Choosing the correct surgeon is an important task. 

When asked, most patients say that what makes a good surgeon, is experience.  There’s more to this.  Better surgeons have greater depth of experience in their chosen surgical specialty but also typically have greater breadth of experience across all surgical specialties.  Put another way, it’s in the title but it’s also not in the title!

Naturally, you’d want your cosmetic surgeon to have attention-to-detail and to be calm-under-pressure, in addition to having ‘demonstrable’ focal-training in ‘cosmetic’ surgery (which is different from general surgery and from plastic surgery).  Indeed, there’s even more to this: your surgeon must be pragmatic and must understand you, your vision, your drivers for voluntary surgery, and your expectations of the elective procedure.

I pride myself on spending adequate time with my patients and for being very upfront (– particularly if your wishes are unreasonable and may not be achieved for whatever reason, including your financial position and lifestyle).  I’ll explain my reasoning and shall advise against any procedure which I believe shall not be in the patient’s favour. 

Indeed, I shall not be pushed into providing a procedure that I know shall likely lead to complications, and it is partly for this reason that I do not usually provide free consultations.  Do you think an ‘experienced doctor’ (not nurse or a trainee doctor) would routinely spend one hour consulting a patient for an elective procedure and then not encourage them to sign up or have any obligations to the practice? 

I believe in referring patients to colleagues if I feel that they would be better managed by somebody else who is better equipped to assist them.  For example, whilst I undertake non-surgical rhinoplasties (liquid nose-jobs), surgical rhinoplasties are not performed in my hands, and I, instead, refer patients needing such expertise to my colleagues.

Lastly, the success of elective procedures depends on mutual trust and cordiality amongst all stakeholders (i.e. not just the patient and surgeon, but also patients’ family members, clinic staff, hospital staff, and so on).  All of this is the reason why I have never subscribed to the ‘one size fits all model’ – medicine and surgery inherently require a bespoke approach.

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