Q: I have had some body changes which have left me looking like a man. My head is also bigger. I have lost the contours of my face and my hips are strapped like boy’s. My hair is shorter too. Is there a way you can help?
A: Questions like this, while well intentioned, are a waste of time for both the patient and the plastic surgeon. The description of concerns are very vague and non-specific. Plastic surgery is about doing very specific procedures for identifiable specific and focused concerns. When a collection of procedures are done, it may very well be possible to change the look of one’s face or body. But plastic surgery is not magic and having plastic surgery does not ensure anyone that they will look different or feel better about themselves.
The most satisfied patients in plastic surgery are those that come in with observable anatomic problems and a reasonable amount of concern about them. As a plastic surgeon, I have no hope of making someone satisfied with a result when the exact problem is not clear beforehand. As the old motto goes, ‘you can not hit a target you do not have’.
When I sit done with patients in a consultation, I want at the end to have a list of specific concerns and have them listed in their order of priority. If we start at the top of the list and only do just one or two procedures gthat are directed to improve them, the patient is likely to end up feeling that their results were worth the effort.