Most patients who come to see me for consultation at Yager Esthetics come by themselves. They express their concerns, we do an evaluation, and talk about the options, risks, expected outcomes, time out of work and exercise, and give them information on costs, financing, and payment options.
Sometimes we talk about several different procedures. They then leave the office very excited, and go to speak with their family/spouse/significant other. This is where problems can occur.
Patients often forget a lot of the details of their consult, as they are nervous about being undressed, often insecure about their appearance, and dazzled by the before and after pictures. This is frustrating for the people they talk to. Not having been to the office, not having met the doctor or seen the facility and what is offered, they can become very uneasy. The price, although extremely reasonable for a board certified plastic surgeon in an accredited surgery center, is higher than in other countries, and the significant other just dismisses the idea and says to do it over seas.
Another factor in the lack of support of others is that they feel left out of the process, and were not invited to go with you. Even if they were invited and said no, you should tell them that it is important for them to come, as you need to make the decision together. This way, they are a part of the decision, they are not afraid of you being taken advantage of, and can see the quality of the results and the safety and professionalism of the doctor and office.
Make your partner feel like a true partner. To have their support during recovery can make or break your surgical experience.
Sometimes we do all of our homework and select a board certified plastic surgeon who does the procedure we want well and often, and really connects with you. The office is beautiful, the staff is nice, and the fee is agreeable. All done? Not quite.
Where is the procedure being done and who is giving the anesthesia? This is the key question patients forget to ask. This question is also among the most important for patient safety. If your surgeon doesn’t do a good job, you can have it fixed or see another doctor. If the operating room is substandard, or there is no board certified anesthesiologist, you can die.
Make sure your procedure is being done in an accredited ambulatory surgery center or hospital. Your doctor’s office may be legal to operate in, but if it is not certified by AAAASF or JCAHO or AAAHC, it is not inspected or held to the highest standards of safety. All members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons must only operate in certified centers, so if your doctor does not, he is not a board certified plastic surgeon. Ask to see the current certification if you want to be certain.
Make sure you have a board certified anesthesiologist, who is an MD with specific certification in anesthesia. A Nurse Anesthetist is a nurse with additional training in anesthesia, but the y can only do so under the supervision of an MD. Your surgeon is not an anesthesiologist, and is not likely to be helpful in the event of an emergency.
Ask to see the operating room before booking a surgery. Make sure it is clean, modern, and geared to plastic surgery. Some centers do very few cosmetic cases, and the staff is not expert in postop care for these types of procedures. Ask.
Please be safe and check all the necessary credentials, not just the doctor.
As I mentioned in a prior blog, “Is Smart Lipo Smart for You?”, the use of laser assisted liposuction has many potential problems for my latin patients. Darkening of the skin, burns, the inability to use this fat for Brazilian Butt Lifts, and the higher cost without any real scientific evidence of better results are among the most concerning of these issues.
Not to mention the fact that a large number of the providers advertising Smart Lipo and other laser assisted devices are not Board Certified Plastic Surgeons, but Ob/Gyn’s, Anesthesiologists, Family Practitioners, and other MD’s with no formal training in plastic surgery other than the company sending them to watch another doctor do the procedure a few times.
Does Smart Lipo really tighten the skin as they claim? I have yet to see convincing long term scientific studies to back up these assertions. I will say that after liposuction, loose skin can be a problem in certain cases. While I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with experience with thousands of cases of liposuction, there are some cases in which a little skin tightening would improve the results.
Now we have a safe skin tightening laser specifically designed for Hispanic skin. My technique, Smarter Lipo, involves careful liposculpture so that the complications of laser assisted liposuction can be avoided, followed by lymphatic drainage massage and then external laser skin tightening as needed. It provides an even result, and you only pay for the laser you need if you need it at all.
While I believe that all people are created equally, the anatomic differences among the races cannot be ignored. As a plastic surgeon who specializes in Hispanic beauty, I am keenly aware of the unique challenges that these variables create.
I have seen very poor results in rhinoplasty of the latin patient done by very competent board certified plastic surgeons. Why? Because they do the same surgery they are used to doing in the Caucasian population. This does not always work for my patients.
Let me qualify this discussion by stating that the Hispanic population is tremendously diverse, from the lightest thinnest skin to the darkest and thickest. My observations are generalities, and each patient needs an individual analysis by a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in Hispanic noses. Below you will find my most important tips for success.
The nose has to match the face. You can have a perfect nose, but if it does not match the face in both size and ethnic features, it will look strange. Make sure your doctor has computer imaging to show you how the nose you like will look on your face. At Yager Esthetics, we do this for every nasal consult.
It is better to do too little than too much. Obviously, I try to do the perfect amount every time, and my revision rate for rhinoplasty is 5%. Once you have an overoperated nose, especially if the nostrils are too narrow, it is nearly impossible to restore a natural appearance.
Internal support is essential for breathing. If you remove too much structure in an attempt to get a smaller nose, it usually fails due to skin thickness. Once support is gone, you risk a nose that cannot breathe.
Good luck in your quest to improve your appearance. We look forward to seeing you and offering a safe and beautiful solution.