Imperfect Results

Cosmetic surgery is a  complex blend of art, medicine and surgery.  As such, imperfect results and complications do occur.  Physicians and patients alike feel badly when things do not turn out perfect.  However, there are many reasons for these events to occur, which neither the surgeon  nor the patient have any control.

The healing process is complicated.  All of us heal a little differently.  When some scars resolve, they can be wider or thicker than others.  Swelling sometimes takes longer than expected to completely dissipate.  Scar tissue may build up under the skin, which detracts from the desired result, particularly after  nose surgery.  These differences may contribute to the final result.

Surgeons go to great lengths to create detailed instructions for patient care after surgery.  The instructions are based on years of training and experience with their surgical techniques.   Careful attention to the instructions is essential in providing the patient with the best result and reduce the risk of complications.

There is a common misconception that we are exactly the same on each side of our body.  This is not true.  Small differences in symmetry are present in all of us.  It is the expression of these subtle differences which will often embody unique beauty.  We turn to cosmetic surgery when differences are perhaps too great and it interferes with our self-esteem.

Anatomy cannot be predicted with 100% accuracy.  There is variations in how we as humans are put together. Nerves and  blood vessels can be in locations which are simply different than most other people.  This phenomenon is referred to as anatomical variation.  Slight birth defects can result in structural differences in anatomy.  Just last week I cared for a patient who did not have part of her pectoralis (pec) muscle.  This anomaly    was taken into consideration in the way we chose to design her surgery.  

One of the few guarantees I can make about cosmetic surgery is there will be differences when each side is compared to the other after surgery.  I recommend revision surgery to my patients only if the differences are significant.

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