During my residency, my training was focused primarily on the technical aspects of Plastic Surgery. I was taught how to work up a patient from an aesthetic standpoint, determine which procedure(s) they would benefit from, and then ultimately how to perform this procedure safely and effectively so as to minimize the risk for complications. But the one thing that was lacking in my training and in almost every other training program across the nation was a focus on good nutrition and it’s effect on our patients before, during, and after their surgery.
After having worked with literally thousands of patients over the years, I have come to the realization that we really not treating patients as comprehensively as we can and that by ignoring good nutrition, we are effectively turning a blind eye at the very source of many common complications.
Take the average body-contouring patient, for example. She presents with concerns related to excess body fat and simply wants to get rid of a few extra curves here and there. And she is willing to undergo liposuction to achieve this. And while technology has improved to the extent that we better understand how to use technology to achieve a more optimal result, the simple fact remains that this patient probably didn’t get here overnight and that many of her lifestyle habits may have led her to this very predicament. And, worse yet, these very lifestyle habits may impede her from getting an optimal result in the long run. How? Consider the fact that many patients who are overweight have chronically elevated blood sugar. A recent study in the Plastic Surgery literature identified a direct correlation between chronic blood sugar elevation and an increase in post-operative wound healing complications. As such, it makes sense to identify blood sugar elevation and address it before operating instead of simply suspecting it after surgery when the patient’s incision doesn’t heal. Another issue we often see in the general population is a chronically low protein level. Considering the fact that protein requirements jump dramatically after surgery, doesn’t it make sense to fine-tune these levels before surgery to see if you are potentially heading into harm’s way before you actually do? If protein levels come back low prior to surgery, we can usually improve them fairly quickly and potentially reduce the risk for postoperative complications.
If you still need to be convinced, consider the following analogy. You’re about to race a very expensive exotic sports car on the track. Would you ever consider taking it out and pushing it to its limit without first checking under the hood to make sure that everything is working to optimal capacity? Of course not. But we do this every day when we perform seemingly straightforward operations on patients that are simply not ready for surgery.
Over the next few weeks, we will be launching a completely new approach to the Plastic Surgery patient and one that I predict will become the gold standard among all aesthetic providers. Our goal is to provide the very best in both outcomes as well as customer service and I am confident that this new approach will help accomplish both.
Stay tuned! Great things are on the horizon!
For any questions related to this or any other topic in Plastic Surgery or Health & Wellness, please feel free to contact my office at 303.747.6719 or email me directly at [email protected]
Thanks again for your support. We look forward to hearing from you.