When considering plastic surgery to improve the function and/or appearance of an area of the body, there is “no one size fits all” option. In fact, precisely which surgical options may be the best fit for a particular patient is a complex equation that takes into account many variables including the patient’s age, body habitus, current appearance, desired appearance, lifestyle, and many more. Due to the high level of complexity, it is not uncommon for a patient to receive different opinions as to what is the best course of action from different plastic surgeons. This can be distressing for patients, as they may feel torn between multiple choices and unsure which one is the best one for them. In this post, I will discuss this common dilemma and offer some guidance for how to navigate this to find the right option for you.
The field of plastic surgery is unique in that one of its core characteristics is the ability to be precisely tailored to the individual. In fact, it is a common misconception that the word “plastic” in the context of plastic surgery means synthetic – It actually means to mold or shape. The best plastic surgeons have perfected the artistry of their craft, and are able to tailor their procedure to match the individual patient’s anatomy and goals. This space for customization gives patients more options when working with their surgeon to design a surgical plan that is personalized for them. However, the flip side of this this freedom is that patients may receive many differing opinions from different plastic surgeons. One common example of this is in breast enhancement, one of the most popular areas of plastic surgery. There are many different options for improving the appearance of the breasts, such as through a breast lift, breast augmentation, or combination of both. Within the option of a breast lift, there are more choices such as the surgical approach and where the scar will be placed. Within breast augmentation, there are even more options including the many different varieties of implants such as saline versus silicone, and the different sizes and shapes available. Thus, it’s easy to see how a patient interested in breast enhancement might receive multiple different recommendations from different plastic surgeons. This does not necessarily mean that any of them are wrong or bad, just that the patient has several options to explore.
So, in these situations how should you decide what to do? I wish I could say there was a way for you to just enter all of your information into a magic formula and find the perfect solution. Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer and the best approach boils down to two things: Doing your research and trusting your gut. For the research component of this, first and foremost it is essential to only consider recommendations from plastic surgeons who have been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This ensures that your surgeon has passed all of their tests and completed the necessary rigorous training to become a plastic surgeon. Next, go on their websites and view pictures of real patients in their Photo Gallery, paying special attention to patients whose “before” pictures looked similar to you and whose “after” pictures are similar to the results you are looking for. This will give you an idea of the quality of their work, as well as what procedures produced the results you desire for other patients. It is also a great idea to read real patient reviews to get an idea of if most patients are happy with their results, or if you see a recurring problem or red flag. (And of course, make sure to read more than the couple of glowing reviews that are featured on the front page of their website!)
At this point, you should have narrowed your pool to only include the opinions of board-certified plastic surgeons who are experienced, safe, and consistently produce excellent results, and you should also have some ideas about what options you think are best suited for you based off of your research. If at this point you still have a few different options you are considering, now it is time to trust your gut! Take time to carefully consider your choices, and don’t rush into making a decision you are not ready for. It is better to take your time going through the options than to quickly make a decision that you will later regret – after all, this is surgery! Furthermore, you should never feel rushed or pressured into a decision by a plastic surgeon. If this happens, take it as a sign that you may need to find someone else. A good surgeon understands that surgery of any kind is a big decision, and will support you in considering all of your options until you feel ready to make your choice. At the end of the day, you are the one who knows your body best!
Receiving different recommendations from different doctors can be frustrating, but it also creates opportunity for patients to get involved in their care and learn about the options available to them. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Traci Temmen encourages patients to do their research, look at Before and After photos of real patients in the Gallery of this website, and read patient reviews. She welcomes questions and concerns, and takes the time to address each one thoroughly during her one-on-one consultations with patients. Patients are consistently impressed with her gentle demeanor and meticulous surgical skill, and admire the way she makes them feel at ease from their first initial consultation. To see for yourself why so many patients choose board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Traci Temmen, book your individual consultation by calling 813-771-6393, today!