If you’ve ever had a consultation for plastic surgery here in Albany, NY, the greater Capital Region, or elsewhere, you probably assumed you were the one doing all the decision-making. But here’s a secret: Your plastic surgeon should also be evaluating you to ensure you make a good team. You see, not only is it important for a patient to understand the surgeon, but the surgeon must also fully understand his or her patient.
As I recently explained in an interview with Cliché magazine:
“There are many plastic surgeons for a patient to choose from, and the consultation is the first step in establishing a rapport. People need to recognize that selecting a plastic surgeon is the start of a relationship where we both need to establish a mutual shared vision.”
In seeking that shared vision, you’ll want to answer a few important questions in your search for the right plastic surgeon. These include:
What motivates the surgeon? It’s helpful to know what inspires your surgeon on a daily basis. You’ll know you’re on the right track if he or she is driven by a desire to help people feel better about themselves. If you get the feeling that a surgeon is only out for financial gain or is simply not interested in getting to know your own personal story, that surgeon may not be a good fit.
Does he or she have an artistic eye? It takes years of higher education, training, and experience to become a board-certified plastic surgeon. But there is one aspect you cannot learn in school, and that is artistic ability. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” approach to plastic surgery. Often, creativity and vision are the difference between natural-looking results and noticeable results. This would be a great topic to bring up during your first meeting.
Do you feel pushed? It’s my belief that a person should never feel pushed into plastic surgery. In fact, if a nonsurgical alternative might be better, you should feel confident that your surgeon will recommend that. This is vital when it comes to building trust between patient and physician.
On the flip side, there are also traits I look for in an ideal patient, the most important being a healthy perspective. I’m curious to know about your motivations as well. It’s my goal to look out for your health and well-being first and foremost. Because I am passionate about helping others, I want to make sure I’ll be able to accomplish that with you. Sometimes I see potential patients who may not be in the right mindset for surgery. Often, they have had big lifestyle changes or emotional events happen recently. When a patient is emotionally stable and in good spirits, it tends to benefit his or her outcome.
I’ll also want to make sure a patient has realistic expectations. Do you expect to walk into a plastic surgery practice and suddenly be completely wrinkle-free, or do you expect to look like an entirely different person? Then it’s probably not going to be a good fit.
I hope this gives you a little food for thought when going into that all-important consultation. If you’d like to chat some more, I invite you to request an appointment at my practice in Albany.