In every field technology helps pave the way to better, more precise results, and the field of plastic surgery is no different. New devices and new tools in the operating room help surgeons to continue learning how to get the best results possible. Dr. Lou Bucky of Philadelphia sat down to discuss the latest and greatest in modern plastic surgery, and how devices and tools are only one piece of the big picture.
By: Louis P. Bucky, MD
and Adam McMillon
From lasers that smooth wrinkles to devices that use ultra cool temperatures to eliminate fat, advances in surgical technologies have led to a huge burst in procedures for plastic surgery patients. Non-invasive procedures, in particular, have expanded greatly over the past 5 years, due in part to high-tech science that has produced Botox® and fillers, increasingly potent skin care products and energy devices that can do everything from tighten skin to reduce signs of age. Advances in the doctor’s consultation office have matched those of surgical devices, creating an atmosphere for doctor and patient to really get down to what it is that’s bothering the latter, and how the former can go about fixing it. “For years we were always talking about advances in the OR, new technologies that helped with surgery,” says Dr. Bucky. “What’s really neat and interesting, however, is that the surgery piece is only one part. Technology directed at patient-doctor discussions is making huge advances to make the entire process of surgery that much better.”
The Consultation: Where Great Results Begin
It may seem obvious, but consulting with a board certified plastic surgeon when looking for cosmetic procedures is very significant. Maybe you have some wrinkles and think you need a face lift, or perhaps your lower abdomen is a bit big and you want liposuction. Having a good consultation with a surgeon will help you narrow down what it is that’s truly bothering you, and their expertise will help to decide what’s needed to achieve your goals. Dr. Bucky stresses the importance of having that first conversation: “When a patient comes in for a consultation, they need to know a few things.
- What they’re going to look like
- What it’s going to take to get them there
- Whether it’s safe and/or appropriate for them to do so
“We used to draw on pictures to show what may change with a procedure, but technology has progressed us far beyond that.” New 3D imaging, social media and computing have dramatically expanded the consultation process, giving patients an incredible sense of what they will look like following the procedure. “We can morph you in both 2 dimensions and 3 dimensions as to what you’re going to look like,” says Bucky. “Therefore, the leap of faith to have surgery on your nose, or breasts, or face is so much less. To really make things better, we now have the technology to take your consultation and bring it home.”
21st Century Consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Nowadays, heading to the internet to discover information about this and that is the norm, and the act is no different when seeking out cosmetic procedures. “Before you even walk in the door, we have a private website where you can learn about what you’re coming to see us for, you can see specific before and afters about the procedure you’re going to have, and you can get comfortable with the practice before you even walk in the door,” explains Bucky. “Therefore, the anxiety is reduced, you can listen better when you’re there and you can get comfortable with the idea of whether this will be the right decision for you or not.”
All of that happens before you’re even at an office, a plethora of information at patients fingertips waiting to be accessed so that you will be armed and ready when you go to your first consultation. “After the consultation, we have technology now that can take it and allow you to review it at home,” says Bucky. “You can show your significant other, you have review it yourself, and, most importantly, you can think of questions that you might have forgotten to ask!”
“You communicate well with your doctor about what your expectations are because you’re prepared. It’s much easier for you and the physician to be on the same page,” says Bucky. “After that, all a physician has to do is conduct an operation that meets those needs. That process can only lead to better outcomes and better results.”