From Doctor to Patient: Surgeons Perform Own Treatments

8 Oct 2012 at 10:00am


For some doctors, plastic surgery is not just a profession, it’s part of their physical upkeep. Some days they’ll perform procedures on their patients, while other days they’ll become the patients. “I think every surgeon should have the experience of being on the other side of the scalpel,” said Dr. Joseph Niamtu, a cosmetic facial plastic surgoen.

According to Cosmetic Surgery Times, Dr. Niamtu underwent skin procedures to rejuvenate his sun-damaged skin, and also got cheek implants. He had the procedures performed at his own practice in order to experience precisely what his patients go through at his business. After feeling the pain of having sutures removed firsthand, he even adjusted the way he did eyelid sutures to make it more comfortable.

Aside from the professional perk of better understanding the business from a patient perspective, Dr. Niamtu admits that the results played a part. “The rationale was like anybody else,” he said. “It was vanity.”

And Dr. Niamtu is not alone: Texas-based surgeon, Dr. Thomas Jeneby, MD, similarly opened up about having Botox, chemical peels, and SmartLipo. “Patients love to hear that I get the same treatments that they do,” said Dr. Jeneby. “When I talk to them about these treatments it makes it much easier for them to relate, which in turn makes it easier for me to sell the procedures.”

The thought behind it is that seeing doctors believe in the procedures enough to do it themselves will inspire confidence in potential patients. That’s why some doctors make their own cosmetic experiences part of their social media presence. Dr. Grant Stevens keeps his Facebook page full of footage of him on the receiving end of ThermageRadiesse and more, in order to show trust in the treatments.

Obviously, the decision to cosmetically enhance oneself is a personal one, even for plastic surgeons. But those who do opt to undergo treatments seem to gain a boost - not just in terms of appearances, but in regards to patient understand and - in the end - marketing.


Do you trust a doctor more who has first-hand experience being a patient? Do you consider it advertising their work? Let us know in the comments below?


photo credit: Tsalko Andrei | deposit photos

Comments (3)

I have learned a lot from being on the "other side" of the needle! After performing botox on my forehead, I learned first-hand, "Hey even with only 5 units, my brow feels a little heavy!" And after augmenting my own chin non-surgically, I experienced the extra boost of confidence even just 2-3 mm of chin projection can give you. I found myself smiling brighter, and it felt great! I also learned what it really means to have a little swelling for a few days. It's funny after telling patients for years, there will be some swelling, there's nothing quite like experiencing it first hand! Probably the biggest thing I learned from performing injections on myself is how important it really is to keep it natural! I really didn't want any friends or patients to look and say, "wow, what's going on there?" Receiving injections definitely makes me a better injector!.
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You can tell by the way you carry yourself in your videos. Very thorough and have that perfectionist type persona. Because of that, through real self I have submitted my online consult and hope to see you in January.
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We find it great that some doctors actually perform surgery on themselves too. Like this, doctors will be able to see and feel what all patients do from first hand experience, and can thus not only help understand them more, but also make the process less painful! It is possible that many patients will feel more comfortable once they know that their doctor has gotten the procedure done too, and we also see it as advertising for their work. This can be both negative or positive, depending on the result of their surgery! do you agree?
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