Other People’s Plastic Surgery

As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in his 22nd year of private practice, I have seen many people who have had prior cosmetic procedures done by other doctors. I am often asked my opinion of the work. I try to avoid this answer at all costs.

One rule I have is to never ask who performed the surgery, as I do not want anything to bias my opinion in either direction. My personal feelings toward a particular doctor, or my prior experience with patients of his/hers, should be left out of the equation.

I also state that it is impossible to judge a result without first seeing the before photos from the surgeon (no offense, but some patients use a before photo that was altered or from many years in the past that do not reflect the true appearance on the day of the surgery). A slightly wider or larger breast on one side may be a horrible error, or a miracle of surgical wizardry to even approach two even sides.

With regard to scar quality, unless it is horribly malpositioned, often the scar depends mainly on the genetics and skin of the patient and the care given after the procedure. An ugly scar does not mean your surgeon did a bad job. When I revise scars, I even tell patients that there is no guarantee it won’t look worse.

I advise patients to look forward, not back. You cannot change the surgery you had, but can try to achieve a better result in the future. I am always happy to have an honest discussion of the options for improving prior surgery, but you need to let go of anger and be positive for a healthy start on getting better.

Presidents Day 2019

Today is Presidents Day, a made up arbitrary Monday in between George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s birth dates so that we can have a 3 day weekend instead of 2 random days off. While I have tremendous respect and gratitude for both great men, I doubt that even 1% of the people who take the day off will spend even a moment to honor either man.

I guess I have a problem with the concept of moving the date of a holiday observance to a Monday so that people can have three days in a row off. Is the holiday a paid vacation, or the intended honor of a person or event? Is it about travel or respect?

I especially love it when a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday and they still declare Monday a holiday, lest someone think they are being cheated out of a day off. Heaven forbid we celebrate when we are not working.

My suggestion is to honor the intent of the holiday, be it on the actual date or a Monday. Let it not be a day of X Box and sleeping in, but one of discussing the meaning of the day. Visit a museum, donate your time to a charitable cause, or even read about the history of the holiday. Even if this is just for an hour or two of the day, it is honest and genuine.

Valentine’s Day 2019

It is a few days before Valentine’s Day, so I hope you who participate have made all of your arrangements for dinner reservations, flowers, and chocolates. Jewelry, for those who prefer, can still be purchased.

For me, I would like to send a Valentine to Plastic Surgery, whom I have loved for over 30 years. But how do you send chocolates to a field of medicine? Can flowers be appreciated by techniques? Do books appreciate jewelry?

I show my love for plastic surgery through my faithfulness to her principles. I never wander from her scope of practice, am loyal to her core principles, and do not entertain thoughts of other specialties. Despite being committed as a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, I participate in a lifelong program of study to maintain my certification, and try not to forget all I have been trained to do.

I have sacrificed a lot to stay with Plastic Surgery. I spent so many years in Medical School, Residency and Fellowship to prove myself worthy. Many sleepless nights spent in hospitals, missing many events due to the demands and needs of the practice.

I want to say that with each year I love Plastic Surgery more. As I age, I understand its importance more. Even if I put away my tools one day, I will always be a Plastic Surgeon in my heart.

The Super Bowl of Surgery

Every year, a billion people or so gather to witness the NFL championship game being played by tuning in to the broadcast. It goes beyond mere sport, it has become more of a shared cultural experience that transcends gender, race and religion. Even the interruptions in the action, the commercials, are met with eager anticipation.

What if there were a Super Bowl of Plastic Surgery? The best surgeons going through a season of patients, followed by the highest ranking few having a playoff until the final top 2 remained. It would be the reality show to end all others.

The commercials would be equally interesting, with many industries wanting to cash in on the beauty interested public. Make up, hair care, fashion, nutrition, exercise, as well as luxury goods would kill for the opportunity. Celebrity endorsers would be simple to find.

Imagine the technology that would be employed. Cameras from every angle, graphics on ideal angles and proportion, slo mo replay- it would be amazing. The venue would unfortunately not be large enough for a big audience.

And finally, we could have a panel of judges, enhanced by a phone in vote from the public. There can be world famous plastic surgeons as well as patients who have had a lot of plastic surgery serving to compile the scores. Imagine, the winner would actually be the patient!