As a plastic surgeon, good communication with my patients is vital at all times. This is particularly important in the pre-operative consultation process, to ensure that my patient and I are on the same wavelength, and that I ensure I am able to explain the realistic outcomes of a procedure. After all, managing expectations is critical to my patients’ happiness and satisfaction with their procedure. As in other scenarios, I would always rather under promise and over deliver.
This is relevant in all areas in practice, but I find it particularly helpful to give visual analogies when discussing facial ageing and facial rejuvenation options. In fact, the best analogy I have been using recently was actually one a patient gave to me
She said, getting older (and facial ageing) is like being on an escalator, continually going up in one direction. A facelift or other procedure cannot take you off the escalator, or make it stop; but it can allow you to go down some steps.
Taking this one step further (excuse the pun), the number of steps you can go down depends on the procedure or treatment you choose. For example, a comprehensive lower face and neck lift will take you down more steps than, say, a skin treatment or mini-procedure.
The corollary of this, is that if you only go down one step, the escalator will take you back up to your original position sooner than if you were able to go down several steps.
Having this visual analogy to use in my consultations has really improved my communication with patients, and helped me to describe the relative effects of the different treatments offered. I hope you find it as useful as I have!