Dr. Jeffrey Popp talks about the 3 stages to cosmetic surgery.
I think there are 3 stages to cosmetic surgery.
- There’s thinking about it. Some people look in the mirror for years and go “Oh, I wish I didn’t have my grandpa’s nose or my mother’s ears.”
- Step 2 is to actually see somebody and talk about it in reality. What would it involve; the cost, the recovery? How much time do I have to take off work?
- And then the third step is actually either doing it or deciding after Step 2 that you’re not going to do it all.
Patient calls up, makes an appointment, comes in. We have a couple forms they fill out. Not unlike most doctors’ offices, they want to know your past medical history – what illnesses, diseases you may have had, surgeries you’ve had before, medications you’re on, any problems you’ve had with procedures in the past.
Then, at that point I do, with a little game, if it’s a cosmetic patient, of “What is it that’s bugging you? If you could only have one thing fixed, what would that be?” “Okay, my jowls.” “Okay, let’s pretend we fix that. What’s the second?” “The bags on my lid.” So we make the list of things that bother them.
Then we start—it’s my job to apply the options as to how we correct those.
I would like to think it’s education – what people gain when they come here. The greatest compliments again “I’ve seen a bunch of other doctors, and you’re the first one who’s giving me more information and more insight than anybody else.” That thrills me to no end.
I personally like the internet. I think that most of the information out there is pretty straightforward. It’s my belief that the more the patient knows about their problem, and about their treatment options, and the pros and cons, and the risks and complications, and the recovery, the better they’ll do.
So, if they can gather a lot of that off the internet, great. Go to the website that says ‘Horrible complications of breast augmentation’, absorb all that, and then come in and see me, and say “Well, I’ve went to this website.” They said “I shouldn’t do this because this and this might happen.” And I go “Well, you’re right. That could happen, but it’s like a one in a million chance. And, oh by the way if it does happen, we can fix it.”
So, I like the internet. I think it’s a good background source.
I don’t mind sharing information with people. I think if somebody came in and said “I’ve got this little fat pouch here. Tell me about that.”, I can give them the option to cover that in 5 minutes. Breast augmentation consultation with us takes an hour of my time alone, and sometimes more. I don’t mind giving 5 minutes of my time free, but to give somebody an hour to an hour and a half is a little much.
Any time we charge for a consultation, that consultation fee will be deducted from the surgery if they decide to do it.
There are what we would call little red flags, we gather a lot of information. And to the patient, a lot of that information they go “Well, I just want to talk about liposuction. Why does he want to know about my medical history or what medications I’m on?” Anybody who’s resistant to giving us information that may play into it, that would potentially be a deal-breaker.
People who don’t seem to be realistic, people who have had multiple procedures, I might show them a picture before and after, and I’ll say “How does she look to you afterwards?” she goes “Not that different.” Another red flag. Because usually, the average person can go “Wow! That’s pretty cool. That’s pretty impressive.”
So, when I say red flags and what would be a deal-breaker, it’s these little things. I don’t want people to be unhappy. If they’re unhappy, I’m really unhappy.
So no, it is absolutely a team effort. No question about it.