Earlier this week, I spent a half hour with one of those interesting, confident, has-her-act-together patients who help make my job fun. She was seeing me for concerns she had with her abdomen and thighs, which were somewhat fuller than she would have preferred, and she had a PLAN.
“I have a trainer, I have talked with a friend who is a dietician, and I intend to lose 25 lbs. in the next 3 months.”
Fair enough, I thought.
“You”, she said to me plainly, “are Plan B.”
Which got me thinking — this is really how the cosmetic surgery thing should work. In an ideal world, potential patients would exhaust all of their non-surgical options for improvement of whatever body part troubles them, and come to a plastic surgeon, when these options prove insufficient. For many body parts, there are no non-surgical options. Your breasts aren’t going to get bigger or perkier, no matter how hard you work out. But for body contouring, a bit of effort in the diet and exercise departments can have great benefits. Should surgery ultimately be necessary (for lose abdominal skin after weight loss or pregnancy, for example) a fitter patient will be healthier, less complication-prone, and more likely to get a great result from. For facial rejuvenation, it makes sense to start with less aggressive measures like skin care, Botox, and fillers at a medical spa before moving forward with a facelift.
In short, the more patients do before I see them at my practice in Denver, Colorado, the more I am often able to do for them when surgery becomes their best option for improvement, when Plan B becomes Plan A.