Each year Americans spend more than $16 billion on cosmetic plastic surgery. The procedures range from minimally invasive nonsurgical treatments like wrinkle treatment injections, chemical peels, and laser hair removal to more extensive plastic surgery procedures like facelifts, tummy tucks, breast reductions, and nose reshaping.
People who’re looking to significantly rejuvenate their face or body typically need to go under the knife. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. And it’s the plastic surgeon’s job to help you make the right choice. In this article, I’ll tell you a little bit about my approach to plastic surgery. My goal is to give you the best possible results possible, given your time-frame for recovery.
All my patients undergo a thorough evaluation and formal assessment. The purpose of plastic surgery, and all surgery, is to solve a problem. The initial consultation is a chance for me to figure out the patient’s concerns and correctable problems. I do this by listening to them, listening to their concerns, and finding out what bothers them. The patient tells me about their goals and what they hope to achieve from plastic surgery.
The next step is to examine whatever body parts the patient is concerned about and come up with a diagnosis. This is where I’m using my expertise to give the problem a definitive explanation. For example, someone might come in and say, “My face looks old.” I examine the patient’s face and nail down exactly why it looks old, what are the problems we can correct to make their face look younger.
So, now that the problem is defined, it’s time to come up with a solution. Oftentimes, there are many solutions to the same problem. The key is using the solution that is best for a given patient. This depends on a number of things – the severity of their problem(s), how much time they have to recover and what they’re willing to endure to get it fixed. In my mind, I’m also evaluating what can be realistically and safely achieved. I’m taking into account the patient’s general health status, body shape, skin type, and myriad other things.
The next step is the hardest part – helping the patient decide what they should do. This can be tricky because oftentimes there are interventions or solutions that are a lot less invasive and need a much shorter recovery, but they’re not going to give the results the patient wants. I hate to have someone waste their time and money on an intervention that isn’t going to get them to where they want to be. That’s why the decision-making process is critical.
At this stage, I discuss the solutions to the patient’s problems and help them navigate those solutions so they can determine which procedure is best for them. I give my patients open and honest advice about whether a particular surgery will benefit them or not and the reasons why I believe so. For example, cosmetic improvement with a certain procedure may be marginal or unnoticeable. Or, the patient’s expectations may be unachievable with surgery unless the patient first does things like lose some weight and stop smoking.
Executing the Plan
The next step is executing the plan, which is likely some type of procedure and intervention. Once the procedure is done, it’s helping the patient get through their recovery period and managing any concerns or complications they could have. On the whole, complications from plastic surgery are rare, but should they arise, we’re here to make sure everything gets taken care of, all the way to the end.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing happy patients after a perfectly executed plan. The whole process (except for the paperwork!) is a lot of fun.
So, a quick recap of my approach to plastic surgery:
- Define the problems
- Figure out the patient’s goals
- Discuss solutions that can get them to those goals
- Come up with a plan
- Executing that plan (perform the procedures)
- Take care of the patient after surgery and get them through recovery
Most of it happens in my head, except for the surgery itself. So, a lot of it is not very entertaining. Actually, a lot of thought goes into planning and preparing for the procedures which nobody ever sees.
If you want to get a flavor of what goes into an operation, you can check out www.orsetup.com – this is where I keep all of my preference cards, so each hospital can access them when they are preparing for surgery. You can see all the different procedures and preference cards that we have and what goes into each one. You’ll see that each operation is no small undertaking. There’s a lot of thought and planning and preparation that goes into every single operation that we do.
On the whole, the process is really great. In fact, recently my wife and I were out to dinner and one of my patients was sitting at a nearby table. I did not go say hello because I didn’t want to blow her cover. I kind of gave her a nod and let her be. But she proceeded to come over to our table and we got to talking. She was telling my wife how happy she was and how great of a plastic surgeon I was. My wife’s comment was very funny. My wife said, “Well he better be, because that’s all he does.” It’s true. I do love plastic surgery. It is most of what my life is consumed by, but I am okay with that because I love what I do.
I hope you found this helpful. Please check out our website RestorePlasticSurgery.com. There you’ll find a price estimate for any combination of procedures you might be interested in. You can also use our Virtual Consultation tool. It’s essentially a way for you to send us your concerns along with photographs and we will respond with an assessment and our recommendations.
Got more questions? On our blog page, there is a recording function where you can leave audio recordings of your questions and things you would like discussed on a future episode. Finally, please follow us on Instagram and Facebook, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Lastly, we also have a podcast Plastic Surgery Q&A. You can subscribe to our podcast or listen to those episodes on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
Schedule a Consultation
Please contact Restore Plastic Surgery using the form on this page or call 850-500-7527 today to schedule a consultation. We serve patients in Pensacola, Florida and Mobile, Alabama.