If you have ever considered plastic surgery, chances are you have spent a great deal of time thinking about the end result that you hope, or expect, to get. But what about the plastic surgeon? What do you expect from him, or her? What is reasonable and what is unrealistic?
It is reasonable to expect him to ask you about your goals, and to listen. A quick tip is if he doesn't write anything down, he probably isn't listening. Patients walk in and out the door all day and none of us are smart enough to commit to memory each individual patient's goals. On the other hand, listening is not the same as saying Yes to everything you request. Sometimes you may think a certain procedure will get you to where you want to go, but it won't and it is our job to explain why. You are not just paying for a procedure. You are paying for expertise and surgical judgment, and you have a right to expect it.
It is also reasonable to expect your plastic surgeon to care, not just before your surgery but after it as well. Ask to speak to an old patient and ask if she felt as important after her surgery as she did before she signed up. Did they respect her time and did they have time for her after her surgery? If you really want to find out about your surgeon, speak to a patient who had a problem or complication. After all, we all get them. It is the ability to reassure a patient and work through a complication to a good result that truly separates the best plastic surgeons. This is one instance where the cream rises to the top.
What about guarantees? Should plastic surgeons guarantee their work? The short answer is no. The human body and its' healing properties are too complex to guarantee a specific outcome. If your plastic surgeon does guarantee a result, be careful. The only things we can really guarantee are a commitment to do our best work and honesty. And you have a right to expect those two guarantees.
If your surgery does not turn out the way you had hoped, what will happen? If you are disappointed because your result is not perfect, then you probably never should have had surgery in the first place because no surgical result is ever truly perfect. But if there is a problem that could be corrected, it is reasonable to expect your plastic surgeon to try. Most surgeons will not charge an extra surgical fee to correct a problem but you may incur some charges related to operating room fees and this would be reasonable on their part.
Hopefully, you have thought through most of this in one form or another but if not, now would be a good time. If you are convinced that your plastic surgeon is caring, honest, listens, and puts forth his best effort, odds are that you are in good hands. This is not a guarantee, but you know all about that by now anyway.