Q: What are the reasons patients choose to undergo cosmetic surgery? Of course, this can vary from patient to patient, but what are some of the more common reasons?
Dr. Philip Solomon: Patients often express to us that what brought them in for a consultation has been a concern for many years. Whether it’s to discuss their nose shape, chin projection or a genetic issue that affects their appearance, the consultation process is very important. We also have a demographic of patients who want to address their aging face to correct drooping eyelids and skin laxity of the jawline and neck.
We conduct thorough consultations with each patient to assess them, learn more about their goals and what’s driving their desire for cosmetic surgery. It’s important that they not only understand the technical aspects of their desired surgery but also what’s needed psychologically to go through the process.
A surgery such as cosmetic rhinoplasty may seem straightforward, however, the technical process can be quite complex. Some nose jobs can be very straightforward, while others can be technically more difficult. The surgical outcome is dependent on multiple factors, including surgical technique, pre-surgical anatomy, skin type and how one heals.
Other considerations that contribute to patient satisfaction include patient expectations — did the consultation process with the surgeon establish a common goal? It also matters what’s going on in the patients’ personal life, the amount of work/family stress they have and the patients’ emotional state and stability.
If the patient isn’t satisfied with the surgeon’s surgical plan and projected outcome, then we recommend holding off on surgery. Our number-one priority is setting our patients up for success.
Q: What questions should patients ask themselves before proceeding with a cosmetic procedure?
Dr. Philip Solomon: You’ll want to ask yourself the following: Am I doing this surgery for myself and do I have realistic expectations? Do I have confidence in my surgeon as I have researched them, met them and trust them? Can I manage the recovery process that can take months to see the final result?
Q: What role has social media and video conferencing played in your cosmetic surgery practice?
Dr. Philip Solomon: The effect social media has had on our society is undeniable. Throw in a pandemic where interaction with family, friends and work redirects everyone to video conferencing, and you have a society focused on facial appearances. Improving your appearance in a healthy way can be a very positive experience, as it can improve self-esteem and confidence. The risk is when people are driven to change their appearance in hopes of achieving what may be unrealistic.
Q: How do you manage patient anxiety, as this can be a very natural emotion prior to surgery?
Dr. Philip Solomon: Surgery of any kind is something to be entered cautiously, as there are risks with any surgery. Jumping into surgery too fast may not allow for time to process all the information that’s required. Alternatively, overthinking and planning can manifest anxiety. Anxiety is a very normal feeling prior to surgery, however, if it becomes excessive, it’s up to the surgeon to discuss with the patient if surgery is in fact the appropriate path.
Q: What should patients know about healing physically and mentally post-operation?
Dr. Philip Solomon: Final results from cosmetic surgery can often take many months and, if for some reason there is a minor complication, that can add time to the healing process. Being able to have the patience and understanding of the healing process is crucial. I have a wonderful team that provides tremendous care and support to our patients. However, the body heals at its own pace, all we can do is support our patients throughout the process. Most of our patients do very well as they are well prepared, are given realistic expectations and set up for success.