Q. I’m going to visit with a plastic surgeon in a week. I wanted to know if I should ask him what I need or should I just let him tell me what I need? I’m concerned that he may open the door to things that I had not even thought about and then I’ll become self-conscious.
A. There are two thoughts about this. I recently got a message from a patient who wished that I had offered her everything I thought that she needed. She felt I was too passive and felt as if she needed more direction. Then I have patients who are very happy and feel good that I speak only about what bothers them.
Seeking plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments is such a personal experience that as a surgeon and as a patient we will never get it completely right! My personal preference is that a patient sees me with a reasonable idea of what bothers them and what they want. Based on an appropriate conversation, then I feel very comfortable with determining and suggesting to the patient what they should have. When a patient comes to see me and is a complete “open book,’’ I’m concerned that the patient does not know what they want and will not be a happy patient.
I often ask patients to bring me pictures of how they looked at a younger part of their lives and if they were happy with that look. Once I have had this conversation with my patients I feel that I can give them an appropriate plan. Once the plan is presented to the patient, much like a Chinese restaurant, you can take one from column A, column B and column C!
Dr. Carlos Wolf is a partner in Miami Plastic Surgery and is board certified. Email your questions to him at Cwolf@miamiplasticsurgery.com.