When I tour UK patients in Kiev, Ukraine for aesthetic surgery and dentistry, in most cases we talk about many things that are settled differently in British and Ukrainian cultures as well in medical treatment approach. I mentioned in my previous post one of them – The Off-the-Street Approach. Selling a cosmetic surgery some surgeons would also go for The Psy Destruction Approach.
Annabel, a lanky secretary new on the job, when visiting Kiev for a Breast augmentation referred to her story in UK when she visited once a cosmetic surgeon to have a facial mole removed. She was sitting on the exam table in the surgeon’s office when he walked into the room and stopped short.
“Oh yes, oh yes,” he said, his voice oozing with concern. “It’s a pity, but certainly I can help you.” Annabel was puzzled. “Your nose is deformed. Of course you feel ugly,” the surgeon went on. “No wonder you’re not married.” Annabel was smart enough not to sign up for surgery on the spot. She was also smart enough to go for a second opinion. It happened to be from a surgeon from Ukraine. “I have never been so depressed in my life,” Annabel told to the Ukrainian cosmetic surgeon on the consultation in Kiev. “He (UK doctor) destroyed my self – image in ten seconds. I walked down the street from his office in tears. At this point I hate myself. I’d like you just to cut my nose off.”
What was shocking about this situation was that Annabel had a delicate, well-shaped nose. Surgery would not have improved either her nose or her looks in general. Aesthetic surgeon from a cosmetic surgery clinic in Kiev together with her operation she primary had removed the facial mole that had started this journey for her. He photographed her nose and pointed out why it was good and why she shouldn’t have cosmetic nose surgery.
He didn’t add that, in his opinion, that “respectable” cosmetic surgeon had not been truthful and had tried to humiliate her into having rhinoplasty that would not help her. One can imagine few things worse for a doctor to do to a patient than to inflict suffering on her for his own financial gain.
Here is anther story I heard from Clive while his medical tour to Ukraine for dentistry who consulted a UK cosmetic surgeon about gynecomastia – enlargement of the tissue around his nipple, giving him the appearance of female breasts. “This doctor took one look at me and laughed and said, ‘What are you? A C cup?’ Half of me wanted to punch him, but the other half made me feel so sick with myself that I found myself almost begging him to operate on me.” Clive’s wife was so outraged for her husband that she insisted that he find a different surgeon. So he did. I saw him to be happy as that it happened in Ukraine.
How to handle the Psychic Destruction Approach. If a cosmetic surgeon criticizes a feature that you didn’t ask him about and urges you to pay him to “fix” it – and above all if he leaves you feeling demeaned or humiliated – you are his victim, not his patient. Find a new surgeon.
In my next post in a week, I’m going to share with you some useful tips about The “Why Not!” Approach.
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