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When Looking for a Plastic Surgeon, Check for Board-Certific

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Plastic surgery is safe and effective when performed by a qualified and board-certified plastic surgeon. The reason that there is such a thing as board-certification is to keep patients from being injured or harmed by unqualified or under-qualified practitioners. Just as you would not take your car to a seamstress for repair, it is not wise to seek medical procedures from anyone but a professional with specific training in plastic surgery.


Unfortunately, at least 20-30 people are now disfigured, in pain, or both thanks to black-market plastic surgeries that were not performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. A practitioner known as “The Duchess” was known throughout South Florida as someone who could help transgendered persons attain the looks they desired. Rumor had it that she could give men double-D breasts and create dramatic curvaceousness in skinny rear-ends.


The Duchess” was not, however, a licensed surgeon. Nor was she royalty. Rather, “The Duchess” is a transgendered woman whose legal name is Oneal Ron Morris. Authorities believe that Morris may have engaged in black-market plastic surgery in places other than South Florida, as more and more victims come forward, some from other states.


According to authorities, Morris and an accomplice are currently facing felony charges in connection with two cases where women almost died from injections. The injections did not contain silicone, as Morris had told the women it did, but was a toxic concoction made from substances found in the “Fix-a-Flat” tire repair product. More charges could be forthcoming, but the investigation has moved at a painstakingly slow pace due to the fact that many victims, the majority of whom are members of the transgendered community, are embarrassed or afraid to come forward.


The horrors of this story graphically illustrate why it is so important to have any cosmetic procedure performed by a licensed and board-certified plastic surgeon. There is nothing wrong with wanting the image that you have of yourself to match what you actually look like on the outside. There are, however, unscrupulous people who will try to take advantage of that desire. Such people try to manipulate that desire with promises on which they cannot deliver. In this case, Morris and her accomplice targeted the transgendered community, but it could have just as easily happened to anyone.


If you live in South Florida and are seeking cosmetic surgery, ask your plastic surgeon about licensing and certification. Reputable surgeons will be not be offended and will be happy to share with you their credentials that they worked so hard to achieve. When con artists try to practice cosmetic surgery, it harms the reputation of legitimate surgeons in the field. They want to set the record straight.


Dr. Justin Yovino, MD, FACS is an accomplished, board-certified South Florida plastic surgeon who specializes in the latest and most advanced plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery procedures and techniques in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954.565.2330 or visit to schedule a consultation or request more information.

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