Knowing Yourself and Your Plastic Surgeon: Clasping Your Hands and Determining If You Are Right-Brained or Left-Brained
My Allergan business-development representative conducted a wonderful leadership seminar in my office that gave my staff a rousing and thoughtful view on leadership. A fun exercise that we did was to clasp our fingers together like in prayer taking care to note whether our right or left thumb sat naturally over the other. In my case my left thumb sat over my right thumb, which reportedly indicates that my right brain is more dominant, signifying artistry and creativity.
As I have emphasized in other blogs, I believe that an artistic temperament and overall sensibility must be a defining element to an aesthetic surgeon. Too often I see work that is plain ugly because the surgeon was technically gifted but lacked a sense of taste. When the work is shaped poorly and designed hideously, it does not matter how good the physician is because the result is ugly. Failing to see the overall design of the result is one of the biggest mistakes that a surgeon can commit since a part of the face may look somewhat better but when it does not match the integrity of the entire face the result is off kilter. Balance, discretion, and decorum all are important elements to the composite result.
Sam M. Lam, MD, FACS is a board certified plastic surgeon in Dallas, Texas. To schedule a consultation please call (972) 312-8188. To Learn more about Dr Lams’ plastic surgery procedures or to ask Dr Lam a question please visit his plastic surgery forum.
Saving A Friend: When Maybe You Should Tell Someone You Had Plastic Surgery
I had a patient of mine in whom I had done facial fillers and Botox treatments over a period of two years. In a word, she looked fabulous. At 47 years of age she looked like she was in her mid-30s. One day she was passing through the Transport Security Administration (TSA) at the airport and the TSA agent asked if her best high school friend (the same age as she) was her mother. Of course, she was elated and her friend was broken down. I asked her, “Did you bother to tell your friend that you had some minor procedures performed by me?” She said, “No.” I then said, “How do you think she felt?” Even if you want to keep things private, there maybe rare times when you can share that information with someone else so that they would benefit from those same services and not feel bad about the way they look.
Old Woman/Young Woman
I had a younger patient in her late 30s in whom I had done a chemical peel, fat grafting, and occasional Botox for her. Several years after her major procedures, her sister-in-law in Atlanta was really upset about the way she was looking as she was the same age as my patient. She had signed up for a browlift with a local surgeon. I asked my patient whether she had told her friend about me. She said no that she hadn’t. I said, “So you are going to let your sister-in-law go to someone to do a procedure that I think is absolutely dreadful instead of sharing with her what you had done?” She rethought that and eventually told her sister-in-law about me. Again, sometimes a little disclosure may be in order when there is someone you care for that would benefit from that information.
Finally, several years ago I had a nurse who had fat transfer from me and was about a year out. Her fellow nursing colleague asked her where she had gone because she looked so good. She said that she had come to me. Unfortunately, her friend went elsewhere and was miserable with her results. She asked, “Why do you look so good, and I look terrible?” My patient did not have much to say in response. Sadly, this time sharing with a friend did not lead to a good outcome.
Sam M. Lam, MD, FACS is a board certified plastic surgeon in Dallas, Texas. To schedule a consultation please call (972) 312-8188. Learn more about Dr Lams’ facial plastic surgery procedures procedures or to ask Dr Lam a question please visit his plastic surgery forums.
When to Say No: Understanding Limits of Plastic Surgery
I had a longstanding patient in whom I had done 5 rounds of micro silicone injections into her lips. Her results were stunning, natural, and feminine. She came back a year afterward wanting more. I humbly tried to talk her out of it, begged her not to ask for more, but to no avail. She wanted more. I declined. She threatened to go to another plastic surgeon. I told her that would be a good idea since we could not meet on the same aesthetic turf. She called my staff the next day saying that she was involved in a car accident because of my refusal to work on her. Fortunately, I recently saw her again for fillers in areas that I thought she would benefit from it (not the lips) and she was ecstatically happy with my results.
Saying No in Plastic Surgery
Sometimes you must learn to say no to a patient because saying yes will contravene what makes good sense to you as a surgeon and violate your inner aesthetic principles. I say no all the time. The hardest time to say no to a patient is after you have already established a relationship. It is far easier to tell someone no before you start to work on him or her during the initial consultation. In today’s world of the Internet, you have to be careful even how you say no to him or her because people just starting posting a bad review even if you refuse them service. I always tell my patients, the reason I say no is not because I am interested in losing money but because I cannot stand doing the wrong thing for someone that would destroy my artistic sensibilities.
Samuel M. Lam, MD, FACS is a board certified plastic surgeon in Dallas, Texas. To learn more about Dr Lam’s plastic surgery procedures please call (972) 312-8188 to schedule a consultation. If you would like to ask Dr Lam a question about facial plastic surgery please visit our Plastic Surgery Forum.