Category Archives: The Informed Patient

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9 Lessons from Botched!

Is this collage of eyes and mouth on a different face the New Botched! TV Star?

Interested in starring on a T.V. show? Sounds like fun…unless that show is Botched!. Billed as the reality T.V. show where you can “get your disaster plastic surgery fixed,” Botched! has taken off. Averaging 1.5 million viewers, it’s now in …
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Jimmy Fallon’s Finger Rules

Woman's wedding band is caught on a nail, threatening the finger.

On June 26, Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon tweeted, “Tripped and caught my fall (good thing!) Ring caught on side of table almost ripped my finger off (bad thing).” Plastic surgeon David T. Chiu spent six hours working under a Christmas-tree-sized …
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Learning Sunscreen Basics in an Elevator

Beautiful woman wearing hat and sunglasses with her sunscreen

“You have a tan,” my professor noted as I joined him in the hospital elevator. I was a fourth-year medical student at UCLA enjoying two glorious weeks of a nonsurgical rotation. With easy eight-hour days and free weekends, I was cycling, running, and swimming…and …
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A Helicopter Crash and the Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Heather Furnas leaning against a helicopter wearing a helmet on R & R Day after Plastic Sgery Cleft Lip and Palate Mission

When you’re looking for someone to do your plastic surgery, choose a board-certified plastic surgeon. Yah, yah, yah, you’ve heard it before. Articles about choosing a  plastic surgeon can make YOU bored-certified. So scratch that, and let’s talk about a helicopter crash. …
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Tummy Tuck Basics

Dr. Heather Furnas explaining a tummy tuck to a patient

As I stepped into an exam room to see a post-operative patient last week, I noticed she her smile as broad as the keys of a grand piano. She wasn’t just happy; she was excited. Could it be the tummy tuck she’d had …
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A Breast Augmentation Patient’s Experience

Patient after breast augmentation showing thumb's up sign

What is it like to go through a breast augmentation? One of my patients, a woman in her twenties, generously offered to share her experience. Below is her story in italics and some comments of my own. “Why I Wanted a Breast …
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When Family Objects to Plastic Surgery

Woman in a patient gown as Plastic Surgery Patient

Plastic Surgery: Right or Wrong A 23-year-old woman who wanted a breast augmentation recently wrote Dear Abby(1). She’d wanted surgery for years and could finally afford it. As a teacher, she planned to have the surgery during the summer. The …
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Are Selfies Driving Plastic Surgery?

Selfie of a Plastic Surgeon wearing cap, mask, and loupes

For the past few months the media has been twittering and gasping about the explosion of patients seeking plastic surgery… to look better for their selfies. Yes, selfies. According to the International Business Times(1), “the selfies that dominate Facebook, Twitter …
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A Most Special Patient

Toddler Siena sliding down a slide

A few months ago a patient came in for a consultation. After I’d spent the allotted appointment time discussing her concerns, she pulled out three pages of “ask-your-plastic-surgeon” questions she’d found from a Google search. She began reading. I had other patients waiting, so I …
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Saline Breast Implants and Deflation

Woman smiling at a purple balloon

“The Safe Implant” Years ago when patients said, “I want the safe breast implant,” my husband and I knew what they meant. Salines. Saline implants weren’t perfect. They rippled, they were heavy, and they felt like plastic bags filled with water (because they were). …
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