Plastic Surgeon- Psychologist with a Scalpel

The words of the title of this blog were spoken by famed Brazilian Plastic Surgeon Ivo Pitanguy many years ago.  It does not mean that everyone who seeks cosmetic surgery is crazy, it implies that the reasons and expectations for the operations is of vital importance.

When I meet some patients, I can tell just by the way they fill out the forms for my office that they are  a bit strange.  Others, after a few minutes of general conversation, can be found to have unrealistic expectations or traits of personality disorders that make them poor candidates for surgery.  These are the easy ones.

Some patients can function well in the world, even over long periods of time, if the conversation is specific and focused over short periods of individual encounters.  Sometimes they are delightful with the doctor, and things slip when they are with other staff.  These are the dangerous ones.

Once you operate on a patient, they are yours.  I can deal with a patient who is unhappy over something tangible, such as a scar that is dark, or a minor imperfection.  What is impossible is the patient who has a spectacular result who feels they have been wronged.

The best scenario is to avoid operating on these people, but that is not always easy.  The next step is to review photos in a logical manner.  If they refuse to see reality, I try having them bring a family member or friend to see if reason may prevail.  Failing this, I have referred patients to Psychologists and Psychiatrists.  This almost never goes over well.

My advice is, if you are in an unhappy relationship, if you expect perfection and nothing less, if you are an angry person, please do not seek Plastic Surgery.  Happiness will not come from the scalpel for you.


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