Things don’t always go according to plan…
Sometimes it’s a matter of unintended consequences. Sometimes expectations are not met. While it is important to properly and accurately identify the issue, it is perhaps even more important to trust that the surgeon of your choice is competent in both their abilities and communications.
So What Happened?
Dr. Richard Baxter sees a lot of revision patients, and the first order of business is always to identify the root of the problem. Did the surgeon make a mistake? Did the patient? Is this something that could not have been foreseen? As surgery is an invasive procedure, the body is thrust into action as it attempts to heal itself. It can be very difficult to predict how the body will respond and sometimes this leads to complications.
In any and all cases, the focus should not be fixed on the placement of fault but on the strategy to adjust. While it is important to know how we got here, the main goal is to get us where we want to be.
Who To Trust
Dr. Baxter says the original surgeon is in the best position to help correct any complications that may have occurred. They should have full knowledge of the patient’s history and the strategy and execution of the procedure. This puts them in a position to know best what happened and what can be done.
“However, when you think it’s time to find a new surgeon for a revision, here’s one thing to consider: Not every plastic surgeon has the temperament for taking on revision cases. They are challenging, expectations are high, and patients are often upset at having to undergo more surgery and expense. For someone who gets his fix by creative problem-solving like I do, it can be quite rewarding,” says Baxter. It’s worth asking your plastic surgeon if revision surgery is a focus of his or her practice.
Revision surgery is a complicated and can be unpleasant, like waking up somewhere unexpected and unknown. The surgeon becomes a guide; willing and capable of taking the patient reassuringly by the hand, they must calmly return them to the desired path.
When choosing a guide through difficult times it becomes very obvious the role that trust plays. A good surgeon to handle revision must instill confidence and comfort in the patient. They must prove themselves valuable as a technician and mentor.
The Next Step
Once an understanding of the situation has been established, the surgeon will offer their solutions. This is not a scenario in which a surgery simply does not succeed and the surgeon expects to try, try again.
“You don’t want Plan B to be the same as Plan A just hoping for a different result.”
When revision surgery is required, the patient is faced with a new circumstance altogether. A board-certified plastic surgeon, like Dr. Baxter, should be well-positioned to tackle such extenuating circumstances. When expectations are not met the first time around, it is very important to entrust a surgeon equipped with all of the skills and techniques necessary to relieve your body and mind.