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Why I Don't Operate on Everybody.

[fa icon="calendar"] January 14, 2017 / by Dr.J

Prospective patients that come in for a cosmetic surgery consultation may notice that I use the word "candidate" when commenting on his or her suitability for the procedure.  I use that term because I don't offer to perform surgery on everyone that comes in.  Here are the reasons why.

  1.  The Patient's Expectations are not Appropriate.

     A wise surgeon once said that no matter how perfectly an operation is performed, if the patient's expectations are not met, they will be unhappy.  That's why I spend time during our initial consultation to understand each patient's goals and make sure that the planned operation will meet those goals.  If the patient's goals are unrealistic or otherwise unlikely to be met, I will not perform that surgery.
  2. The Patient is not Medically Able to Tolerate Surgery.

    Patient safety is our number one priority.  That's why every patient's medical history is carefully reviewed and medical clearance is obtained from the patient's primary care physician.  In the event the patient does not have a primary care physician, medical clearance and labwork is completed by the MedStar Urgent Care Center conveniently located in our building.  Medical appropriateness can also include being psychologically prepared for cosmetic surgery.  These surgeries can have profound effects on patients' emotions and I ensure that prospective patients are mentally, as well as physically, able to tolerate the operation.
  3. I Do Not Feel the Requested Procedure is in the Patient's Best Interest.

    This is a tricky one because I always endeavor to make the patient happy.  There may be times when the likely outcome of a particular procedure is a matter of taste.  Ultimately, the goal is to please the patient and not necessarily the surgeon.  However, there are times when the procedure desired by the patient is clearly not in his or her best interest.  An example is placing very large breast implants.  In this scenario, not only will the operation result in a cosmetically undesireable outcome, but the long term consequences of implants on the high end of the size spectrum can be significant, especially for small-framed patients.  Typically, once the pros and cons of the proposed procedure is discussed, patients understand my reluctance and common ground is reached.



The goal in any Cosmetic Surgery practice should not be to operate as much as possible, but to select carefully the best candidates for surgery.  This way, patients' cosmetic results, overall health and feelings of well-being are optimized.


Topics: Choosing the Right Surgeon


Written by Dr.J

Dr.Jeffrey Horowitz is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon committed to his patients' health and beauty.