Q: Why does it seem like plastic surgery is becoming more and more affordable with better technology, but the opposite happens for the rest of medicine?
A: Like most things, the cost of cosmetic surgery continues to increase over time. Likely due to reality TV, plastic surgery has become more mainstream and is not something people feel they need to hide.
Therefore we simply hear more about it now. And buyer beware! Cheap prices may reflect a lack of training and board-certification.
Q: Where do you draw the line and refuse to perform the type of procedure that your patients request?
A: Whenever a patient is unrealistic in their expectations, no good will come from a surgical procedure. People who want a procedure and simply are not candidates do not get a procedure. Liposuction in a morbidly obese patient is a good example. Breast augmentation for a woman who already is a DD cup is another.
With some procedures like rhinoplasty (nose job), I will morph an expected result for a patient and based on their response, I will might refuse to do it.
Q: Do you foresee a time when the rates of plastic surgery for men catch up to those for women, or at least are close?
A: Never. Wrinkles, bulges, bald spots — most men don’t care enough to ever do anything about it. Interestingly though, as the workforce ages and more and more men are working longer, we are seeing more men having surgery to look younger — to help stay competitive in the workplace — for right or wrong.
Q: Do you think more people would be willing to try cosmetic surgery if some services were offered as outpatient rather than inpatient procedures?
A: Every cosmetic surgery procedure that I perform is outpatient. You come and have the surgery and go home the same day. You do have to return in the morning for a check up. This is how most plastic surgeons operate. If you go to a really upscale practice, you may have overnight accommodations — some rivaling the Four Seasons — but you will pay for it.
Q: What age is too young for plastic surgery?
A: This is controversial but I would say anything under 18 years old. Younger for congenital deformities, but there is something to be said for letting an adult make a decision for themselves. I have yet to see to a cosmetic “emergency” that needed a procedure STAT and couldn’t wait a year or two.
Q: What procedures are most likely to result in “I’m so glad I had it done!” and which tend to give rise to “What was I thinking?” regrets?
A: Most patients who are well informed and are realistic about their procedure are happy they did it. Those in the unhappy crowd often have had procedures with the terms “short scar,” “no downtime,” or “lunch time” attached to them. There is no free lunch.
Q: Does plastic surgery always produce a scar which must be hidden?
Q: What is the best bargain in plastic surgery? Which procedure would give most people the most satisfaction and improvements for the amount of time and money spent?
A: Harder to answer. It really depends what it is that bothers you. Taking all comers, Botox for certain wrinkles is the best bargain. It eliminates the wrinkles for up to 4 months and does not require any surgery and therefore downtime.