Robert Kotler, M.D. (“Dr. Face”) and Stuart Linder, M.D. (“Dr. Body”) have noticed that many patients come to their Beverly Hills offices wondering if they are really, really ready for cosmetic surgery.
While everybody is interested in looking at before and after pictures, some patients and potential patients go beyond the pictures and read much more about the various rejuvenation procedures, how long they take, how long they lost and the cost of plastic surgery.
Actually, according to Drs Face-Body, there are some signs you may notice in yourself that will indicate you may be really ready for plastic surgery and should start taking steps to find that perfect surgeon.
Here, Drs Face and Body tell the signs that other motivated patients have noticed in themselves before plastic surgery.
(Follow Beverly Hills cosmetic plastic surgeons Drs Face-Body on their Facebook page.)
Dr. Face: Everybody likes before and after pictures because it’s typically an American trait to reinvent not only ourselves but things around us.
Dr. Body: Well, what else do you find that is reinvented?
Dr. Face: Reinvention and the power of before and after are also strong in America with items like homes – TV’s This Old House and Extreme Makeover: Home Addition -- cars and even motorcycles that have been rebuilt and made to look new. Many, many restaurants like to post old photos and paintings of what a particular geographical area used to look like. I’ve seen people stand in public places for the longest time and stare at pictures of Beverly Hills and Hollywood taken around the start of the 19th century when both cities were tiny and had only dirt roads.
Dr. Body: I see where this is going – you’re saying it’s part of the reason that people like to look at plastic surgery before and after pictures?
Dr. Face: Yes! But just because you like surgery photos, does not mean you are hankering to undergo a face lift.
Dr. Body: O.K., let’s get down to brass tacks and talk about some signs people may show when they may be ready for cosmetic plastic surgery.
Dr. Body: The dead bang giveaway: mirrors. Say, you have a crooked or very large nose or ears that stand out. You pass a mirror and your eye hardly sees the rest of your face, only that feature you dislike so much. So you avoid mirrors or looking into them.
Dr. Face: That often happens with my revision patients who have gone to Third World nations or to bargain basement practitioners in America and had a terrible procedure that improved nothing and maybe even made their appearance worse.
Dr. Body: Sure, those patients are looking for a revision, a do-over, of a poorly done surgery by some other surgeon elsewhere. Many of my first-time body patients inquiring about breast augmentation because they have lost their patience wearing bathing suits or bras that remain partially empty. It’s very common for potential tummy tuck patients to come in, saying people have been asking them how long it may be before the baby is due. And none are even pregnant! Many men in need of male breast reduction won’t take off their shirts in public for any reason.
Dr. Face: Some face lift patients have complained of being mistaken for grandparents when they are taking their small children somewhere. I recall one woman on a train trip with her five-year-old son; another passenger said how nice it was for a woman to take her grandchildren places!
Dr. Body: Patients are more likely to be ready for surgery when they have a first consultation in which the surgeon explains what can realistically be done. So the 50-year-old patient understands she won’t look like she did at 20 but will just be the best possible version of herself, after healing.
Dr. Body: I can tell a patient is ready for plastic surgery when he or she has listened to, and read about, the risks and possible complications incurred in any surgery. And I know the patient is going to book a surgical date when I refer them out for the required tests and physicals to make sure they are healthy enough for surgery.
Dr. Face: Sure, that’s very important. While taking medical tests to be cleared for surgery, some patients have discovered a heretofore unknown condition – like high blood pressure — for which they must be treated first. That usually only puts the surgery off for a while.
Dr. Body: I like to see patients who have read one of the many books—written in plain English — about having plastic surgery. My own, The Beverly Hills Shape, is a good place to start.
Dr. Face: Right! I often send my book, Secrets of a Beverly Hills Cosmetic Surgeon, to a prospective patient at no charge whatever because an educated patient is so much easier to work with. I’m also happy when I hear a patient has two, three or even five first consultations with other plastic surgeons. They then really know what the surgical process is all about.
Dr. Body: One of the questions I like to ask is: “Who is the person that is going to drive you here and stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery?” If the patient has not made arrangements with a friend or relative, he or she is not really ready for surgery. That companion person is not needed to supply emergency services, just to call in case some undesirable complication does rear its ugly head.
Dr. Face: My own favorite question is to ask the patient what everything in the after surgery bag is for. Just so no mistakes can be made, I supply a bag, right down to the best Q-tips, along with written instructions on how to care for one’s self after surgery. I am testing them. We, I think you do too, supply a “Post-operative kit, containing their pain meds, oral antibiotics (if needed, we administer antibiotics intravenously during surgery and tranquilizers, along with written instructions for that patient’s procedure(s). We make sure we have their home and cell phone number so we can call to check on their progress. We even ask for their pharmacy in case we must phone in an extra medication. We like to “Think ahead”.
Dr. Body: And what a payoff! No more avoiding mirrors, no more mistaking a 35-year-old for a grandparent!
Known as super-specialists, Drs Body and Face specialize in revision surgery which repairs unsatisfactory results done by other surgeons in other locations.
Read more about Dr. Kotler’s International and revision cosmetic surgery patients.
Learn more about Dr. Linder’s worldwide plastic surgery revision patients.