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The Typical Plastic Surgery Patient

Dr. Francisco Canales discussing a plastic surgery patient's goals and options.

Dr. Francisco Canales discussing a plastic surgery patient’s goals and options.

Who Is the Typical Plastic Surgery Patient?

The unfussy 55-year-old woman in my last post wouldn’t make it onto a gossipy social media feed or into a reality T.V. show, so you might assume she was an atypical facelift patient. She herself never thought she’d have plastic surgery. In fact, many of my patients are shocked to find themselves sitting in my office considering plastic surgery. After all, they’re just not the type.

But they are. They may be teachers or fire fighters or police officers. They may be housewives or single moms or widows. They may be baristas or lawyers or nurses. They come from all walks of life, but they have one thing in common: their lives are impacted by a body part that annoys them. They’ve absorbed the mantra that only insecure, vain people get plastic surgery, and so they internalize their frustration.

Most of the Time, Plastic Surgery Isn’t About Vanity

Maybe it’s a man-sized nose on a delicate female face or curtain of loose upper eyelid skin or breasts that are mismatched A- and C-cups. Sometimes they suffer from symptoms, like back pain from H-cup breasts or rashes under a hot, heavy, hanging tummy left over from a pregnancy.

Still others are discouraged and frustrated, and they’re unsure if anything can be done to help them. Those are the ones who ask me, “What do I need?”

I answer, “You don’t need anything. It’s what bothers you that matters.”

Change Only What Bothers You

That’s the crux of the matter. What bothers the patient.

Just because an imperfect body part can be changed into an ideal model doesn’t mean that it should be. A plastic surgeon’s job isn’t to talk patients into having surgery. Are there some who do? Without a doubt. That’s why patients should be well-prepared before a consultation so they can discern if the surgeon’s interests are aligned with their own. Does the promise of extraordinary results sound too good to be true? Is the patient thinking of just one procedure, but the surgeon is pushing for three?

The purpose of many of our blog entries is to arm patients who might be considering plastic surgery with the tools they need for the best outcome.The informed patient is most likely to be a happy patient.

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