When Plastic Surgery Becomes a Business Model

The other day I saw a news report that talked about a large, national facial cosmetic surgery practice that unexpectedly shut down, without any warning to patients and even their doctors.   They were most notably known for their “minimally-invasive face lift” that they touted could be done under local anesthesia, take less time and money, and would produce results that were just as good as traditional facelifts.  While it may be true to some degree that we live in a society that enjoys instant gratification, there are just some things that deserve to be done the right way, even if it means it will take a little longer or cost a bit more.

Heavy marketing through infomercials and nationwide campaigns generated a lot of buzz about this company and the procedure they purported to perform for many patients looking for a low-cost facial rejuvenation treatment.  So how does a company that became so known go out of business so quickly?  The suggested downfall of this corporate structured practice is that there were numerous malpractice claims, dissatisfied patients and reports of safety concerns that led to several lawsuits filed against the company.  Reports from previous patients who had negative experiences described a type of structure that tried to sell a product and didn’t actually have the patient’s goals and health at the forefront of their practice.

I find this all to be quite alarming.  As a double board certified plastic surgeon I have devoted my entire practice to my patients because their safety and ultimately satisfaction with their plastic surgery procedures is what motivates me to keep learning, implementing and perfecting techniques that will only work to benefit the patient.  It’s already emotionally taxing for patients to navigate the world of plastic surgery in general; they’ve met with numerous doctors, decided on “the one”, scheduled the procedure and mentally start prepping for the next chapter in their journey.  To hear that a company would suddenly shut down leaving past, present and future patients high and dry is disheartening to hear for everyone involved because it’s not what anyone deserves.  It’s my belief that you build a trust between patient and doctor.  As a patient you entrust your life and as a doctor we have your best interest at heart, at least which is what healthcare providers should always strive to do.  When your practice and main focus becomes more about how much revenue you’re generating, this can only benefit you and that’s not why we practice medicine.

The best advice I can give to patients considering any plastic surgery procedure is to do your research.  Yes, online reviews can often be skewed but use your best judgement.  Reach out to actual patients, take in-depth looks at a surgeon’s plastic surgery results, meet as many doctors as you have to (meet with the same one more than once if you need that) until you feel completely comfortable and confident in your decisions.  If a gimmick seems too good to be true, there’s a good chance it is – so why take the risk when it comes to your health?

How Your Physical & Mental Health Impacts Your Plastic Surgery Results

When it comes to plastic surgery, both your physical and mental health plays a very significant role when it comes to the overall outcome of your procedure(s). There are many factors such as fatigue, anxiety, stress, eating habits, and exercise which all play a part in achieving desired plastic surgery results. There is however necessary pre & post-operative steps that should be taken in order to minimize potential complications and further ensure optimal recovery.

How Your Physical and Mental Health Impacts Your Plastic Surgery ResultsA healthy body starts with maintaining a proper exercise and diet regimen, which is essential to help fight against possible infection, and repair blood vessels, muscles, bones, and skin following your surgery. Additionally, a steady diet consisting of vitamins, carbohydrates, protein, and antioxidants can help in decreasing your chances of cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. Typically, I recommend patients wait a few weeks before partaking in light physical activity and 4 to 6 weeks before returning to a regular workout routine.

As with any surgery, there is always the risk of complications, therefore it is vital that patients be mentally healthy and stable before and after receiving cosmetic procedures such as tummy tucks, liposuction, or mommy makeovers. The thought of going through surgery, deficiency of sleep, and the pain and swelling during recuperation may often cause patients to become stressed. It is known that stress is one of the leading causes of weight gain and noticeable signs of aging. One of the best ways to minimize stress is by making sure to get the recommended 6-8 hours of uninterrupted rest. Lack of sleep can affect productivity, memory, weight and aging. When we sleep, our bodies go into “repair-mode” to mend the damage from daily activities by replacing old cells and stimulating new skin cell growth.  When our bodies are not able to get enough rest, they become stressed and release increased amounts of the hormone cortisol. An increase in cortisol can affect the skin’s collagen production, which is beneficial in preserving the skin’s elasticity, and can lead to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines.

While I offer various facial and body procedures, I place the utmost importance on patients leading a healthy lifestyle in order to preserve successful and aesthetically-pleasing results. If you’re looking to make the first steps towards healthy lifestyle changes, our in-house NESTA Weight Management Specialist, Jackie Madison is here to help. With the Lifestyle & Weight Management program, Jackie will help coach you through your pre and post-surgery time period by teaching you how to commit to an active lifestyle, achieve weight loss and weight management goals, provide effective eating habits, manage your time and assist with battling stress.

If you are interested in any of the cosmetic procedures I perform, please contact us today. Be sure to connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for plastic surgery news.