With the success of reality television shows such as, “Botched” and the proliferation of celebrity media coverage, we’ve all seen pictures of men and women with less than ideal plastic surgery results. Sometimes, as in the case of Joan Rivers, it’s because the patient simply had too much done. Other times, as in the case of the woman who wanted to look like a panther, it’s because the patient literally doesn’t want to look the same. Our panel of experts discuss the ways in which you can ensure that you get the best possible results from your plastic surgery procedure.
“Botched”- a Bit of a Misnomer
Dr. Richard Baxter does a lot of revision surgeries at his practice in Seattle, WA and thinks that, “calling it always a ‘botched procedure’ is a little bit off the mark.” There are definitely revision cases where there were errors of judgement, errors of technique – or both – on the part of the surgeon. However, sometimes the surgery was performed well and, “things went way wrong in the recovery process.” Bottom line? No matter the cause, the result doesn’t make the patient happy. The best way to avoid this, in Baxter’s opinion, is to find a board certified plastic surgeon who has the experience to recognize when things go wrong and can fix them in the moment so that there’s not need for revision surgery down the road.
It’s All About the Three C’s
When patients are trying to figure out what surgeon to visit and what procedure to get, Dr. Steven Camp of Fort Worth, TX encourages them to follow a checklist that he refers to as, “The Three C’s” in order to, “keep you out of trouble”. First, you want to check the credentials of your surgeon, making certain that he or she is board certified. Second, check for other patients’ reviews. Thirdly, double check with yourself to make sure that you are ready for surgery, that you understand the ins and outs of the procedure and exactly what is necessary in order for you to recover appropriately.
While Dr. Baxter wholeheartedly agrees with two of the Cs, he is a little more suspect of patient reviews. Even a surgeon without much experience can get one good review and then create a social media campaign to get the word out that he’s something that he’s snot. So just be conscious of the fact that “likes” and social media attention doesn’t necessarily translate to quality work. For Dr. Camp, patient reviews are simply a good way for you to get an an idea of the “journey” that the patient went on with the surgeon. It can be an easy way to get a better idea of what the practice represents and what you can expect.
These nightmare images that we’ve all seen of faces, lips, and eyes that have been completely distorted with plastic surgery do serve an important purpose. They get patients asking questions. “We want educated patients,” says Baxter. It’s the best way for the surgeon to show his or her expertise.