At Cosmetic Surgery Affiliates, most of my patients are very normal people with very normal desires and expectations. They often present with requests to make their bodies like the used to be, such as before having their stomachs and breasts stretched out and then deflated by children or before they gained and lost a substantial amount of weight and now are left with an abundance of loose skin. Another common request is a desire to make their body look how they thought it always should have looked, such as larger breasts, a smaller nose, a more feminine shape, or more masculine features. In some cases, the requests are for very obvious reasons, and then their results dramatic. In other cases, the changes are very subtle, and it is not uncommon that I discuss with these patients that they are often their own worst critics.
It is also not uncommon that especially when a patient is desiring a subtle change, he or she reports that a family member, friend or even stranger has made negative remarks on their desire to make changes to his or her physical appearance, quoting that “true beauty is one the inside.” Although I very much agree with this statement, what these people do not understand is that sometimes small imperfections on the outside, can make one feel unpretty, and at times can be a reminder of unpleasant experiences. When a person does not feel beautiful or confident, instead feeling insecure and unpretty is what that person is left feeling on the inside. Of course, there are individuals who may need the help of a mental health provider, and we reiterate with these patients that surgery is not a substitute.
Below is an email I received from a patient several months after her surgery:
“After years of physical and mental abuse, I finally found myself in positive, nurturing relationships. Unfortunately, my previous life had left me with physical damage to my nose and emotional damage to my face. I say emotional damage because I had constantly been told how ugly I was. After much research and study, I found Cosmetic Surgery Affiliates and Dr. Courtney Caplin. I scheduled a consultation appointment and was immediately struck by the warmth and caring shown by her and the entire staff. Every aspect of the surgery was completely explained as well as what I could probably expect as a result. The surgery was performed at the Affiliates location and I remained there overnight. Again, I was attended to by a warm and caring staff. There were several times when I needed some advice and information. Dr. Caplin had given me her cell phone number and I was able to speak to her directly, and had my concerns put to rest. It has been four months since my surgery and not a day goes by that I do not smile as I look in the mirror. My everlasting thanks to Dr. Caplin and her marvelous staff.”
As I remember the first day I met that patient, she was on the edge of tears during the entire consultation. She was scared, insecure, nervous, and would barely make eye contact. She was a beautiful woman then, but just like a diamond in the rough, some people need to just have a little exterior polishing to feel the beauty that they already have. She recently returned for a follow up visit, and she was beaming, smiling, and full of life and energy. As a cosmetic surgeon, I have the amazing opportunity to treat patients such as these. One of our tag lines at Cosmetic Surgery Affiliates is “Confidence is Priceless”, and I believe that this could not be more true. It is incredible to see the changes in men and woman, in how making alterations in their physical appearance can change their attitude and perspective on life in such a positive way. I feel honored and privileged to have the opportunity to be a part of these transformations.