Thank you for your question. You’ve submitted
several photos and you state in your question that you’ve been doing some research about
having double eyelid surgery. And you believe that you’re a good candidate and you’re expressing
concern about having this being your first procedure. And the concern about the doctor
doing something that they’re qualified to do.
Well I can certainly give you some guidance on this question on how to choose a doctor.
I’m a board certified cosmetic surgeon and a fellowship trained oculofacial plastic surgeon.
I specialize in complex eyelid surgery revision and otherwise; and practice focused for over
20 years has been on Asian Eyelid Surgery. So I can certainly comment on how you find
somebody who will likely deliver the type of result that you want.
So I’ll give you some ideas of how – when we see our patients. We are – our practice
is in Manhattan and Long Island and we see patients who come to us from around the world.
And of course New York City being the diverse city that it is where we have a lot of people
who have a desire for Asian Eyelid Surgery of different Asian backgrounds.
So I could tell you that just as the phases of one’s training and one’s ability to
do a procedure, and how it ultimately aggregates and develops. You know this is a time in our
history where physicians have become, unfortunately, very adversarial about what is perceived as
scarcity and competition inappropriately. Because ultimately, our job as doctors is
to advocate for the patients. And if you’re a good doctor, you’ll do well because there’s
no shortage of people who need your services. Unfortunately certain organized plastic surgery
specialties have taken upon themselves to mislead the public about – in a negative
way as opposed to at least, you know, if one’s going to have a message, be positive and explain
what gives you unique qualifications versus making, unfortunately, inaccurate statements
about other doctors which is incredibly unprofessional. But that’s – bring that aside, the phases
of one’s career is when you – when you train, you train in sometimes a broad area.
And then if you do a fellowship, you train in a specialized area. Like for myself, I
trained first in eye surgery, then I trained in oculofacial plastic surgery. So that was
a specialized, very narrowly focused area to focus on eyelid surgery.
Now that gave me the ability to start. But then you have options. You can do all kinds
of things with a specialty even though it seems so narrow. So one of my areas of – to
focus on was cosmetic eyelid surgery for Asians. So over the course of many years, one becomes
first more adept at doing the procedures. And then as time goes on, you put in enough
hours, you become very good. And matching that has to be the artistic eye and the style.
So my point to you is that what you want ultimately in a doctor is you want somebody who is, of
course, well trained. And don’t use the term board certification as your only guideline
because board certification is basically taking an exam which is fine. Everyone can take an
exam. But beyond that, what have you done with your life?
I have met many colleagues who may have gotten their board certification in one area, of
general plastic surgery but they focused only on hand surgery. Now on paper, they can do
everything from head to toe. But what they’re really great at, they’re great at hand surgery.
So that’s – would be the start. Then you look for – at experience and you’re able
to gauge that by speaking to the doctor and speaking to their staff. A lot of times you
get a really good feeling about how much somebody does and how good they do what they do from
just the vibe of the staff. The staff – it’s very often, like, in our practice, our staff
sees patients who we do Asian Eyelid Surgery for and they really resonate with how happy
we make the patients. And therefore they’re happy to recommend it to people who come.
And then, of course, I think that very importantly is the amount of time a doctor spends with
you communicating. I can’t stress enough how often I have seen patients who were unhappy
with another doctor’s work where I made the observation that it wasn’t the technical
approach that the doctor took but rather the miscommunication as to desired outcome. And
that is always a problem. So communicating and spending time and going over details.
With Asian Eyelid Surgery, you have a lot of different decision points at the – in
the tree of decision. So you decide first, is there extra skin? Is there – is there
extra fat? Do we base on that? Do you may do this as an incisional versus a non-incisional?
Based on that, do you want – what kind of crease do you want? Do you want a parallel
crease? Do you want a nasal tapered crease? Then the last, of course, this question is,
do you need an epicanthoplasty? Do you want an epicanthoplasty?
So these are the natural decisions you make as you do this. And what I do is I try to
communicate with my patient what I’m thinking and actually I’ll show them with some type
of instrument to show the – what the crease can potentially look like. So that way they
can see what they can anticipate if the procedure is done as planned.
Our procedures for Asian Eyelid Surgery is done usually under local anesthesia with mild
to minimal sedation. It’s – once the eyelids are numb, it’s very, very straightforward.
So it allows me to actually have the patient’s cooperation. And I’ll actually have the
patient open their eyes at a certain point during the surgery. They won’t feel pain
but it’ll give me an idea for everything I’m doing is on target and moving in a right
direction. So again, to begin with, I would say, first
to make sure the doctor has experience, expertise, and an artistic style; and, of course, is
you feel comfortable and communicate with the doctor; and you feel trust. You don’t
want to be rushed, you don’t want to be pushed. You know you want to feel like the
doctor is advocating for you and will follow through on delivering the best result as you
desire. So I hope that was helpful. I wish you the
best of luck. And thank you for your question.
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