Things to consider Before getting Breast surgery [KIES-U Korea]

5:20 PM

Communication between the surgeon and the patient
by Dr. Lee Joo Hyuck (KIES-U Plastic surgery Korea)

Whenever I talk to my patients, one thing always come up on my head, that communication is very important.

Actually, I think about this every time.
How can the patient understand me clearly?
How can I understand what the patient wants?

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This looks simple, but it is very difficult.
A doctor or a surgeon has professional knowledge and thinks that he/she should be more knowledgeable in both learning and experience compared to the patients.

When a doctor interviews with the patients, he/she tends to think in his/her own point of view rather than focusing on what the patient wants, and approaches strategically on sales to provide what the patient wants.

A patient may have some structural knowledge but there are increasing number of cases where the patients gains knowledge from the mass media or the internet, already has the answers, then approaches the doctor.

In such a situation, a patient would hear what she likes about the details communicated with the doctor, and then decide on whether to have the surgery or not.

We call this, doctor shopping.

Therefore, when the doctors meet the patients in the clinics, the doctors do not communicate the facts but tend to look at the psychological aspects of the patients and sell what they want. This becomes more of a sales approach. 

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However, this is wrong.

If communication is difficult, it is caused by either the doctor does not listen to what the patients wants or that the patient wants to find a doctor who just says what the patients already has in her mind.

Even though, you have a long discussion, this would not lead to anywhere.
There are 3 topics to keep in mind when a patient talks to the doctor about a breast surgery. These are basic but important topics. 

1. How large should the size be?
2. Where should the incision be?
3. Where should the implant be placed?
A decision making for breast surgery should be a team decision, i.e. one should come up to the final decision through communicating and thinking together. 

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A surgeon should measure the upper body and look at the status of the breast to find what implant size to consider in the surgery.

A patient should check the implant and the size by checking the size with the upper body and make sure that the implant size is what she wants.
The implant size will be rechecked and modified, if necessary, during the surgery procedure, and be fit in accordingly.

When deciding on the incision, the patient first shares about her thoughts and shares the reasons as well. 

The surgeon looks at the body shape and the problem related with the breasts, considers important factors in the surgery, the type and size of implant, and finally recommends a logical part for the incision.

However, the final decision is based on the agreement between the patient and the surgeon.

The most important part is the surface where the implant goes in. In our country, most patients are thin or have weak upper body so we put the implant mostly under the muscle or in the form of a double plane.

All these processes are decided through communication. 

One side cannot make all the decisions by enforcing his/her own thoughts
We look at all situation and possibilities and then come up with the best solution.
This is the core part on the breast surgery interview.

Today, we have a “communication” issue in politics. A conversation is that much important.

This is hopefully a one-time surgery, therefore, breast surgery requires an open communication between the surgeon and the patient, but it is not as easy as we think.

First, we need to be sincere and honest. This requires a lot of effort as well.

Thank you for reading the post.

Happy New Year!

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