Dr. Lista Talks to Newstalk 1010 About Plastic Surgery
June 04, 2014
Dr. Frank Lista, founder and director of The Plastic Surgery Clinic, was recently interviewed by Newstalk 1010’s Jim Richards about cosmetic surgery procedures. Richards started the conversation by citing unfavourable statistics from a recent survey: 65% of respondents said that they regretted having plastic surgery because of complications or side effects. The regretful majority is indeed shocking and deserving of concern, but it’s important to note that the results of this study are deceptive at first glance.
Most importantly, it’s significant that these statistics are coming out of England. How different could the situation be? Well, it actually differs pretty dramatically, and Dr. Lista knows this firsthand. He was recently a visiting professor at the Royal Society of Medicine in London speaking on plastic surgery where he saw in person how common it is for patients in the UK to undergo cosmetic surgery in impersonal, “factory”-like environments. Many patients aren’t even meeting with their surgeon before arriving in the operating room, which is undoubtedly a different way of doing things.
When you look at the same studies here in North America, you get a very different picture. As Dr. Lista explains, the numbers here are closer to 89% of respondents who are happy with their plastic surgery, who would do it again and who would recommend it to family and friends. But that still means that 10% of patients are unhappy with their result. What are the circumstances in those instances?
Dr. Lista describes the 2 groups of people who tend to be unhappy with their cosmetic surgery: the small group who experiences a complication, and the larger group whose expectations have not been met. This is why reasonable expectations for plastic surgery are so important. For example, if a typical tummy tuck patient (such as a woman in her early 40’s who has given birth to one or more children) expects to have an abdominoplasty procedure and look the same way she did when she was 18, she is going to be disappointed. Those kind of results are just not possible and so when a patient has those kinds of expectations they are setting themselves up for dissatisfaction. It doesn’t matter how well or successfully the operation is performed, it will always be perceived as a failure.
Plastic surgery isn’t only about performing a great operation. It’s also about making a patient happy. If we can’t deliver a result that meets someone’s expectations, they’re going to be unhappy. Richards was therefore curious about the number of patients who are advised not to undergo procedures at The Plastic Surgery Clinic. Dr. Lista explains that about 1/3 of all people who come in for free consultations do not end up going through with a surgical procedure.
Dr. Lista also explains to Richards that really good plastic surgery is undetectable. The cases that are not done well are the ones that are noticeable and those are the ones that tend to give the field a bad reputation. If you think that all plastic surgery is obvious and not achieving its objectives, chances are you’ve actually seen a lot of great plastic surgery, too – you just haven’t noticed it.