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By Dr Sahar Al Kazzaz
Dubai has the largest number of plastic surgeons by population than any other city in the world. With all this choice, it’s no wonder potential patients are confused about what to base their decision on. You obviously can’t choose a surgeon based on price – your safety is important, as is getting the result right the first time, so you don’t have to face revision surgery. Worryingly, some people select a plastic surgeon based on recommendations by celebrities or social influencers. The surgeon offers money and free services to get such an endorsement.
Of course, recommendations from friends, or the sterling reputation of a surgeon or the medical practice he or she works for, are great places to start. However, you should investigate the surgeon’s background and continue to evaluate him or her during the initial consultation.
Before we get into training and skill, there are two vital elements that people often forget. First, your surgeon should have an artist’s eye. Cosmetic surgery is a mixture of art and surgical knowledge, so you need a talented surgeon who is able to analyze your individual body shape, not just general anatomy. Second, the surgeon should be aware of and respect the differences in ethnic and cultural beauty standards, so you get the result you have in mind – this is particularly important in a multicultural society like ours.
Make sure your surgeon doesn’t rush you during the consultation. She or he should spend enough time with you to understand your concerns fully and to discuss all your options, both surgical or non-surgical. Through these discussions, you will work together to find the best solution for you. If you decide that surgery is your best option, then it’s time to evaluate your potential surgeon’s breadth of knowledge in that specific procedure. No single surgical approach suits all patients and your surgeon should have mastered more than one. In breast-enhancement surgery, for example, the many decisions to be made include whether it should be done with an implant or fat, or both; with our without a breast lift; the implant pocket could be below the muscle under the gland, dual plane or subfascial; and implants come in different shapes and sizes.
Another point to check is that the surgeon is up to date with the latest clinically proven technology, and has access to this technology where they practice. Today, we surgeons are dependent on high-tech machines because they help us to give our patients the highest quality result with the shortest downtime. We also need an excellent anesthetist and support team. Also check how much experience your surgeon has. Surgical skills plus advanced technology ensure the highest quality and satisfactory results, but lengthy experience means better safety and fewer chances of complications.
Finally, the most important factor is to evaluate the honesty of your surgeon. He or she is the person who will advise you whether or not to have a surgery, and shouldn’t do any intervention if it is unnecessary. It’s important that you feel comfortable with them and that you can trust them.