BY JAMI NELSON, RN, CANS
Buckle up, this is a long one!
Over the past several years, I have heard so many worries and myths come from our patients based on their initial consultation. After I develop a relationship with these clients, they will open up and tell me how they really felt after their first appointment. Here are some of the things I have learned.
Myth: Surgery will be the hardest thing to recover from.
Fact: Making the consultation and following through by arriving is actually what people have told me is the hardest thing to “recover” from. No one wants to be looked at under florescent lights while naked! Not even we would want to do that. We understand that this is a very vulnerable feeling and we will do our best to respect that. It is not our job to make you uncomfortable, it is our job to make you feel at ease. We see so many body parts on a daily basis and I can promise you that we will not be standing around the water cooler later discussing your “parts.”
Myth: We will take your photos and put them on the internet.
Fact: We do use our clients’ photos in many different ways, but we will never just post them on the internet. When we have a result we would like to use we will ask for your permission before doing so. We use photos in our office to educate other people who are considering the same procedure. We also use photos in educational seminars, and then of course on our web page. When we use photos we take great care to select ones that do not have tattoos, jewelry, or distinguishing body marks that would make someone recognizable. Rest assured that you will never unwillingly find your photos on the internet or Facebook.
Myth: Photos are not necessary.
Fact: We take photos for many reasons and they are very necessary. One obvious reason is because people like to see the before and after results. I love it when a client asks me for their photos. Often it is the same person who was so nervous about having me take them. Now they are excited to see how far they have come. Another reason is for insurance companies. There can be a fine line in Plastic Surgery on what is considered a necessity and what is a cosmetic surgery. Breast reductions and abdominal surgery are two that fit in this category. Insurance companies want to see what you look like and then they decide if it’s necessary for insurance to pay for your procedure. The last reason is strictly for us. We use pictures to personalize your surgical plan and to document how your body is responding to your surgery. Are the scars getting better or worse? Is swelling going up or down? Etc.
Myth: I can’t afford plastic surgery or cosmetic injections.
Fact: We do our best to keep our prices competitive. Some of our prices will be more expensive because our surgeons are Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. Our office does offer financing and payment plans through Care Credit. Our quotes are good for 6 months after your consultation. You can always price shop around the area, but keep in mind that getting a good deal may not always be what is most important. Choosing a surgeon based on price can sometimes be much more expensive in the end.
Myth: Seeing a board certified physician for a cosmetic procedure means I am seeing a board certified Plastic Surgeon.
Fact: Being a board certified physician just means being certified in a specific specialty, not necessarily Plastic Surgery. Board certified Plastic Surgeons have completed a residency training program specific for Plastic Surgery after medical school. All Plastic Surgeons are also cosmetic surgeons. Not all cosmetic surgeons are Plastic Surgeons. Looking your physician up online on The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) website is one way to determine if your physician is a board certified Plastic Surgeon. The ASPS is a society composed exclusively of board certified Plastic Surgeons. They represent the “Gold Standard” for plastic and cosmetic surgery. On the other hand any physician can call themselves a cosmetic surgeon, no matter what their background is. This can be a primary care physician, emergency room physician, gynecologist, etc. These same physicians will also sometimes say they are certified in cosmetic surgery. The American Board of Medical Specialties (which has been certifying medical specialists since 1933 and requires them to stay current with ever-changing knowledge in their field) does not recognize board certification in cosmetic surgery. Make sure when researching your surgeon to find out if they are board certified, and if their certification is specifically in Plastic Surgery.
Myth: When we see you in public we will call you out.
Fact: This happens to me all the time. I am introduced to someone that has been in our office as a client. I can usually sense if someone is calm, excited, or horrified that I may slip and say I know them. Please relax……I will never let on that I know you. First I am horrible with names. Secondly I know very well that you have probably not told a single person that you were in our office, including your husband. I never will approach you to see how you are doing, or to say that you are due for an appointment. However, if you choose to acknowledge me and you tell your friends in front of me that I am your “boob nurse,” I still won’t say a word. I am a professional and I won’t engage in light hearted conversation about your surgery or the gritty details. We all take our jobs very seriously at work and when we are off the clock. We love that you are happy and that you want to share your excitement. That is for you to share as you please.
Myth: That we know you are thrilled or unhappy with your experience.
Fact: We strive to make sure that each of our clients is happy with their experience. We don’t always hear how it was for them. Unhappy people tend to be more vocal than the people that had a great experience. We constantly are looking for ways to improve. Whether it be updating our office colors, changing magazine subscriptions, or hating our radio advertisements, we want to be better for you! We would also encourage all of you to tell us what you love about us. The best way to really help our practice is by writing reviews on google, our Facebook page, or any other search engine. We do strongly encourage that if you are unhappy for any reason, please talk to us before writing a review. Each of our providers honestly wants you to be satisfied and wants a chance to hear your concerns before you vent on social media. Most often we can turn your unpleasant experience around. As an employee, I can also tell you that we greatly appreciate it when you tell our boss’s what a great job we have done. One small complement can really make someone’s day.
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