Senate Committee To Consider Bill To Allow Oral Surgeons To Perform Common Elective Cosmetic Surgeries
The Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday was scheduled to consider a bill (SB 1336) that would allow oral and maxillofacial surgeons to perform common elective surgeries that are currently considered "the general domain of plastic surgeons," the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Oral surgeons -- many of whom are not medical doctors -- already perform some types of medically necessary facial procedures but are barred from performing such surgeries on an elective basis. The bill, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore John Burton (D-San Francisco) and Sen. Jim Brulte (R-Rancho Cucamonga), would permit oral surgeons to perform elective procedures such as eye lifts and Botox injections at patients' requests, instead of only when medically necessary. The legislation would require oral surgeons pay a $150 fee and gain board certification. Dr. Harvey Zarem, president of the California Society of Plastic Surgeons and an opponent of the legislation, said that oral surgeons "do great jaw work -- period. They tend to think if you have the right instruments, you can do anything." He added, "This goes through, I'll absolutely guarantee them they'll be doing breast surgery." But proponents of the bill say that the state law barring oral surgeons from performing "lucrative elective surgery" is "unfai[r]" and that lifting that restriction would "widen a prospective patient's options," the Chronicle reports. Thomas Hiser, president of the California Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, said, "Some of the plastic surgery procedures are less traumatic than taking out 25 teeth from somebody." The Senate Business and Professions Committee approved the bill last month (Hubbell, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.