Meeting the Doctor
Recently I visited the office of a plastic surgeon. Sitting in the waiting room I thought “what am I doing here?” Just when I was seriously considering slipping out of the office, the door leading to the offices of the surgeon opened and a man in his late 30’s called my name.
Dressed in a suit and tie and a great smile, the gentleman introduced himself as Dr. Farzaneh. I was impressed that the doctor himself greeted me. This showed personal attention right at the initial stage. My trepidations about my visit to the plastic surgeon’s office began to subside.
During the conversation, the doctor listened to the reasons I was there and answered each of my questions completely and with clarity. At the conclusion of the consultation meeting, I felt informed, enlightened, and completely comfortable about my decision to go forward with a surgical procedure.
My positive experience at the initial stage of my visit and the doctor’s honesty, attention and professionalism was the deciding factor for becoming a patient in this doctor’s office.
The Surgical Team
Although I was confident about my decision and trusted the surgeon completely, I was certainly nervous about my impending surgery. My anxiety was more about the anesthesiologist. After all, it would be the anesthesiologist who would be putting me under and bringing me back. In essence, the anesthesiologist would have my life in his hands. The morning of my surgery I met the medical team who would be assisting with the surgery. The professionalism and the fantastic bed-side manners of the medical staff put me at great ease. The anesthesiologist introduced himself and assured me that he would take the best care of me.
I felt as though I was the only patient this medical team was going to be with on this day. Nothing felt rushed and nothing felt overlooked. I felt I was in the hands of competent, capable, compassionate and professional individuals. The last thing I remember saying was “I have a great family, make sure you bring me back to them.”
I don’t remember anything about the actual surgery!! My first memory of my surgical experience was waking up from what I thought was a mini-nap and saying “are we going to surgery now?” The response to that question was “you already had the surgery.” Wow. Lost in thoughts of how amazingly swift it all seemed, I saw my husband walking into the recovery room and with a gentle kiss on my forehead he asked how I felt.
Some time later, I remember being assisted by one of the nurses in getting dressed. Okay, truthfully, she pretty much dressed me because I was a bit unsteady on my legs. Preparing to leave, I heard the surgeon give specific instructions to my husband and reiterating how important it was for him to be at my side at all times and tending to me with undivided attention. I was seated in a wheel chair and wheeled out to the parking lot not by the nurse but by the surgeon himself. Now that’s personal service.
Daily phone calls and frequent office visits is what followed my surgery. The personal attention by the surgeon himself made me feel as though I was his only patient. During office visits he would meticulously check every centimeter of the surgical area, ask questions, provide advice and send me off with the reassurance that he was there for me and that if I didn’t call between the next office visit, he surely would. Somehow, he always beat me to the phone. With his congenial tone and genuine concern for my daily progress I felt great.
I am confident that my speedy physical recovery was partly due to the personal and consistent attention provided by Dr. Farzaneh.
Elective Surgery Does not Mean Elective Payment
To every benefit there is a cost. Surgery is no exception. Of course, cosmetic surgery, for the most part, is an elective procedure. For most of us, price comparison is an essential part of our purchasing power, including myself. On this issue however, I did not seek a secondary surgeon nor visit or call other cosmetic surgeons. The reason for my uncharacteristic behavior is because I was made to feel so confident about my first choice that there was no need to “shop around.”
More importantly, despite the “elective” characteristic of this procedure, this was after all, surgery! All surgeries, major to minor, have risks and consequences a patient might need to deal with for a lifetime. I was realistic enough to understand that post this “elective” surgery I would face its results for the rest of my life.
Despite the “elective” nature of this surgery, the results were going to reverberate for a life time. Why would I want to nickel and dime such an important decision? Almost a year after my surgery I am very satisfied, happy and absolutely comfortable with the benefits and the cost of my “elective” surgery.