The ‘best plastic surgeon’ is the one that can accomplish your goals, but equally importantly, it is the one you have confidence in. Although assuring your surgeon has the appropriate training is absolutely essential, the confidence I speak of rarely comes solely from a resume. Instead, it is a byproduct of the relationship that we develop as patient and surgeon during the consultation process. If you do not have confidence in your surgeon by the end of the consultation process, it is best to keep looking until you find the surgeon that is right for you.
There are many personal and professional characteristics that are essential for delivering the best plastic surgical care possible – integrity, honesty, respect, professionalism, education, surgical training, attention to detail, technical expertise, anatomic and surgical knowledge, academic knowledge; the list goes on.
However, it is my view that all of these traits have a singular intersection: communication. It is only through a skillfully directed consultation that we can develop the rapport and understanding which is essential for creating the confidence that we are on the path toward a gratifying result for both patient and surgeon.
Plastic surgery is a unique field of medicine in that it is the only field of surgery where we have the opportunity to help people on an almost subconscious level. The vast majority of patients desire a natural result, as do the vast majority of plastic surgeons. A natural result is one that people don’t perceive as being surgically or artificially altered, and one that ‘fits’ with the patient as a whole.
With that being said, most patients present because they feel that there already is a part that does not fit with their identity of themselves, that there is an imbalance between parts of their body or face. This lack of balance is typically due to a part that needs to be either returned or adjusted to a location or shape that encourages balance and harmony. For some people, this is the nose they were born with, and for others it is the body they received after childbirth. Either way, it represents an aberration from their sense of self.
There is a dynamic that exists between the components of one’s face, as well as the shape of one’s body; each needs to ‘fit’ and complement the other. Due to my extensive training in all aspects plastic surgery from head-to-toe, I feel I have an exceptional understanding of this dynamic and that I understand it as well as anyone else, and better than many. I have seen what can happen when this balance is upset, and restoring this balance is my goal.
The body has complementary aspects and just as in physics, for every action there is a reaction. Balance is obtained when one can preserve what is good and desirable, and re-shape what is not; this is the best way for natural results to occur.
However, variety truly is the spice of life and there are beautiful people in all cultures, genders, and age groups. Beauty takes many forms and it is my job to understand your vision of beauty—your aesthetic—to facilitate a result that is consistent with this vision. It is not my job (nor my desire) to force upon you my vision of what I think is beautiful.
Through the consultation process we will reach an agreement on a plan to achieve your goals, and then make a social contract to trust each other to uphold our roles: I will be the best surgeon I can be, and you will be the best patient you can be. It is only with this mutual understanding, respect, and trust that we can have the confidence that you will have the best possible outcome.