WHAT DO PATIENTS FEAR MOST?

 

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” is a paraphrase of what Franklin Roosevelt actually said in his 1st inaugural address after winning the 1932 presidential election. He actually said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The United States was in the midst of the Great Depression and Roosevelt acknowledged the existence of these serious financial difficulties, but his point about fear was that folks were preoccupied with the financial problems, yet their solution was easily within grasp.

What do people fear most today? 200 years ago, hell, the plague, and rabid dogs would have probably topped the list. With a decline in a belief in the reality of hell and with the introduction of antibiotics and vaccines, other fears have arisen. A 2001 Gallup Poll lists the top 10 fears as follows:

1. Snakes
2. Public Speaking
3. Heights
4. Being Closed in a Small Space
5. Spiders & Insects
6. Needles & Getting Shots
7. Mice
8. Flying
9. Dogs
10. Thunder & Lightning

I’m relieved to see that doctor visits were only #12! It’s also interesting that the fear of dying is not on that list. I guess that death doesn’t seem that immediate for most of us.

What do folks who come to a plastic surgery office fear most? I have compiled my own list based on 26 years of patient interviews.

#1 “ I will look unnatural “– Patients base this on the appearance of certain celebrities who have had plastic surgery and who look very unnatural. They reason that if these folks who can afford the best look the way they do after surgery, what on earth is going to happen to the ordinary person!
My reply – Look at the person who referred you to the office or at my before and after photos available on line or in the office. Do any of these people look unnatural? Quite frankly, it also puzzles me as to why some of these celebrities look the way they do after surgery. The reality, however, is that the plastic results you notice the most are the poor ones. The good ones look so natural that they are difficult to detect!

#2 “ I won’t wake up from surgery and who will take care of my kids then! “
My reply – The most dangerous part of your operation is the drive to the office on the morning of surgery ( Assumption: the average drive is 20 miles). This is not to disparage your spouse’s driving abilities, but is simply a fact when you consider the death rate from traffic accidents versus the death rate from anesthesia. That’s for all anesthetics for all patients. The anesthesia I employ in the office is very light and our patients are much healthier which will further lower the rate of anesthetic problems. The overall death rate from anesthesia per year in the United States is 1 in 5 million. That’s 10 times less than the risk of being struck by lightning! I think that helps to put things in perspective!!
(http://www.meretrix.com/~harry/flying/notes/safetyvsdriving.html , http://www.videojug.com/interview/general-anesthesia-2)

#3 “ I won’t like the result.” – This is a variation of #1.
My reply – I believe that information is the answer to this. I use imaging techniques as well as verbal and visual explanations to help the patient gain an idea of how their desired change is apt to turn out. Of course, I don’t have a crystal ball, but experience helps me give the patient what is usually an accurate idea. Sometimes patients decide that the surgery is not for them based on these discussions. That is a very good thing to find out ahead of time, I believe!

#4 “I will lose my job after surgery and will need the money to live on!”
My reply – Fortunately that sort of thing is fairly rare, although the recent recession does give one pause! The good news is that folks who are the most attractive have the most success in landing good jobs. So go for the surgery! If you need to find a new job, your chances will be even better!!

What are some reasons that you, your family, or friends fear plastic surgery? Let me know by clicking on the link below.

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      Thanks for the “kudos”! As for your question about the authorship of the blog, it’s all my own writing and layout. Rarely I will take something someone has written for my practice newsletter, modify it, and use it. Usually, though, it’s about a topic that I feel like learning about and then communicating, or something I have come across and want to tell others about.

      Thanks for the question!

      Best Wishes,

      GS

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