The primary reason a person may decide against having plastic or cosmetic surgery is not always the price of the procedure and in fact price may have nothing to do with their decision.
In fact the cost of plastic surgery not covered by health insurance is now cheaper corrected for inflation than it has ever been. The problem is that wages of working Americans has not kept up with inflation since the 1970s for a variety of reasons. Additionally, credit card and non-credit card financing options to finance plastic surgery are greater at this time than they have ever been. Click to see available financing options.
- Lack of connection with the surgeon.
This happens when the surgeon rushes through the consult, gives too many options by “thinking out loud,” doesn’t listen, uses too many technical terms, or doesn’t demonstrate an understanding of your needs. He/she may very well have the best hands in town, but you can’t assess that.
You want a surgeon who doesn’t address you from the other side of the room, seems human, is empathetic, can communicate and is interested in you as a person (family, occupation, recreation, aspirations). If you cannot make a connection with your surgeon problems can arise after surgery if you and/or your surgeon are reluctant to speak or meet. You both need to feel comfortable doing so after surgery in order to avert complications and have a smooth recovery. If you cannot do this it is in your best interest to find another surgeon for your surgery or forego surgery altogether.
- Didn’t connect with the patient care coordinator.
A common mistake many patient care coordinators make is to lead with the fee quote, firing prices and a dizzying number of policies at the patient before he or she has a chance to ask an opening question. Another is making the quote conversation a “tell” by doing all the talking and concluding the pitch with, “do you have any questions?” Your surgeon’s office staff should function as a confidant to whom you can ask questions that might be too embarrassing to ask the surgeon and as part of a team network so nothing important is left out. They should be able to find solutions to childcare during early after surgery, recommend options that aid in recovery from surgery, suggest ways to bring a spouse on board with surgery, etc. If you have a problem with your surgeon’s office staff you should feel comfortable telling your surgeon about them.
- No family support.
Patients need a support team. Not only to help them after surgery, but to make them feel comfortable about their decision to have surgery. When there is familial negativity or no family support it can be a real challenge to make a decision to have surgery. It can also create major problems immediately after surgery when you are in a weakened state and susceptible to suggestions especially if your recovery is complicated. If there is marital strife before surgery and the patient’s major goal of surgery is to relieve that strife the results can be disastrous for the patient, the spouse and the surgeon. Having your spouse with you during your consultations with your surgeon and actively involved in your recovery are the best ways to approach plastic surgery even if this requires direct outreach by your surgeon and/or their office staff with your spouse.
- Fear of scars.
This is a big concern for patients and is often dismissed by physicians who believe that explaining where they’ll hide the incision line should be enough to calm the patient. On the other hand you may have seen a bad scar on the Internet or perhaps on a friend. These images stick with you. Your surgeon should not gloss over your fear about scars. He/she should take your concerns about scars seriously. Ask to see photos of the healing process as well as the spectrum of possible scars after surgery, what protocols your surgeon follows to prevent bad scarring and what options are available to treat bad scars.
- Surgeon’s plans do not match patient’s expectations or desires.
This typically happens when you see a surgeon for a rhinoplasty and they recommend a chin implant or a breast augmentation and they recommend a breast lift. You may feel that you are being up-sold but that is not always the case. Sometimes that recommendation improves the overall look but is not really necessary. Other times it is important to follow the recommendation in order not to have a bad result or to have a result that lasts longer. When you feel this is happening you need to have a frank discussion with your surgeon to explain their reasoning and it should make sense.
- Fear of anesthesia.
Patients who fear anesthesia are those who fear being out of control and require reassurance that they will be safe. This isn’t a reason that can be resolved by citing statistics about the low
complication rate of anesthesia. The so-called Joan Rivers Effect has made this one even more important lately. If you know someone or have heard of someone who has had a problem with anesthesia that does not mean at applies to your specific surgery or your current medical condition. Aging patients on multiple medications can have issues with anesthesia that younger healthier patients do not get. To alleviate your concerns it may be necessary to speak with the anesthesia staff. Most cosmetic surgery is performed in accredited operating rooms and the anesthesia staff are more than happy to speak to prospective patients before hand and usually follow up with them by phone after surgery as well.
- Worried about the result.
Many questions may run through your mind. What if I don’t like the results? What if I look too different? What happens if my breasts turn out too big—or too small? Then what? These worries may be alleviated by looking at your surgeon’s before and after photos, having your surgeon computer image your results, speaking with your surgeon’s staff and/or previous patients, knowing what options are available to you going into surgery, having your surgeon paint a realistic picture of expected results and knowing what your surgeon’s revision policies are and what his/her definition of revision is before you under go surgery.
- Afraid of being judged.
Female patients who have spent most of their adult lives caring for others and raising children may feel self-conscious spending money on themselves. The other side of the coin is that after so many years of taking care of family members it’s now your turn to take care of yourself and have a feeling of 24/7 self fulfillment that doesn’t come with remodeling your bathroom. You can be assured that with a natural result that looks well rested and not over done it is less likely you would be judged negatively.
- Fear of making a decision.
Patients with this fear can become overwhelmed and decision-paralyzed. You may think, “There are so many options, what if I choose the wrong one?” Or you may fear missing your usual, manic exercise routine, some party, event or a work function that’s scheduled during recovery. If you feel too many options were proposed you should tell your surgeon so and have them narrow the decision process to the one or two options that deal with the areas of most concern to your and give you the most for your money with a recovery period that you can live with. You can always
stage operations so all your needs are met over time, which is often easier on your budget.
- Scheduling or timing issues.
There is no one, easy answer to schedule issues. Having a possible date in mind for your surgery right at the beginning of your consultation with the surgeon helps. Sometimes you may have a medical condition such as high blood pressure, an unknown pregnancy or you are or too recently stopped breast feeding to have surgery on the desired date. Also just like everyone else doctors occasionally take vacations. Delays happen more often than you might think and it is best to work with your surgeon and not rush into anything without sufficient planning or optimal medical condition.