“MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE COMPLETELY AGAINST ME HAVING PLASTIC SURGERY…WHAT DO I DO?!”
From time to time, I will see patients who are struggling with the fact that loved ones – whether it be a spouse, a parent, a sibling, or a friend – are fighting the patient on his or her decision to have plastic surgery. Sometimes it happens right in front of me during the consultation. “You look fine” or “You don’t need anything” or “No, don’t do that” are all things that I have heard said to my patient while we are going through the consultation process. I have also had patients who are trying to keep something hidden from spouses or loved ones for fear they would not be supportive. I certainly understand that this can be difficult to navigate. As your surgeon, I am your advocate and therefore and am there to help you through this. So what’s the best approach? In my experience, the approach very simply depends on the specific objection.
“YOU LOOK FINE THE WAY YOU ARE”
There may be concerns that the patient will look “unnatural” or will ruin their natural beauty. Clearly this is a subjective value judgement. You are in the office because of something that you want to address. It is about how you see yourself and therefore your opinion is what matters here most. Of course there are situations where a patient may obsess over something that cannot or should not be addressed with surgery. This is where your selection in surgeon is key. If you are with a qualified surgeon with whom you have developed a trusting relationship, have faith that he or she will be honest in their assessment and in determining what if anything can be done to meet your goals. After listening to a patient, I will restate their concerns and goals to make sure we are on the same page. After an examination, I will give them an honest appraisal of whether or not the patient’s goals can be attained. If I don’t think I can see what the patient sees or if I don’t think I can reach the goal the patient wants, I will say so.
“YOU’RE RISKING YOUR HEALTH”
Safety always comes first. Although this is certainly a well-intentioned sentiment, only a health care provider – usually your surgeon and/or your primary care provider – can make this decision. In truth, to become board-certified, a surgeon must exemplify the highest levels of safety in practice. For all patients, I obtain a thorough medical history and perform a physical exam. Additionally, all patients must obtain preoperative labs and appropriate studies prior to proceeding. Finally, for all patients over 40 years old, I request a medical clearance for surgery from the primary care provider to make sure no unnecessary risks are being taken. I can provide real statistics on surgical risks that are based on medical studies so that everyone can feel comfortable knowing what those risks truly are.
“IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE”
Financial considerations certainly cannot be dismissed. If the patient is married or part of a family, the decision to pursue plastic surgery becomes more of a team decision. If you are financing the surgery yourself and have no dependents in life who might be impacted by this expense, then the decision really is yours and yours alone.
One final note is that I always encourage patients to bring friends, family members, and spouses to their consultations. First of all, I love getting to know the important people in your life! Beyond that, it is even more important in situations where they are skeptical. In my experience, having them alongside you during the process can be immeasurably effective at alleviating concerns and in many cases turns doubters into supporters. I certainly strive to be your greatest advocate but I also want to educate loved ones so that they too can support you during your journey. To schedule your consultation, please contact my office today…and bring your family and friends!