Earlier this week, I spent a half hour discussing plastic surgery in my Denver, CO, office 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 (such as for a tummy tuck for loose 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® Cosmetic, 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.
Just surfing the internet when I came across this terrific post. The patient’s story encapsulates my philosophy towards body contouring: the results of liposuction or of a tummy tuck are only as good as the patient is healthy. Plastic surgeries were never meant to be weight-loss options. Instead, they should be the last resort for stubborn fat deposits, lax skin, or loose muscular fascia. Not only is it OK to be “plan B,” but it’s actually most appropriate!
Thank you for your comment. It’s nice to know that there are other plastic surgeons out there employing a reasonable, rational approach to the art of our specialty. I often share with my prospective patients the notion that problems in plastic surgery most often arise from a poor decision to perform a particular procedure, not a poorly performed procedure. Thanks again for chiming in.
Oh Dr. Wolfe what a difference you made in my life!! This is Lana, former patient
Liaison for a weight loss sergeon… you took care of me several years ago with yards of extra skin. Just wanted to say hello!!
Hi Lana! It’s so nice to hear from you. Hope you are doing well!