Every plastic surgeon has a philosophy about how he or she will care for patients and this philosophy will directly affect you the patient. Somewhere in the background of every consultation with a new patient, a plastic surgeon must decide if he will tell the patient what she wants to hear or what she needs to know. If I were to poll any number of plastic surgeons and ask how this issue should be addressed, the answer would be: "Tell her what she needs to know?" After all, it's the only honest thing to do.
Yet every day consultations are being conducted in plastic surgeons' office in which exactly the opposite is occurring. Plastic surgeons, not to mention those from other specialties claiming to be plastic surgeons, are promising their patients beauty, sex appeal, the perfect body and more. And patients are taking it in faster than food at the state fair. If another surgeon can't make the same promise, it's only because he is not as skillful or talented. Fortunately, this is a small minority I'm describing but it happens often enough that you cannot afford to disregard the possibility.
Why does this have to happen in the first place? At best it will lead to disappointment and at worst it might spiral into a nightmare for everyone involved. At some point along the way Michael Jackson's plastic surgeon needed to say, "You know, Mike, I think we're getting a little carried away here." Maybe he did.
One unfortunate reason that this happens is supply and demand. The supply of practitioners anxious to be your plastic surgeon far exceeds the demand. Every one of us is under pressure to be positive, to be optimistic and to be the surgeon who can get the job done. It takes a great deal of resolve to sit there and talk about having realistic expectations and the limitations of plastic surgery, not to mention the complications.
This is not an excuse but it is a challenge. Every day the overwhelming majority of plastic surgeons meet this challenge, but some do not. And that's where it gets tricky. I do believe that people place trust in a plastic surgeon and want to hear the truth about themselves, even if it hurts a little. But they also want the truth about their bodies (their potential bodies) to be good news. So, in the end, some people want to hear what they want to hear.
The solution to all of this is an easy one, in theory at least: an honest consultation. So if you are in a consultation and you are hearing about limitations and risks as well as the benefits of plastic surgery, you are probably in the right place.