The latest edition of the international plastic surgery journal JPRAS has just arrived on my desk. Two articles I have been a part of are…
Whilst every plastic surgeon should strive for perfection all the time (in fact, that should be a personality trait of a plastic surgeon!), of course, there are times that we get the suboptimal result. This may be because of a post-operative complication, or for some other reason. As a result, every plastic surgeon will have a range of results they feel are excellent, and others they may not.
What is interesting is that the plastic surgeon’s opinion of a post-surgical result, does not always correlate with the patient’s perspective. There are times when the plastic surgeon will be delighted with the outcome, but the patient will be disappointed, and other times, where the plastic surgeon may feel he or she “could have done better”, but the patient will be delighted.
What it all boils down to is expectations and good communication between surgeon and patient. At the end of the day, if a patient expects perfection, and is not counselled about realistic results and potential complications, then the risk of disappointment is high, even with an objectively good result.
If there has been an open and honest consultation, with adequate information provided, then a more realistic understanding of the outcomes of plastic surgery will be taken in by the patient, resulting in a far higher likelihood of satisfaction with the result.
Finally, all plastic surgeons should be acutely sensitive to the patients who would benefit from the input of a psychologist or psychotherapist. Missing out the 10% of patients who could benefit from additional psychological support can result in generating 90% of the dissatisfied patients. I therefore offer all patients referral to Dr Bo Mills and his team should I feel they may benefit from his expert input. Not all of them take up the offer, but of those that do, ALL of them have benefited and are very glad they saw him.