While up-selling is great for many businesses, it doesn’t have any place in a plastic surgery office. Cosmetic surgery is all about understanding and addressing a patient’s desires to improve their physical appearance. “We were trained in our classical training, and I believe rightfully so, that when a patient comes in with a question in one body part or portion of their face, not to volunteer and prompt them into doing something else,” explains board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Peter Fodor. There are, however, a few cases where it may be necessary for a surgeon to recommend something other than the procedure a patient came in asking for, in order to provide them with a good surgical outcome.
Rhinoplasty: Balancing the Nose & Chin
When a patient consults with Dr. Fodor about a rhinoplasty, he often educates the patient on the importance of balance in the upper, middle and lower thirds of the face. “If you have, for example, an underdeveloped chin and a very large nose – and this is not uncommon – bringing the nose down to the level of the chin would almost destroy that face,” says Fodor. Rather than overdoing the nose to match the weak chin, in those cases he will instead discuss the option of bringing the chin out at the same time he reduces the nose, creating a balance between the two.
Bodysculpting: Focusing on Overall Contour Instead of Trouble Areas
“Another example is when patients come for bodysculpting,” adds Dr. Fodor. “When patients come in for saddlebags, and they have major saddlebags, but they also have fairly significant hip rolls or love handles. If you only reduced the saddlebags, and left the hip rolls full, you would end up with a square-ish looking backside.” In cases like this, Dr. Fodor will point out the added benefit of reducing the hip rolls to provide the patient with a more overall aesthetically pleasing and curved contour.
Breast Augmentation & Axillary (Armpit) Liposuction
When a patient has very little breast tissue to begin with, it is not uncommon for them to also have an area of fatty tissue or a small fat roll in the armpit area, which surgeons call the axillary roll. While it may not be very noticeable prior to breast augmentation when the chest is flat, it can become a sharper transition and more noticeable after an implant is added. “It’s smart to talk about that, to recognize that pre-operatively,” explains Fodor. “Many patients don’t even realize it, but once you show them pictures of other patients who also have it, then have augmentation, they see that the roll is more like a sausage.” Removing the extra fatty tissue from the armpit area with liposuction during the augmentation surgery adds very little time, cost or risk to surgery and can provide the patient with a much better outcome in the long run.
Liposuction & a Flat Buttocks
When surgeons perform liposuction, fat removed from one part of the body can be very useful in another area. “Many patients who come in for liposuction have somewhat flat buttocks. I think it’s a mistake not to mention to patients that since we’ve got this fatty tissue we’re going to be removing with the liposuction, we could utilize it to enlarge the buttocks,” says Fodor. He views the fat as ‘money in the bank’ which should not be thrown away before first consulting with the patient about its value and the options it presents. “Patients very quickly understand this,” says Fodor. “They are not offended, and if anything they are thankful more times than they are not.”