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    Get back to your basic procedures to stay afloat

    With speaking engagements at aesthetic meetings 22 out of 52 weekends in 2008, cosmetic facial surgeon Joe Niamtu, III, D.M.D., hears cosmetic surgeons' concerns regarding the economy and how reduced consumer spending is affecting their practices. He says everyone is feeling the heat — from those whose core training is plastic surgery or dermatology to ENT and maxillofacial surgery.

    "This weekend, I was with plastic surgeons and specifically asked them if they are falling back on their reconstructive surgery," says the Midlothian, Va.-based Dr. Niamtu. He reports that, in general, those surgeons who have maintained mixed practices are depending more on — or are just relieved to have — that source of income. On the other hand, those surgeons who have limited their practices to cosmetic surgery are not going back to their medical training roots for several reasons.

    Regarding his own practice, Dr. Niamtu explains, "I stopped doing routine maxillofacial surgery when I limited my practice to cosmetic. I can't fall back on that because I have let those referral sources go to the wayside." However, "I think probably a lot of [cosmetic surgeons] ride both sides of the fence in their practices. For those people, falling back on one is an option, but for people who limit their practice to cosmetics, it really isn't an option."

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton is a writer in Boca Raton, Fla., who heads up her company, Words Come Alive.


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