A Personal Word from Dr. Gabriel
Aesthetic Surgery is voluntary and discretionary. Both doctor and patient must have a “therapeutic alliance” and together achieve our desired goals: safe, predictable and pleasing cosmetic results. We have a mutual responsibility, both patient and surgeon, to be safe, prudent, conservative and informed. This commitment guides my philosophy of patient care. You will see it reflected in my lengthy initial patient consultations, subsequent pre-operative contacts, the surgical techniques I use, my post-operative and ongoing care and my staff’s concern and accessibility.
My consultations are lengthy and informative and that is why I charge for them. Many plastic surgeons that offer complimentary consultations actually have them done by a cosmetic consultant or patient coordinator or they may spend only a few moments with patients. I schedule a large block of time for each patient and take as much time as a patient needs to discuss their situation. Photos are taken and we discuss them. Many patients return to continue the consultation on a second, or sometimes even a third visit. I do not charge for those subsequent visits. I have a reputation for listening to patients and taking the time to understand their individual concerns and their individual anatomic and physical differences. I also have the aesthetic skill needed to imagine what would look best, given their goals, and to discuss all of this with them in an understandable way.
Patients sometimes want to know what they “need” to have done. Frequently, an array of options is possible involving different costs, risks, scars, and results. My goal is to explore these options as thoroughly as possible with the patient at their consultation so they can make a truly informed choice about what they want done. I think whether a patient decides to have surgery performed by me, another surgeon, or not at all, they will leave their consultation with a greater understanding of their situation and be a more informed consumer.
I believe in classic, natural beauty which sometimes is better achieved by subtle change. An overdone, over-operated look that reveals visual clues to aesthetic surgery detracts from the results and can look worse than the original deformity that prompted surgery in the first place. Safety and predictability are important to me. New techniques come and go in Plastic Surgery and well executed, time tested techniques serve patients better than flash-in-the-pan approaches that are more marketing than substance. This is not to say that I do not perform the latest techniques–I certainly do. However, my personal philosophy is to be more critical than aggressive when offering new techniques. I do not rush to adopt techniques unless a clear advantage is shown.
Many factors are important in your decision to proceed with aesthetic surgery, not the least of which is the background and qualifications of your doctor. Some people advertising and offering plastic surgery services are not plastic surgeons and are not Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and may not have even completed an accredited plastic surgery residency. I invite you to review my Curriculum Vitae and affiliations and trust you will find them second to none.
Finally, sometimes a patient will express that they feel nervous about plastic surgery and may even delay scheduling a consultation because of this. I always tell patients they need not feel nervous as this is a completely voluntary surgery. It is natural for an intelligent person to be a little apprehensive about a new and unfamiliar process. My Staff and I are here to make you feel welcome and comfortable about your consultation and any subsequent decision, treatment, or surgery that you choose. We realize that not everyone coming for consultation will choose to have a procedure with us-or perhaps even at all. Our sincere hope is that after your consultation you will learn enough about your treatment options to start to get enthusiastic about plastic (aesthetic) surgery. We hope your initial apprehension will fade and be replaced with confidence and enthusiasm as you become more knowledgeable: about your surgeon, your options and the process to attain your surgical goals. Then, and only then, should you commit to and proceed with a plastic surgery procedure with us.
KENT W. GABRIEL, M.D., F.A.C.S.