Even 10-15 years ago, we wouldn’t or couldn’t be having this discussion — whether you should consider surgical or non-surgical options for cosmetic treatments. Times, technology, and techniques are a’changin.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Dr. Christine Hamori, a board certified plastic surgeon who practices near Boston, MA, says her first and foremost criterion she uses when discussing what approach to take with patients is honesty. So many of her patients, understandably, will come in saying, “Why can’t we do this without surgery?” Sometimes, Dr. Hamori can agree and say this neck treatment or that eyebrow adjustment can be made without picking up a scalpel. Many times, however, she has to level with patients and say, “if you want the result to be x, then we’re going to consider a surgical approach.”
It’s Good to Have Options, but…
Dr. William P. Adams Jr., a Dallas-based board certified plastic surgeon, says just because we have non-surgical options, doesn’t make it better. Patients shouldn’t assume non-surgical is always better than surgical, Adams insists. The most important factor, he says, is having the “to cut or not to cut” conversation with a board certified plastic surgeon with the knowledge of the pros and cons of each approach.
The “Match Game” is Critical, too
Dr. Tino Mendieta, whose board certified plastic surgery practice is in Miami, says matching the right patient with the right approach is fundamental for success. He says for a lot of procedures, it’s a slam dunk: it’s obvious that ”this approach matches this patient.” But… it gets tricky when you get patients who are “in between.” He agrees with Dr. Hamori that an honest discussion is critical at that point to make sure he and his patient agree on what approach they want taken.
The Age of Customization
Having more options, both surgical and non-surgical, is good for everyone. Patient education and a rewarding consult help patients agree with their surgeons that sometimes the less invasive, non-surgical approach to cosmetic improvements may not provide the end result they hope for.
If non-surgical approaches are a good option, most all board certified plastic surgeons say the first place to start is great skin care. And while there are new and improved skin therapies on the market, talking over which one may provide the best results with your plastic surgeon is a must. He or she is going to know your skin the best to decide which brand will do the best job for you.
Fillers and injectables also top the list of approaches to facial rejuvenation that don’t include scalpels and down time and general anesthesia. If you’ve lost volume, fillers can be used to pump up lost facial volume.
Whether it’s fillers and Botox, CoolSculpting, or even ThermiVa for vaginal rejuvenation, non-surgical options persist because they are extremely successful. There is but a limit to how much they can provide, a limit that will be understood and emphasized by a board certified plastic surgeon during a consult.