3 Surefire Ways to Make Your Cosmetic Surgeon Grumpy

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I see all types of patients — young, old, happy, sad, sane, or not... You get the picture. As a surgeon, I’m well prepared for anything that gets thrown at me, as are my colleagues, whether it’s unusual (crazy) requests, erratic (crazy) behavior, or perfectly punctual and polite patients all day every day (now THAT would be crazy). But there are a few things that are definite no-no’s when it comes to your relationship with your cosmetic surgeon.

1. Home Visits
We enjoy seeing our patients in the office. It’s one of the reasons we love doing what we do. But Googling our residential address and showing up during Sunday dinner to beg for a consultation isn’t the best approach. If you call the front desk and express your desire for a fast-track consult, we can probably find a way to accommodate you. #nostalkersplease

2. Personal Hygiene
You want to look beautiful. I want you to look beautiful. Smelly socks and bad breath aren’t beautiful. Trust me. Personal hygiene is always appreciated. #prettyplease 

3. Cosmetic Qualifications
Probably the thing that can throw any cosmetic surgeon’s whole day off is to hear, “I should only trust my face to a plastic surgeon.” Hang on. Not so fast. Plastic surgeons aren’t the only ones qualified to perform cosmetic surgery. No way. That’s what they’d like you to believe, however, because — if you didn’t already realize — the cosmetic surgery industry is a cash business and ultimately we’re all looking to increase our profit margins.

And that’s a fact.

So what’s responsible for the wide-spread belief that “you should only trust your face to a plastic surgeon”? A very strong media campaign, of course. But like any other campaign, it’s simply promotional, not factual.

The fact is, plastic surgeons are not the only specialty qualified to perform cosmetic surgery. Other specialties that also turn out distinguished, qualified cosmetic surgeons include:

  • Opthalmology
  • Dermatology
  • Otolaryngology
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
That’s not to say the plastics don’t have other good general advice for making sure you choose the very best surgeon, which includes having relevant education and experience to demonstrate safety and results.

The bottom line is, any surgeon within any specialty should be evaluated individually for their education and skills, including plastic surgeons. You should make sure yours:
  • Is a surgeon with anatomical expertise in the area you want them to treat
  • Is board certified in their surgical specialty
  • Has formal education in cosmetic surgery through fellowship (not a weekend course)
  • Can show you examples of his or her work with before and after photographs
  • Demonstrates he/she understands your desires and communicates clearly
  • Has hospital privileges and facility accreditation
  • Provides reliable references
  • Makes you feel comfortable
  • Provides thorough follow-up care
As for me, I’m a facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon with board certification in oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMS). Because we know the face, head, and mouth inside-out, we’re often the ones who are called on for our reconstructive and cosmetic skills to treat severe facial injuries from accidents. And so technically, we are just as qualified in facial surgery (in some cases, even more so) as plastic surgeons. In fact, many facial surgery techniques were first developed by my specialty. The important thing is to do your research and choose a doctor with the training and experience to give you the results you want.

Article by
Shrewsbury Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon