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Dr. Thomas Haas' Blog Archive – January 2007

16 January 2007
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Virtual consult
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Every so often, a patient comes from far away and it is very inconvenient for her/him to make a separate trip for a consultation prior to their surgery. They are usually referred by a patient of mine so they have some confidence in our practice before even being seen. Most times they want to schedule before I ever meet them. Our usual office policy is to see all patients at least two times prior to any surgery...this gives us a chance to understand each other and make sure all the patients questions and concerns are addressed.

But when someone lives far away, and with the new technology of the web, sometimes we can do a 'virtual consult' on-line. Patients can e-mail photos of the area they are concerned about, and I can at least give them some idea of what I recommend. Sometimes I can be pretty specific, such as in nose-jobs...you either need it a rhinoplasty, or you don't. Sometimes with other cosmetic surgery, like breasts augmentations, sometimes the lady may need a lift and an augmentation...again, photos can at least give me an idea and we can then give her some information without actually being seen. Same thing with tummies...some need liposuction only, and some will need a full tummy tuck. Same goes for facelift...mini-facelift, or the full deal. Of course there are a lot of disclaimers and limitations to this technology, and nothing replaces the face-to-face exam, but at least we can give the patient an idea of what to expect...risks, expectations, recovery, prices, etc.

This 'virtual consultation' is a good way to eliminate or minimize some unexpected surprises at our first meeting.

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08 January 2007
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'that's not me'
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Had an interesting comment this weekend. Very nice lady who had lost over 100lbs., and of course had lots of excess skin and a large skin 'apron' on her abdomen...so we did a fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty on her Friday. This is an upside-down T-shaped incision to remove all the excess skin and fat left over from her weight loss. Surgery took around 2 hours in our office surgery suite. She spent the night in a local hotel because she lives far away. (I don't like anyone more than 1 hour away from me the first night after cosmetic surgery.)

She did great. Saw her the next morning, took off all her bandages and dressings to check her incisions. She is healing very nicely. When she got her first look at her new tummy, she said 'Wow, that's not me!'...very excited and happy. She had been used to seeing forever that large ocean of skin and fat that was now gone.

Saw her again today, now post-op day #3. Doing great. Again, very happy and excited and with the 'that's not me' comment. Very rewarding for me and the surgery team.

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