As a surgeon, I’m often asked whether I am satisfied with the results I achieve for my patients. Well, the answer is, yes and no …
Of course, I love to see happy patients who are pleased with their new look. It’s pleasing to know that my assessment and our patient plan has been correct, the surgery has been carefully performed, and the patient has had a good experience. And I’m always proud when they give good feedback. It’s a huge part of why I love my work.
But – and it’s a big but – I have to confess that I am never 100% satisfied with the results of any surgery I perform. Every surgical outcome has imperfections which fortunately are usually minor. Like many other plastic surgeons, I tend to pick them out and focus on them.
It’s hard to convey what I mean here. Let me put it like this: In any technical or artistic pursuit, when we look at it after the event, how often can we say “there is nothing about this which can be improved?” The reality is that when it comes to the human face – with all the life and experience it embodies – the concept of perfection doesn’t really apply.
So the concept I have to apply is improvement, not perfection. When I review my patients after surgery, I ask myself – and the patient – is there anything about your result we could further improve? And, there often is.
It’s not talked about all that much, but minor corrections after a facelift are fairly common in facial aesthetic practices. I often touch up scars or other aspects of a facelift and I don’t see this as treating a complication or a failure. I just see it as something that can be improved in what has been a successful overall result. If the patient has any concerns, it’s not normally a problem. Touch ups are usually minor and correctable in the office, by fat injection or a minor scar or other technical revision.
Ultimately, it’s gratifying to work with patients who report that they had a good experience and they are happy with the result. And correcting any minor faults is an important part of our work as responsible plastic surgeons.
Head over to my Realself Profile where you can read patient reviews.