Would you believe that many women actually freeze up when they visit a plastic surgeon’s office, or in dealing with her on subsequent follow-up visits? It’s true. There’s something about these very intimate procedures–and especially dealing with labiaplasty and vaginoplasty–that makes many women afraid to act upon what they really think.
In particular, here are four mistakes that many women make when visiting their plastic surgeon.
1) Many–perhaps most–don’t ask their surgeons enough questions. Being in the surgeon’s office can feel intimidating, and the patient suddenly finds herself in the role of “child” to the surgeon’s role of “parent.” If you know ahead of time that you’re not likely to be bold enough to ask all of the relevant questions, take along someone else who is not afraid to ask those questions. Don’t be afraid to say to the plastic surgeon, “I know you’re the expert, but what you’re saying or showing me doesn’t make logical sense to me. Can we explore this further?”
2) Women tend to under-research when it comes to plastic surgery. This is ironic since they actually over-research when they’re experiencing medical symptoms that they can’t explain. But when it comes to cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, many don’t spend enough time looking at before and after photos,, getting references, finding information about the procedure online, etc.
3) Women tend to overlook gender bias, even when it’s blatant. There are some plastic surgeons who won’t touch the fields of vaginoplasty or labiaplasty, not because it’s outside their expertise, but because they downplay it or even sneer at it. Not surprisingly, a larger proportion of those with that feeling are male. So yes, gender bias exists, and you need to recognize it as you’re selecting your plastic surgeon.
4) Women recovering from a procedure tend to try interpreting their own symptoms. How do you know what’s normal to experience when recovering and what is a more serious condition? Many women choose not to rely on their surgeon’s advice, but settle for their own individual interpretations. This is extremely risky–as much so as if you were trying to determine by yourself whether you have cancer. Leave it to the experts!
5) Many women ignore their own intuition. Usually, though, if some nagging doubt tells you that there is something untrustworthy about a surgeon or his staff or their facility, there’s a reason for that doubt. It’s your brain trying to make a connection with something it has learned in the past. Intuition is a valuable tool; use it!