What is your experience with cosmetic surgery?

How dangerous are cosmetic surgeries? An honest look at the risk of plastic aesthetic interventions

Are cosmetic surgeries dangerous?

Interview with Dr. med. Stefan Zimmermann

In the past, cosmetic surgery was considered a taboo subject in society. Today it's different - cosmetic surgery is selling better than ever. Over the past few years, negative reports have largely fallen silent in the media and the focus is no longer only on risks and deaths, but also on positive surgical results.

Dr. med. Stefan Zimmermann has been practicing as a Specialist in plastic and aesthetic surgery. He, too, has witnessed this change. More and more patients come to him with the desire for a breast augmentation, wrinkle treatment or liposuction. In the practice clinic in Dresden "Aesthetics in Dresden " he stands by his patients as a consultant and surgeon. In addition to standard cosmetic surgeries, he also specializes in genital surgery.

Answered in this interview with info medicine Dr. Carpenter the most frequently asked questions about the topic of beauty delusions & surgery reality.

Dr. Zimmermann, in this interview we would like to shed a different light on cosmetic surgery and address possible prejudices. Do you agree that the demand for cosmetic surgery has increased in recent years?

I believe that this question can be nuanced and also regional must consider: In the large German cities, the demand for aesthetic interventions and treatments is in my opinion continuously increased and is now at a good level. In the rural regions however, the demand for beauty treatments was slow. Five to six years ago, the whole topic was still quite covered, no one was happy to openly admit that they wanted to undergo cosmetic surgery or had already done it. A lot has happened here in recent years. Even in the country, cosmetic surgery is now used normality become. Just as you go to the beautician, you go to the cosmetic surgeon today and have what bothers you and what is feasible changed.

Where does this change come from? Why has the awareness of aesthetics changed in recent years?

Nowadays everyone knows - also through the media and social media - that there is an opportunity to be Wellbeing to improve through targeted small or slightly larger interventions. Society has therefore become aware that cosmetic surgery is also feasible for "ordinary people". If satisfied is with your body, you radiate that outward.

In your opinion, what role does advertising play? Do advertisements on the Internet, in magazines or on TV have an impact on society?

The advertising plays an extremely important role in this topic. It is conveyed to you that attractiveness and success belong together and that you can go through life so much better. At the same time, cosmetic surgery procedures are advertised and demonstrated through advertisements in magazines or through documentaries on TV. In the media, however, you only ever see a certain time frame. The formats are entertainingdesignedso that the healing process or the consequences of an operation cannot be properly represented. You only get before-and-after pictures - and all the weeks and months in between, including possible detours, Side effects and Complications remain hidden. Thus, everything that is shown in the media should always be viewed critically.

That's a good point! Let's talk about side effects and contraindications: has it ever happened that you had to refuse an operation because of a high risk?

Yes. A classic example is a patient who is on massive obesity and interested in a tummy tuck or breast reduction. The risk for such an intervention is from a certain weight class just too high. In such situations, as a doctor, I have to explain to the patient that he must first lose weight before he can undergo an operation.

That is a clear statement! How have your patients always received them up to now?

Of course, my patients are not happy after such a statement. You finally came to me to help you with your problem. If I address this risk directly in the consultation, most of them will Insight. I guess, They know deep down that their weight is a barrier to surgery.

Has it actually happened that a patient for whom you initially refused treatment has come back?

Unfortunately, this doesn't usually happen that often, but it does happen. In one case I was amazed because the patient had tackled his problem and his weight himself drastically reduced. So I was able to help him with an operation afterwards. Often patients actually still show up more motivatedif their effort for a required weight loss is rewarded with an operation that is then promised.

Suppose you decline the operation because of the risk. Here, of course, there could be a suspicion that the patient has sought treatment from another doctor. Or?

Yes that's right. Some people always choose the easy way and are also resistant to advice. They keep searching until they find someone to perform the operation on you. And no matter where - maybe abroad too - there will always be someone who will take care of this patient despite the risks operated on.

In your practice, you also carry out smaller plastic interventions, such as an upper eyelid lift. Is there no risk here? Or how high would you rate the risk compared to breast augmentation?

There is no zero-sum calculation with regard to operative complications. But if you take all risk factors of a patient into account in the planning phase before an operation and therefore perhaps refrain from an operation, you can Risk of complications on one very low level hold. Provided that the surgeon knows what he is doing.

We come to the subject of scars. Often reality and imagination diverge widely here. What is your experience so far? How do you discuss this sensitive issue with your patients?

In the past few years, a number of mostly younger patients have come to my office hours with the idea that nowadays a surgeon can work without scars. However, we are far from that. Every surgeon leaves his mark - the scars. In my practice, I therefore always inform my patients about the possible extent of scars. This is important because it gives you a better idea of ​​what to expect. Usually I show pictures of operated patients and their scars. The reactions to it are whole differently - Some patients don't care about the scar, but others have a problem with it. But one thing is clear: There will always be scars, in the course of time they become a little less noticeable, but they do never disappear completely.

Has it ever happened that a patient accepted the scale before the operation, but was not satisfied after the operation and then complained to you?

No, this has never happened to me before. When you take the time before the procedure and the patient comprehensively enlightened, there are usually no problems postoperatively. What happens more often, however, is that patients suddenly notice in the preliminary discussion that they are afraid of the extent of the scars and / or the operation and that they therefore withdraw from the desire to have an operation. I prefer that than when a patient puts himself under pressure and goes to an operating room with fear and self-doubt.

Do you address the subject of pain in the first conversation with your patient?

Yes, but it's not that easy to answer this question, as different cosmetic surgeries also generate different post-operative pain. Operations on the eyelids or nose, for example, hardly cause any pain. With liposuction, the pain can be compared to sore muscles. However, there are also operations, such as breast augmentation, that are a little more painful than other operations. But disposition also plays an important role here. Everyone has one otherSensation of pain and thus perceives the possible postoperative complaints was also different.

Suppose the pain continues. Does it happen, for example, that the body does not accept breast implants after a breast operation? How do you stand by your patient in such a case and what do you advise them to do?

In such a case we of course strongly recommend that the patient get in touch with us again and are always available for them. The attending surgeon is of course always very familiar with the region being operated on and can therefore also do it best support for the patient. For this reason, in my opinion, the surgeon should always be easily reachable postoperatively, both by telephone and in person.

Suppose a patient has had an operation abroad and comes to your practice for follow-up care. Do you help him when he is in pain or in a hopeless situation?

Sure, this is an emergency situation! That's why I became a doctor. What many patients do not know, however: In such cases, the health insurance company does not cover the costs incurred. For cosmetic procedures that were operated in Germany, however, the patient can use a type of Follow-up cost insurance which then bears the costs in the event of complications after the operation. This possibility exists during interventions in theforeign countries Not.

Do you develop a kind of routine for certain operations after a certain period of time?

Operations in general are technically very precisely structured. That is, they consist of always identical stepsthat you have to master as a surgeon. However, the patient's body is always different. For example, a procedure that worked well for one patient may be very different for another. As a surgeon, you must therefore always be able to modify the surgical steps and adapt them to the circumstances. So I would not say that I repeatedly "stupid" certain operations without thinking, I always have to do the necessary things respect stick with it. In summary, an operation is always a new challenge with a certain routine.

Are there patients they crave for the perfect body?

In my experience, this happens less often. As a rule, patients do not want to be "reshaped" according to a certain model or look, but usually have a clear idea of ​​what is bothering them about their body.

So one cannot speak of a "beauty craze". Correct?

That's how I see it, yes. Rather, it's more of a rethinking: 30 years ago, going to the beautician was something special, today it's going to the cosmetic surgeon. But one cannot speak of a "madness" here, The focus is on wellbeing with one's body.

Do you also include patients in your customer base who you visit several times a year?

Here I have to differentiate between operative and non-operative patients. The classic botox or hyaluronic acid is one of the non-surgical treatments and usually lasts, for example, 5 to 14 months. It may well be the case that a patient will have a non-surgical treatment after a few months again comes to my practice. This is less common with surgical treatments. However, there are always patients who undergo a drooping eyelid operation or something similar and so on satisfied are that you then decide, for example, to have liposuction on the abdomen or hips. Personally, I am less familiar with the fact that this behavior turns into a "madness".

How important is follow-up care to your patients? Do your patients always like to accept your tips and ultimately stick to them?

In my practice, we already emphasize in the first conversation that there is a fixed schedule for follow-up care that the patient should or must adhere to. As a rule, patients also adhere to this best possible result is in their interest - and that includes consistent aftercare.

How do you keep yourself up to date personally? Do you attend conferences, exchange ideas with other doctors or go to trade fairs?

Of course I am continuing my education. That is the be-all and end-all in the medical profession. You mustn't stand still, because the development is always advancing. For example, I drive to international congresses, measure up and Exhibitionsto see what's coming to market around the world. There are always innovations, be it in the field of technology, in the field of surgical methods or in the field of scientific examinations. For example, I meet once or twice a year with other specialists in aesthetic and plastic surgery, to exchange me, either national as well as international. In my practice, I also enjoy another one privilege: I don't work alone as a doctor in our practice clinic - there are three of us - which means that I myself every day can exchange professional information.