In 1981 Chris Khoo wrote his prize winning essay: Cosmetic Surgery – where does it begin? In the intervening years he has consistently put that philosophy into practice in his care of patients.
- Patients come first. Plastic surgery is not a commodity, and the needs of individual patients must be carefully assessed so that surgery (if appropriate) must be tailored to specific need. Sometimes this means that the surgeon has to say ‘no’.
- Patients need information. The surgeon’s responsibility is not to advertise, or to induce patients to undergo surgery, but to give them information so they can make an informed choice.
- Realistic expectations. Even the most carefully planned and executed operation can go wrong, and high expectations may be unrealistic and might not be achievable. It is the combined responsibility of the patient and the surgeon to be honest about what is hoped for, and what is likely to be achieved.
- When things go wrong. Cosmetic surgery has the potential to be a life changing experience. The changes achieved may not be reversible, and whilst the surgery may be technically satisfactory, patients may not feel they have achieved what they aimed for. The responsible surgeon will continue to support his patients and work with them until the best possible outcome is achieved for the individual.