We are in a society where patients want to be as well informed as possible, and so the onus is on us as doctors, to provide as much good quality information as we can.
That is why I go to great lengths to be open and transparent to make myself available for questions every Tuesday on Facebook Live, and we have extensive documents that we send out to patients when they enquire, and before and after the consultation, and their procedure.
I have just posted another set of before and after photographs on social media and it struck me that there is a tendency to only post the good results.
It is a fact of life that most people will get an average result, a few will get a very good result, and a few will get a very bad result.
That is how statistics work.
I go to great lengths when I see people in clinic to explain the limitations and complications of any procedure and the before and after photographs that I show there are of average results, because I do not want to raise expectations in patients.
The most important factor in getting a good outcome is to be realistic about what can be achieved.
One of the underlying principles of my clinic, is that we want to have happy patients, and so you will find that we are very honest about what can realistically be expected from surgery, so that you can make an informed decision as to whether it is right for you, and this includes seeing realistic results of the procedure.
Fortunately we are in a situation where I do not think we would do well if we started posting bad results on social media, although it is food for thought, and I guess the point in writing a blog post is to urge caution in what you see on the internet, as I think we are all guilty of a tendency to show off our good results.
This is always counter-balanced by the opportunity for patients to talk about their experience and post their own results, and so this can be a blessing and a curse because you cannot take one person’s results to necessarily reflect what could happen to you.
At the end of the day, the best bet is to find a surgical practitioner who you feel can trust will be honest with you about the results you can achieve, because most of us really want happy patients and realise there is no long term benefit in making exaggerated claims.
As ever, do your research.
If you have any questions then contact us on the website or on Facebook where our director does a live Q and A on Facebook every Tuesday at 7 p.m. Please visit our Facebook page if you would like to put a question directly to Jonathan.
Feel free to leave a comment below, or drop us an e-mail.