Getting Past Revision Plastic Surgery

One of the toughest things that I have to deal with is a patient who is dissatisfied either with my work or with another surgeon’s work.  I have many individuals who come to me with a sullen demeanor about what another physician created and what could I do to fix it.  Oftentimes the fix is not physical but mental.  That does not always mean that I cannot see the physical deformity but that the mental deformity typically far exceeds the physical one and makes it so that I cannot hope to improve the physical one until the mental one improves.  This is not always the case, as many people have a very obvious physical issue that warrants correction.

In a related video blog, I talk about forgiveness in facial plastic surgery to help a patient move beyond one’s previous experience.  Typically, an upset patient is 75% upset at himself or herself for undergoing a procedure knocking oneself for not undertaking enough research on the subject before undergoing it and 25% angry at the surgeon for not giving one the desired result.  The problem with addressing a dissatisfied patient is that this lingering resentment (both to oneself and to the prior surgeon) creates a mood that is hard to break.  More precisely, what I find as a problem is that despite an improvement or near total correction the individual still harbors regret and negativity in one’s heart that blocks one from appreciating the improvement.  It is almost a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder of sorts, and PTSD is not easily treatable, especially if only the physical dimension is considered.  This is why I spend so much time up front with the mental issues before ever contemplating a physical endeavor like plastic surgery for an individual.

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’ facial plastic surgery procedures click here or to ask Dr Lam a question please visit his forum.