About TeitelbaumMD: Because aesthetic surgery is voluntary, and arguably even frivolous, I believe a unique burden is placed upon the doctor - and the patient - to be safe, prudent, and conservative. Though no plastic surgeon would openly disagree with that statement, I adhere to it stronger than most.
It guides my philosophy from my lengthy initial consultations, to successive pre-operative contacts, to the techniques I use, and finally my post-operative and on-going care. I am distraught by what I see as an increasingly cavalier attitude toward cosmetic surgery by patients and physicians alike, with some doctors' offices having only a little more serious of an atmosphere than a beauty salon.
My consultations are particularly lengthy, and that is why I charge for them. Many plastic surgeons that offer complimentary consultations actually have them done by a so-called cosmetic consultant or patient coordinator, or they may spend only a few moments with the 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 third visit, and I do not charge for those subsequent visits.
I take a thorough history and perform a detailed relevant physical examination. My consultations in particular have a reputation of their own; I have a unique ability to gain an understanding of what a patient wants, to assess their anatomy, to imagine what would look best for a patient given their goals, and finally to discuss this all with them in an understandable way.
Patients sometimes will ask me what they need. My attitude about aesthetic surgery is that people do not need it in the same way that a bone may need to be fixed or a suspicious growth removed. In other words, it is not possible to simply look at a photograph of a patient and determine without talking to them what operation is right for them. Frequently, there is an array of surgical options available to a patient, involving different costs, risks, recoveries, scars, and results. I make it a goal to explore these issues as thoroughly as possible with a patient at their consultation, so that they can make a truly informed choice about what they want done. Whether they have the surgery done by me, someone else, or not at all, they leave their visit with a dramatically enhanced understanding of their situation.
Far too often I hear a patient from another surgeon complain that they did not get the result they wanted or were expecting. Sometimes they wanted to be less pulled, or not to have had such a big implant. While there are aspects of surgery that are unpredictable, I make sure that a patient knows what to expect as much as possible. If I do not agree with what a patient wants to do - either because I think it is unsafe, or aesthetically undesirable, I discuss it. But a patient of mine will know ahead of time what to expect.