Give me what I need, not what I ask for

As a Consultant Plastic Surgeon with an interest in facial rejuvenation, I see a wide spectrum of people from the local area and from much further afield. Many have a clear idea of what bothers them, and what they would like addressed, but others are less specific.

What is interesting, is that for some people who have a very clear idea of what troubles them, their issue is not perceived by others in the same way. For example, I saw a patient recently who felt that the lines between her eyebrows made her look tired, but what she hadn’t noticed was the hooding of her eyelids, which made much more of a difference to her appearance. Or another patient who was troubled by her nose to mouth lines, which she felt made her look old, but did not appreciate that her jowls and sagging neck made much more of a contribution.

On this basis, I try to encourage anyone who comes to see me to explain how they feel they look, as well as getting an understanding of what specifically bothers them. Typically, people may describe themselves as looking tired, angry or aged. Once I understand this, I can then assess and evaluate their appearance, and advise them on what contributes to that appearance. And it is not always what they think!

We can then discuss the different options to address their concerns, which may range from non-surgical treatments, such as anti-wrinkle injections or dermal fillers, through to surgical options such as eyelid lifts, wide-awake local anaesthetic facelifts, or more comprehensive face and neck lifts. The right treatment has to be tailored to the person’s wishes, their expectations and of course their budget. So sometimes a degree of compromise has to be reached. However, my usual advice is that if the best treatment to meet someone’s wishes is not within their budget, they should postpone the treatment for the time being, rather than settle on a sub-optimal treatment that they might be disappointed with in the future.



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