I have been practicing in Manhattan for over 25 years and have learned a lot about how to make plastic surgery patients happy and more attractive. Plastic Surgery is a fascinating field because what makes one person ecstatically happy may be what makes another person self-conscious. For example, two patients may have very similar noses. One patient is desperate to have it changed. The other loves her nose and would never change it!

I begin my consultations by listening. Some patients are more talkative than others and some are shy to reveal their real desires, but I attempt to elucidate what the patient really wants. When we go into the examination room and look in the mirror together, I try to compare the patient’s sense of the problem with my sense of the problem. In other words, does the patient perceive the “deformity” as severe while I see it is minor? Or are we on the same page as to the magnitude of the problem? If my perception of the problem is vastly different from the patient’s, then we may not make a good match.

Then we discuss possible solutions to the problem. If the patient’s goals are something I believe I can deliver, then that’s a good predictor that we will have a successful professional relationship. If, on the other hand, I do not think I can deliver what the patient wants or if the patient wants something so extreme that I am uncomfortable, then that is a clear sign that we should not proceed with surgery.

To be honest, I have been practicing a long time and do not need more money, I can afford to be honest with you, the patient, about whether I think your goals are obtainable. There is an important saying in cosmetic surgery about operating on patients who you don’t think you can satisfy: “If you don’t agree to operate on the patient, he/she will be angry for 20 minutes but if you do operate, he/she will be angry for 20 years!” Another way of saying the same thing is, “You make your money from those you operate on but you make your reputation from those you decline to operate on.”

We look forward to meeting you.


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Facelift Chapters

Grabb Smith's Plastic Surgery 7th Edition


Dr. Thorne is the Editor-in-Chief and the author of several chapters in Grabb and Smith's PLASTIC SURGERY, 7th Edition.

Click here to access the Facelift chapters.

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