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In considering elective cosmetic surgery, patients face many questions about the costs of particular procedures, the risks involved and the general long term results. On this Patient Power program, host Andrew Schorr is joined by plastic surgeon, Dr. Sam Most. Along with Helen, a patient guest, the three guests seeks to address questions about the risks, reality and cost of having elective cosmetic surgery.

Helen, a patient who had a number of procedures, including an eyelid lift, facelift, chin implant and lasering of her face, also joins the program to share what options she weighed in making the decision to have her surgery. Helen speaks to the reality of recovery and the psychological impact of having surgery to alter your face, which is so closely tied to your identity. She also addresses the stigma often associated with cosmetic surgery. Resolute in the fact the surgery was the right choice for her, Helen encourages patients’ families and friends to support them during recovery, just like would in any other type surgery.

Dr. Most addresses many of the media portrayals of plastic surgery, including several TV shows like ‘The Swan,’ and explains the role this has played in managing patient expectations. He answers questions about the longevity of particular procedures like the facelift, botox and chemical peels and offers advice about new trends like the thread lift technique. Often times, if one procedure is combined with another, it can make for a better outcome.

If you choose to explore elective cosmetic surgery, it is critical to find a doctor who will dialogue with you. As Dr. Most says, “It’s important to get information, especially in this day and age as we’re bombarded with information from various media outlets on cosmetic surgery. It’s important to have realistic expectations and to speak to some physicians who tell you what you need to know, not what you want to hear.” If you or a loved one is considering cosmetic surgery, this Patient Power program is an excellent place to start.

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Produced in association with UW Medicine

Transcript

Andrew Schorr:

As we approach the year-end have you been thinking about a little elective cosmetic surgery, a little nip/tuck to help you feel better and look better? Well is it a good idea? Hear from a leading plastic surgeon next live on Andrew Schorr’s Patient Power on AM570 KVI talk radio.

Good morning. You maybe just rolled over in bed and are listening. Well Seattle sort of has a wet blanket on it in Western Washington today. Good morning wherever you are. If you are further east or west listening on the Internet, welcome. I’m Andrew Schorr, here every week to help you be a smarter patient and a smarter family member as you make healthcare decisions. I want to recommend that you take a look at our new website, www.patientpower.info because we have more than 60 hours of programs with leading medical experts on important health topics for you. So take a look at www.patientpower.info.

I want to talk about two things today. One is certainly I’ll comment some more on the Medicare prescription drug plan where signups start on Tuesday. President Bush was talking about it in his weekly radio address yesterday. I actually did an hour-long show yesterday about it, and I’ll tell you how to find that one, and then the lead story in the “New York Times” today is that some people are confused, maybe many seniors are confused. So my job is to help you figure it out, and although the enrollment starts on Tuesday, you have all the way until May 15th. So you have plenty of time, but certainly you may well have questions, so I’ll help you navigate that. That’s my job.

But something else that comes up at the end of the year for many people, some during the year, but some towards the end of the year, is I’m thinking about next year, I’m thinking about how I feel about myself, how I look. I have a little extra time off. I won’t be running around quite so much. There will be some weeks during the holidays when I maybe can be away from work more, and so I’m thinking about cosmetic surgery. I know I have to pay for it probably myself in most cases, but it is something I’ve been thinking about for many years, and I know for KVI listeners if you are like me, 55, you may say 55, 60, 62, still very much in the business world, out there in public. Maybe you’re a lawyer or in sales and you say, ‘How I look is really important or how I feel,’ and so you’re looking in the mirror and saying. ‘Should I do something?’

Well then there are ads in the paper. There’s “Nip/Tuck” and other shows on TV. Maybe you saw last year the “The Swan” where they were remaking people, and you say, ‘How would that change me?’ So today in the studio we have a leading cosmetic surgeon, a plastic surgeon. Sort of a young guy I think who is not unlike the guy, those handsome men on “Nip/Tuck” who are surgeons, but he is the Medical Director of the Cosmetic Surgery Center at the University of Washington, and he is the Chief of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Washington Medical Center. As you know the University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview are foundation sponsors of Patient Power, and we are always very grateful to them for helping support our year long effort to help you be smarter as you make healthcare decisions. So first let me welcome Dr. Sam Most who is here to take your questions. Dr. Most, thank you so much for being with us.

Dr. Most:

Thank you Andrew. Thanks for having me.

Andrew Schorr:

And I know you have a seminar also. I think on the weekends on KVI we talk a lot about seminars. You actually have one coming up tomorrow. We’ll mention that along the way. So if they want to meet you in person they can. So we’ll give those details, but I’d like to help introduce another guest to the program, and that’s Helen Thorsen. Helen has been one of your patients. A woman who is a professional dancer and lives here in Seattle, and Helen about a year and a half ago you decided to have a facelift and some other procedures. Is that right?

Helen:

That’s correct.

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