Why Wouldn't a Doctor Keep a Photo of His Work?

Last week, I went in for a consultation in NYC with a plastic surgeon for a Tummy Tuck. This was my fourth plastic surgeon that I went to go see so far. This plastic surgeon told me that unlike what other doctors said, I do not need Liposuction with my Tummy Tuck. I do not need a pain pump because the medicine will leak out the drains, and he did not have 1 picture of any of his procedures. While he did offer the cheapest price so far, I am having reservations about going back to him. Help!

Doctor Answers 5

Beware the Plastic Surgery cheap deal

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Finding a qualified plastic surgeon is crucial to your safety and to the ultimate outcome of your procedure. Most plastic surgeons are willing and able to show you "before and after" photos of their work at the time of your consultation. Upon request, you may also be able to speak with former patients who have had the procedure you are interested in. When considering abdominoplasty, or tummy-tuck, it is very important to make sure that your surgeon is fully certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Those of us that do a lot of this type of work are usually members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery as well.

Specifically, with regard to the tummy tuck surgery, it is not important to have a pain pump postoperatively. My patients do very well with oral medications. Also, you should know that having liposuction done at the same time as the tummy tuck increases your risk of blood clots to the lung.

Lastly, price should not be a deciding factor in choosing your plastic surgeon. Here in South Florida where I practice we have a couple of large practices which offer very heavily discounted procedures. As a surgeon who frequently sees the unhappy results of these "deals", I can only say there is no free lunch and you may get just what you pay for.

Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon

Photos are a valuable opportunity for patient and surgeon to gain important information

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Photos of a surgeon's work are critical - they provide an opportunity for the patient to see a portfolio of the surgeon's "average" results, and provided the surgeon chooses realistic photos, they provide an opportunity for the surgeon to assess whther the patient is realistic. They are an integral part of the consultation.

Post-operative photos

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Before and After pictures are very important for plastic surgeons - it allows them to show off their results, and gives potential patients something to look at that reflects the surgeon's results.

You should verify that your surgeon is board certified and do not be shy in asking how many of the particular procedures that your surgeon has done. In the case of tummy tucks, which are among the most common procedures performed, most board certified plastic surgeons in NYC will have performed upwards of 100.

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Relevance of photos

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While the conventional wisdom is to look at photos, it may have little to do with your particular situation and the results may or may not have relevance to what you are looking for. This is because what a patient ends up with is a variable combination of surgeon's bias and recommendation, patient anatomy, and patient desries. While it may be telltale that this surgeon has no photos at all, a better indicationis would to ask to speak to former patients and see if they had a good experience, achieved their goals, and would recommend their surgeon.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Plastic Surgeon

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I believe I have mentioned this before but price is not the only thing you need to be shopping for. You need to be shopping for a well qualified board certified plastic surgeon thatt you feel comfortable with. Those are the most important and then price. If you are price shopping only then cosmetic surgery really is not in your budget, no offense. You are not shopping for a car where you try to find the cheapest dealer and you will be equally happy because it is the same car at every dealer.

You are having surgery on your body and need to make certain that your trust and believe in your surgeon. This is very important because cosmetic surgery is not always perfect and complications happen. Then it becomes very costly and you need to be prepared. Also it is then that you will really need to trust your surgeon.

Good luck.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.