I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD GET PLASTIC SURGERY
I never thought I would get plastic surgery. As a Patient Coordinator for a plastic surgeon, you hear very personal stories and motivations about why someone wants to have cosmetic plastic surgery. The patients I have a special empathy are for those that are really amazed and shocked that they are sitting in my office discussing their potential surgery. I guess it’s because I grew up in Seattle where we are programmed to be natural, look natural and dislike everything “fake”. So when I have a woman tell me that she was always against surgery and never thought she would have surgery but nonetheless here we are discussing it, I understand where she’s coming from.
Our views change over time as our circumstances and life experiences do. For example, take the woman who does everything natural and healthy when she gets pregnant. She is fit, she eats right, she’s breast fed for a year or more and does it again for the second and sometimes third baby. She’s kept herself in shape and she’s proud of it, as she should be. The kids are older now, no more pregnancies or breast feeding coming up for her. She may weigh the same and is back to cycling, running, doing yoga, etc. but her body is definitely not the same. No matter what she does the loose skin on her tummy isn’t going anywhere. Contributing to that “pooch” in her tummy is the loose abdominal muscle that’s been stretched with each baby. She also can’t exercise or diet her breasts back to the way they were. They were full while breast feeding but they figuratively, and sometimes literally, deflate. The breast tissue is gone. I’ve heard many times “My kids sucked my breasts away!” Of course, no one needs to have either of these issues fixed but if a woman is bothered by her tummy or breasts and just wants to “put things back” then plastic surgery can be a safe and gratifying option.
You see, the women I typically meet aren’t trying to look like anyone else; they really are just trying to be the best version of themselves. I listen to their concerns and I listen to their excitement. I help them balance both to make a decision that is best for them. If they decide on surgery, I walk them through it step by step and we address questions along the way. A big one that comes up is what I like to call “Mom Guilt”. It comes up when Mom realizes that she is going to take a couple of weeks to recover and ask for help with the kids and that she is going to spend money on herself. Even if family and friends have enthusiastically lined up to help after surgery and the money has been set aside, the Mom guilt nevertheless creeps in. I listen and then I explain to them that every Mom experiences it. This seems to help and we move forward. I get so excited to go through surgery and their recovery with them. Their outcomes are always so natural and just perfect for them. It’s also fun to hear the positive comments from husbands, friends and other moms about how great the patient looks and that they didn’t realize someone could look so natural after plastic surgery. Then we all laugh when they playfully argue who gets to have surgery next. Almost all of these women end up referring other patients to us. It may be their friends, friends of their friends, people they meet at the nail salon or family members. I can just imagine that those conversations begin, “I never thought I would get plastic surgery but . . .”