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Cosmetic Surgeon or Used Car Salesman?

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Let’s face it—performing a sales pitch while mapping out a serious medical procedure is a delicate balancing act for a cosmetic surgeon. But that’s just what happens when you visit the office for a consultation.

On one hand, the doctor and staff will be addressing your dreams—showing you how well they can deliver the look you’re seeking and help improve the quality of your life. That’s heady stuff. But the flip side of the coin is even more important: explaining an operation to you in detail, along with the not-so-sexy preparation, recovery, risks and complications inherent in cosmetic surgery.

Making a wish come true and practicing good medicine may not be an easy blend of concepts, but it’s essential for surgeons to achieve the right mix. When they don’t, that’s when you leave the office murmuring things like, “I just didn’t feel comfortable,” or “I can’t put my finger on it, but I don’t think the place is right for me.”

Here are some ways to tell a doctor may be going overboard with the sales pitch.

Advertising: How Much is too Much?

Since cosmetic surgery is elective surgery, it makes sense that a doctor needs to get his or her name out there. What doesn’t feel so comfortable is when you start seeing a doctor’s name everywhere. Google some common keywords like “plastic surgery,” “cosmetic surgery” and “breast implants.” Do you see certain surgeons on the right hand side of the results page, in fact the same ones over and over?

These are sponsored links, meaning the doctors are paying for clicks on their name, even from a searcher who lives across the country. That’s aggressive and expensive marketing!

You might also be concerned if a cosmetic surgeon uses words that seem over the top to describe his or her talents or results, like “outstanding.” For one thing, outcomes are so subjective it’s inappropriate to apply adjectives like this; cosmetic surgery results are unique to each patient. Doctors should never act in a way that could set unrealistic expectations.

What’s the Office Like?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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