Patience is a Virtue

When my mother decided to have facial cosmetic surgery, she wanted it all.   Her wish list included upper and lower eyelid surgery, face lift, forehead lift, and perioral chemical peel or dermabrasion for wrinkles around her mouth.   It was my practice earlier in my career to consider doing several procedures at the same time.   Generally the combined surgery could have lasted 6 hours.   I suggested that we do these surgeries over a one year or two period, spaced at six month intervals, since she had a minor heart dysrrythmia.   Physiologically, I though this would be easier on her.   Little did I know, it would be easier on me, as well.

Her first surgery was the face lift.   It was done as a singular surgery and took only two and a half hours.   We used local anesthesia with sedation.   She had very little pain and was ready to go out for dinner in just a few days.   I noticed she was swollen but not like my other patients which would have had several surgery at once.   Six months later we did her forehead lift and lower eyelid surgery.   Finally, a year or so after her face lift, we did her upper eyelid surgery and upper and lower lip dermabrasion.  With each surgery, she had very little pain and minimal swelling or bruising.   I am still amazed that she joined me on a slow walk of about two miles on the day after her forehead lift and lower eyelid surgery!

Now I rarely do combined surgeries anymore.   I have learned that narcotic pain medications can usually be eliminated when surgical procedures are done individually.  Safety and reduced recovery time are enhanced with reduced operating time.  Patients can usually be out and about within a couple days.   It alleviates any pressure to hurry and allows me to take my time in providing the desired result, thus improving patient satisfaction.   I have extended this practice to limiting procedures in all areas of surgery.  Because of excellent results in my single surgery routine, I choose not to operate on more than one area of the body, except in the case of liposuction.  Patience has its rewards!

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