I occasionally see patients who have had consults with other plastic surgeons, and they say that they have been “told” what procedure they “need” to address their concerns. My approach might be considered radically different: I want to understand and treat each individual as a person and not as a procedure. Though many doctors might say the same, I’ve worked for years to build a practice that focuses on benefiting you from the moment you come through the door. Let’s look at an example.
Exploring Your Options
If you’ve been bothered by the appearance of your tummy and are ready to seek help, you might assume that a tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) is your best option. Perhaps you’ve already been told this by a surgeon. But I like to have an in-depth discussion during the consultation about your goals, really honing in on what kind of result will satisfy your wishes for your appearance. These are the type of questions that help guide that conversation:
- Do you want to simply look better in your clothes?
- Do you want to wear a bikini at the beach or the pool?
- Do you have budgetary constraints?
- Do you have time for the recovery from a surgical procedure?
Careful consideration of these questions may, in fact, lead a patient to decide that the tummy tuck she was told she needed wasn’t really the procedure she wanted to have. If what you honestly want to do is to feel more comfortable in your clothes and that is your primary motivation, you might consider liposuction instead of an abdominoplasty, with a lesser cost and shorter downtime.
However, if you’re focused on wearing that bikini on a beach trip this year and are committed to the recovery required from a tummy tuck, then that choice may be right for you.
Making a Confident Decision
I’ve found that when patients are given the freedom to explore their options, they feel more at ease with the decision and commit to a procedure with great enthusiasm. They’re able to base their decision on the values that really matter to them—not every woman is interested in wearing a bikini, but most women do want to feel self-assured about their appearance. Here are some photos of women who chose different, yet equally satisfying, paths for treatment.
Occasionally there are anatomical constraints that must be factored into the decision-making process. For example, if your belly has a lot of excess skin, liposuction is not going to be a good option because it targets excess fat deposits, not droopy skin. But with a clear understanding of what is possible, I see patients make choices with complete confidence.
If you’d like to be an equal partner in planning your cosmetic improvements, come to see me for a consultation. We’ll sit down and talk about your goals and develop a plan that meets your needs—your way.
Dr. Jeffrey Ditesheim is more than a credentialed plastic surgeon. He is a sensitive and experienced professional whose focus is always to help his patient feel more beautiful and confident. Learn more about Dr. Ditesheim and read Dr. Jeffrey Ditesheim’s reviews.