The Surgeon Minute

Say You Want to Look Like Your Favorite Celebrity?

Say You Want to Look Like Your Favorite Celebrity?

Our culture’s obsession with “celebrities” is at an all time high. In fact, the recent uptick in patients seeking Brazilian butt lifts and lip augmentations can be directly linked to what the media calls the “Kardashian Effect”. So, it makes sense that more and more patients are now bringing pictures of famous men and women into their consultations and requesting that actress’s nose or that model’s eyes. But is this actually helpful for the surgeon or is it just a recipe for patient disappointment? Dr. Peter Fodor of Los Angeles, CA believes that celebrity photos can be extremely helpful in managing a patient’s expectations and understanding his or her aesthetic desires.

by Katherine Stuart
and Peter Fodor, MD

Pictures Open Up a Dialogue Between Patient and Surgeon

Most patients today bring pictures of celebrities into their consultations. But is it bad if a woman wants to look like Jennifer Aniston? “In my practice, I encourage patients to bring in pictures of celebrities or anybody whose facial features or appearance of their body they like” says Dr. Peter Fodor of Los Angeles, CA. The key is to use the photos to open up a dialogue between the patient and the surgeon. It can be extremely difficult for a surgeon to get into a patient’s mind and see what he or she desires. Tools such as 3D imaging can help the surgeon to show the patient what to expect from a specific procedure, but first, the surgeon must understand the patient’s ideal. Photos can be a really easy way for patients to communicate with their surgeon. For instance, when a patient brings in a picture of Natalie Portman, requesting her nose, Dr. Fodor “has the benefit of sitting down and saying this part of your nose we can make like this, but this other part, we can not.”

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Photos Ensure a Happy Outcome

Celebrity photos also help the surgeon to manage a patient’s expectations. If, for example, a patient will never be able look like his or her dream photo because of their underlying facial structure then the surgeon can say so up front, avoiding disappointment after the fact. Or if a patient brings in 10 photos of very different looking people then this tells Dr. Fodor that “they don’t know what they’re looking for and if they don’t, then it’s less likely for them to be happy with the outcome” regardless of how great a job he performs. In these cases, a surgeon should be very circumspect about performing surgery until the patient has a much clearer idea of their objectives.

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Good communication between the patient and the surgeon is paramount to ensuring a happy outcome. Patients who come in with an “ideal” facial feature or body part in their mind are going to be disappointed if the end result doesn’t line up with their fantasy. Celebrity photos can help surgeons to understand the inner workings of their patient’s minds and give their patients concrete examples of what can and can not be achieved.

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