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Burns, scarring and even death have recently been reported as results of cosmetic procedures such as laser hair removal, facelifts and filler injections. A few simple questions may have saved those patients from dealing with such horrific complications. “It’s vital for a patient to be informed about their physician and the surgery or treatment before undergoing any type of medical procedure,” says Rhoda S. Narins, M.D., past president of the ASDS. Dr. Narins urges patients to ask the following questions before undergoing a cosmetic procedure: “Will a board-certified dermasurgeon be on site?” Just because a certificate on the wall says “board-certified” doesn’t mean a doctor is qualified to perform all types of procedures or that he or she will be present during a procedure; “Where will the procedure be performed?” It’s important to remember that even if a spa or salon looks professional, cosmetic procedures are still medical procedures and should not be performed where you get your nails manicured or hair cut; “Is pre- and post- care necessary?” Carefully following a physician’s guidelines for pre- and post- care will greatly impact the final results of the procedure; “Is my medical history important?” Everyone reacts differently to medical procedures, and physicians need to take into account if a patient has special health needs or restrictions; “What should I expect after the procedure is performed?” If the physician is hesitant to share before and after pictures of previous patients with you, you may want to consult with another board-certified dermasurgeon who is willing to ensure a safe and healthy outcome.