When Faster is Better

As I went through my training at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, the plastic surgery attending physicians always asked for my help on cases.  It was not just my ability to do excellent work, but also my capacity for being efficient that made the case go more quickly.  While the number one goal in cosmetic plastic surgery is safety, number two is to achieve or exceed a patient’s expectations with superb results.  Sometimes the two goals are at cross purposes.

I happen to perform my surgeries quite quickly in comparison to some other plastic surgeons.  I feel that I deliver at least the same if not better quality results while enhancing your safety.  The longer a procedure takes, the more risk you have of something going wrong.  A longer time under anesthesia sometimes means that a light sedation won’t work, and a general anesthetic is needed.  This can lead to more nausea and vomiting, as well as the additional time under anesthesia increasing risks of blood clots.  In addition, for longer surgeries, indwelling catheters are needed which can lead to urinary retention and urinary tract infections.  There are more fluid shifts, and if the wound is open for longer periods of time, wound infections are more likely.

It is important to note that I do not advocate rushing a surgery or leaving out steps.  I simply stay 100% focused on my patient, and do not waste time under anesthesia.  In my experience at Yager Esthetics since 1997, I have performed a tremendous volume of surgery.  As with any skill, the more you do, the better you become.  Every plastic surgeon, anesthesiologist, and nurse who visits is uniformly amazed that an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) can be done in less than one hour with exceptional results.

Just because a doctor says he spends 3 ½ hours doing the same operation does not mean you are getting more surgery or a better result.  In many instances, you are putting yourself at additional risk for a less well performed outcome.  Be careful.