Characteristics of a competent cosmetic surgeon
Aesthetic plastic surgery, unlike health care is more than just curing medical conditions. This in turn puts greater demands on a plastic surgeon than other doctors. The result of a plastic surgery procedure is therefore greatly influenced by the surgeon’s possession of these characteristics.
1. Specialist medical knowledge
Currently there are few regulations about who can call themselves a plastic surgeon in the UK but it is possible to check surgeons’ qualifications on the internet, on either www.baaps.org.uk or www.gmc-uk.org A surgeon performing cosmetic surgery should be on the Specialist Register of the GMC (General Medical Council) and if not then they have not received a full surgical training in the UK.
Specialist training within reconstructive plastic surgery involves a good knowledge base for the surgeon who wishes to devote him/herself to aesthetical plastic surgery. Visit The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAPRAS) webpage www.bapras.org.uk to find surgeons and clinics registered for reconstructive surgery.
The Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle once desribed art as the “ability to predict the outcome before it shapes itself in the material”. This characteristic is very important within each plastic surgeon and can only be obtained through experience. This ability is part of medical craftsmanship which a surgeon continuously develops with each procedure that he/she does.
Note that many surgeons only work part-time with aesthetic plastic surgery and therefore do not to the same extent obtain experience from aesthetic surgery. Also with the high level of specialisation within aesthetic plastic surgery it is not possible for a surgeon be an expert in all areas. Therefore ,most surgeons specialise within say 3-4 areas (ex. Rhinoplasty, facelift and eyelid surgery).
3. Artistic qualities
Cosmetic plastic surgery aims to create or form something which lends an artistic element to the medical speciality. This puts greater demands on the surgeons’ knowledge and feeling for form and proportions.
Many surgeons show photos of reference patients in order to provide their patient with an understanding of how his/her qualities are reflected in previous patients.
4. Good communication ability and empathy
The most common reason for postoperative dissatisfaction is that the result is not as the patient expected. This is rarely due to the surgery going wrong but rather because the patient and surgeon have misunderstood each other during the discussion about the patients’ goals and expectations prior to the surgery.
The artistic element that exists in aesthetical plastic surgery implies a degree of subjectivity is always apparent in the discussion about the patients’ goal with his/her surgery. As we know, beauty greatly lies in the eyes of the beholder.
A skilful surgeon does not just handle a scalpel but also invests time and genuine interest in understanding the patient fully. He/she also has a personality and communicatory ability that makes him/her easy to talk to and understand. The dialogue with the patient permeates with clarity, honesty and frankness winning trust.
The above attitude is the brand of a competent surgeon and it makes you as a patient feel secure with your surgeons’ skill and personal engagement in giving you their best.