Times have changed and patients are becoming a lot more informed these days with the freely accessible wealth of information available on the internet.
There is no need to pay for information anymore and the days of people investing in the Encyclopaedia Britannica are long gone.
The value these days comes in the interpretation of information, because the more you know, the more you will see that life is not black and white.
Many cosmetic surgery patients go to several doctors before they settle on the final one and will often post questions online asking about the best procedure for them, or the best implant choice, or the best way to do something.
I understand how it is confusing when one doctor would suggest one thing and then another suggests something else.
It is usually not because one is wrong, they are just making a judgement on their own experiences and expertise, and this is what you are really getting from a doctor.
Patients are often seeking the answer as to what they should do, but there is no answer, particularly in cosmetic surgery because it is such a subjective area and there are no algorithms or standard pathways for us to follow.
We have to listen to patients, understand what their aims and objections are, taking into account where they are starting in terms of their body shape and tissue quality, as well as making allowances for the future depending on the patient’s age and lifestyle.
We often cannot answer the question:
what are the best implants for me?
or should I have a full facelift, a mini-facelift or just non-surgical treatment?
Different options will give different outcomes and there will be pros and cons of any treatment, so we will not tell you what the best way forward is, but we will listen to you and try to understand your expectations and advise you as to what the best way to get there might be.
There is and never will be any guarantees, at least in terms of a guarantee of what the outcome will specifically be.
We never guarantee the cosmetic results because we are dealing with tissues and scarring and the effects of gravity and ageing over time, so the results are always unpredictable.
However, what we can guarantee is that we will do our best, we will listen to you and we will try to understand what you are seeking to achieve. We will give you our best advice and do everything we possibly can to get you there.
In the days of more and more information being available, it is even more important that you trust the doctor.
You may be able to find a contrary opinion or article on the internet, but taken in the context of your own body, it would be open to discussion because the internet will never give you the answer and can only give you information in the broadest sense and is subject to misinterpretation.
I think it is great that the internet exists and we work hard to put out information for patients to understand as much as possible about their proposed procedure.
This is why I will always say to patients that the choice of their surgeon is probably more important than any other choice, certainly in terms of the precise procedure you have or particular type of implant that you have.
You need to be comfortable and confident with your surgeon and to be able to ask questions.
You should be completely at peace that the operation is the right choice for you at the right time, and also comfortable that the surgeon and the clinic will be there for you after the procedure to help to get you through the post-operative period.
It is often difficult initially, with swelling and asymmetry, red tight scars, and pain and discomfort.
It is important that you feel nurtured through this period because it can be frightening and unsettling and you need to trust in your surgical team who have seen it and been through it countless times with previous patients and should be in a position to let you know when and when not to worry.
So, trust me, I am a doctor!
I will give you the best information I can and I will do the best I can to make sure you are looked after.
I cannot guarantee that things will go well, but will guarantee that if they do not go well (a surgeon without any complications is a surgeon who does not operate), we will do everything we can to make things right.
If you have any questions, you can always join me on Facebook where I do a live Q and A every Tuesday at 7 p.m. and I will be available live to interact and discuss any issues.
Feel free to leave a comment below, or drop us an e-mail.
If you want to come for a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons, please call or email us or fill in the on-line contact form.