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Market-Driven Plastic Surgery: Trend or Tragedy?

Patients sometimes come to our Denver plastic surgery practice asking for a “quickie face lift” or a particular kind of lipo like “Smart” lipo that they have heard about on TV or the internet or at another physician’s office. It’s normal to want the newest thing, because technology has brought us great things.

I was one of the first to jump all over the iPhone, but I confess that I’m not the first to take on new, market-driven procedures, and here’s why: good plastic surgery practice is based on research and proof that a new way of doing a procedure is based on checks and balances, studies on thousands of patients, and general agreement by other plastic surgeons that this change is positive and longer-lasting or in some quantitative way, better than the way it was previously performed. However, this goes against the public’s desires: they want a new technique that seems better, and they want to find a surgeon who will do it.

Note to consumers: Plastic surgery techniques change slowly. The techniques employed by board certified plastic surgeons are based on years of research and evaluation to make sure that what we deliver to our patients is both safe and effective. Even with all the research and effort to make these changes, they are usually  small, subtle advances; little differences that help someone get the best result.

Advice to consumers: Find a surgeon who’s not just up-to-date on the best technologies, but does a better job than others. Check their photos. Check their testimonials. Perform due diligence. And, if a surgeon doesn’t meet with you until the day of surgery, it’s bad medicine. Run. Quickly.

THE BOTTOM LINE: It doesn’t matter what you call a procedure. A rose by any other name is still a rose. It matters how you look after it’s performed. The proof is in the results. Legitimate results aren’t based on the latest procedures, but the best hands and minds in the plastic surgery business.


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