in the following examples:

  • Mary Smith, MD, Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, Plastic Surgery
  • John Doe, MD, Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
  • Mary Doe, MD, Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery

Advertising or other public communications by physicians must not confuse bona fide professional qualifications such as RCPSC fellowship or equivalent specialist qualification recognized by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia with organizational affiliations (examples include the Canadian Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery and the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine).

 

Additional Considerations

Physicians who provide any sort of cosmetic or aesthetic procedure should be aware of certain aspects of care that may require additional attention.  These include: Patient education and informed consent; the potential for conflict of interest; the need for emergency support and backup; patient follow-up; and procedural review.

The following College publications should be carefully reviewed by physicians who provide any sort of cosmetic or aesthetic procedure.

Conflict of Interest Guidelines

Guidelines for the Perioperative Care of Patients Undergoing Itinerant Day Surgery

General Guidelines for Office Procedures Where Procedural Sedation is Required

Advertising and Public Communications by Physicians

 

Acknowledgements

The College thanks the following groups and individuals for their assistance in preparing this document:

Dr. A. O. Atiyah

Dr. Richard Bendor-Samuel

Dr. Laura Finlayson

Dr. David Kirkpatrick

Dr. Renée Lutwick

Dr. Justin Paletz

Dr. Mark Taylor

Dr. Trevor Topp

Dr. Anne Tweed

College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

Medical Council of New Zealand

 

Document History

Re-approved with minor changes: March 21, 2014

Re-approved with removal of “Foam Sclerotherapy” from list of procedures covered by this professional standard:  December 4, 2009

Re-approved with amendments to section: “Use of the term ‘plastic’ when describing a medical practice”: November 6, 2009

Approved by the Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia: October 16, 2009

Approximate date of next review: March 2017