Are you someone who has questions about plastic surgery or facial plastic surgery? Did you have surgery and have some questions you are hoping to have answered yet are somewhat shy about asking your facial plastic surgeon? Do you have questions or concerns about a treatment you received? Do you want a second opinion with regards to advice your plastic surgeon gave you or need some feedback on a procedure?
If any of these questions relate to you, there may be some help in the form of quality social media and discussion groups.
When patients see me after having a procedure or if they have concerns about healing after a major procedure, I always do my best to help ease their mind. However we are all different and some people tend to worry more than others. This is something I understand and although I try to provide as much support as possible, some people need more support. In addition, some people need confirmation of the information that is given to them in order to help put their mind at ease.
Let me give an example, a person who had surgery on their nose (a rhinoplasty) and 2 months after surgery feel as though the tip of the nose (the point at the end) is not perfect. If you look at another blog I wrote on this topic, you will see that it is common to have swelling at the tip that in some people can last up to a year. Even though I discuss this with this patient, the individual is still concerned that there is a problem. In these situations, I feel the support from others who had the surgery as well as getting opinions from other surgeons can help reduce the anxiety surrounding the procedure and healing process.
There is a site called Realself.com that I often suggest patients visit. On this site, you can ask questions to other patients and ask questions to qualified surgeons from the USA and Canada. You will get honest answers. They will often give you very similar suggestions as I give and this can often significantly reduce the stress of surgery and help answer the concerns you may have. I am an active surgeon on Realself.com and I was voted as one of the Top 500 Facial Plastic Surgeons in North America based on feedback from patients and this site. I understand how the site works and I trust the vast majority of opinions on this site.
The reason I write this, is that I am a firm believer that the internet and sites Realself.com can help most patients. We often tell patients not to do searches on line as you can get bad information, but trusted sites like Realself.com are the exception. That is why I suggest patients ask questions on reputable sites like this, rather than simple Google searches. Simple Google searches often take you to sites that have false information or may give you incorrect answers.
But most importantly, if you ever have a concern, my advice is to bring it up with myself or whoever your facial Plastic Surgeon is.
James P. Bonaparte, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Head and Neck Surgery
Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery