By: Richard O Gregory, MD
Patients frequently come for cosmetic surgery consultation with a preconceived notion as to what is needed. While, as a plastic surgeon, I am happy to address the patient’s stated purpose, it is important to realize that information obtained from the Internet and other sources may be incomplete and perhaps even misleading. Therefore, it is important to seek consultation from a plastic surgeon who can utilize many tools and technologies to customize a plan that will meet your needs. It’s important to find a source that you can trust.
Many times, the patient’s preconceived notions are based on factors other than the final result, including costs, downtime, pain, and other considerations. When patients choose a lesser procedure in an effort to mitigate cost and other factors, they often compromise the final result leading to an unhappy patient. It’s important to understand that factors including cost are not nearly as important as doing your homework to select a surgeon whose primary focus is your safety and whom is realistic about the outcome you can expect.
While the Internet, patient testimonials, and other sources do have value, it is important to understand their role and value. Physician review forums and reputable websites can be used to confirm a doctor’s qualifications and certifications. However, using the Internet to self-diagnose a problem and determine your own treatment plan can leave you with unrealistic expectations and an incomplete understanding of the best procedure(s) to address your needs. Patients need to understand the motives and limitations of the source providing the information.
As the information available from the Internet and other sources may be incomplete, it is primarily the surgeon’s job to educate the patient prior to deciding what is appropriate to meet the patient’s needs. When selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon, it is incumbent on the patient therefore to:
- Seek a qualified surgeon who can do many different procedures, so you are not stuck with only one treatment option. Every patient is different. Therefore, different tools and approaches are needed.
- Consult with more than one surgeon if uncertain or unsatisfied with the initial consultation.
- Ask questions and gather all the information you can keeping in mind that some sources of information may be biased.
- Keep in mind that everything we do carries some risk. On a daily basis, we all accept the risk associated with common activities like driving a car. However, before undergoing elective surgery, you should be well aware of the most important considerations. Again, ask questions.
- Have faith that the surgeon and the staff will do their best to help you achieve your goals and will be there for you throughout the procedure and full recovery.
While it’s important to do your research when identifying a qualified surgeon with whom to consult, it’s important to remember that online research is limited in nature. Reading articles and reviews may help provide you with a great list of questions to ask and a better understanding of the procedures available. However, no amount of consumer research will trump the expertise of an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. Be open about your cosmetic goals and heed their advice about which procedure(s) will help you best achieve those goals.
If you are considering a cosmetic procedure, I invite you to join IAS for a complimentary consultation to discuss your aesthetic goals and the options available. To learn more, call us at 407-409-8000 or visit iasurgery.net.
About Richard O. Gregory, MD
An internationally known board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Richard Gregory has developed an outstanding reputation locally for his unparalleled surgical technique, excellent service, and integrity. While skilled in all areas of plastic surgery, his passion is in facial rejuvenation, utilizing surgical procedures, non-surgical options, and laser technology to achieve the desired result. Dr. Richard Gregory is a world renowned expert welcoming patients and surgeons from around the world who seek his expertise.
Year over year, Dr. Richard Gregory is voted ‘Best Plastic Surgeon in Orlando’ by Orlando Magazine, recognized in America’s Best Doctors list, and chosen as ‘Best of the Best’ by SELF Magazine. Dr. Richard Gregory is dedicated to helping his patients look and feel their best.