Combination procedures as part of mummy makeover surgery

Choosing multiple cosmetic procedures and mummy makeover surgery

Undergoing mummy makeover surgery includes multiple body contouring procedures designed to improve the overall aesthetic of the body. Most commonly these are targeting the mid section and include abdominoplasty surgery and breast uplift surgery.

Mr Gary Ross offers this type of cosmetic surgery in Manchester to patients from across the region, including areas such as Cheshire, Altrincham, Wirral, Alderley Edge, Wilmslow, Nantwich, Sale, Prestwich and Whitefield. A full consultation is required in order to ascertain suitability – you can book a consultation via the contact page.

Rejuvenating the body after pregnancy with cosmetic surgery

The mummy makeover is a term used to describe a combination of procedures aimed at rejuvenating and reshaping a woman’s body. Patients may seek mummy makeover surgery as a result of weight loss or, most commonly, the changes left behind after pregnancy.

The after effects of pregnancy on the body can leave patients feeling unhappy with their aesthetic appearance. Most often, patients complain their breasts appear sagging or lacking in volume, and the skin on the abdomen may appear lax, having lost its natural elasticity.

Gary Ross offers body contouring surgery in Manchester which combines surgical procedures including a breast uplift surgery (mastopexy with or without breast implants) and some form of tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) procedure to remove excess skin and tighten muscles below the surface. Tummy tuck surgery can include mini or full versions of this procedure.

One benefit of undergoing this type of surgery is that two or more body contouring procedures are combined during one visit to hospital. Instead of undergoing multiple surgeries, and therefore having to recover from each one separately, this combination treatment aims to combine more procedures in just one hospital visit.

In the long run this means less recovery time, although it can be a higher risk choice for patients. You’ll be made aware of the risks as well as the rewards of mummy makeover surgery during your consultation with Mr Ross.

Whilst patients are left with scarring, most agree this is a reasonable trade off to be rid of the excess unwanted skin and sagging breasts. The procedures are invasive and a mummy makeover should not be undertaken lightly; patients will need to take time away from work to recover and the downtime must be weighed up as part of the decision making process.

Consultations and more information

Booking a consultation for body contouring surgery, including mummy makeover surgery, is vital. It’s important patients understand what each procedure entails from start to finish, as well as the recovery process. Understanding the benefits and limitations of this form of cosmetic surgery is important.

The consultation is an ideal time to ask questions you may have about tummy tuck surgery, abdominoplasty, breast uplift surgery and mastopexy. A bespoke treatment plan is always made for every patient, because when it comes to a mummy makeover the one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work. You’re an individual and all cosmetic procedures should be tailored to the needs of the specific person.

Mr Ross helps women from Manchester and local areas including Cheshire, Altrincham, Wirral, Alderley Edge, Wilmslow, Nantwich, Sale, Prestwich and Whitefield who are looking to rejuvenate their body after pregnancy or extreme weight loss. He recently spoke to Manchester Evening News about the mummy makeover surgery he provides – you can read the article here.

Get in touch

Contact us today to discover more about mastopexy, breast uplift surgery and abdominoplasty and tummy tuck surgery.

Choosing autologous fat transfer surgery

Undergoing autologous fat transfer surgery to improve the signs of ageing

For patients seeking procedures in Manchester that offer natural looking results, autologous fat transfer surgery could be the answer. Unlike other invasive procedures to tackle facial ageing such as facelift surgery, this is a more holistic cosmetic procedure.

This type of anti ageing surgery has multiple benefits and can be undertaken as a solo treatment or as part of combination cosmetic approach. Mr Ross answers some of the most commonly asked questions regarding this form of facial rejuvenation procedure in this week’s blog.

What is fat transfer surgery and why is it popular?

Popular with both male and female patients, procedures transferring fat are deigned to improve common ageing concerns such as volume loss. Fat is harvested from another part of the patient’s body, often the abdomen, before being returned to a new location. It’s also a great alternative to liposuction.

Various types of autologous fat transfer are available; which is most suitable is down to the individual. It’s becoming one of the most requested anti ageing facial rejuvenation procedures because the results are natural-looking and can be an alternative for injectable treatments and, in some cases, invasive surgical procedures.

Who is fat transfer surgery suitable for?

Autologous fat transfer is usually suitable for patients of a stable body weight who would benefit from volume enhancement. Patients need to be in good overall health and must be aware of the pros and cons of undergoing this form of facial rejuvenation.

This anti ageing surgery unlikely to be suitable for patients with unrealistic expectations of what this facial rejuvenation treatment can achieve, and those with a significant medical history. Patients must also have fat available in another area of the body in order to be eligible for this type of skin rejuvenation.
Are the results of fat transfer reliable?

For many patients, fat transfer surgery can provide excellent facial rejuvenation results. It can improve facial volume and contour the face without the need for surgery. It is useful as an anti-ageing tool, and can provide excellent results for both men and women.

The results of this anti ageing surgery are generally good, although every patient and body is different, and how one patient takes to autologous fat transfer surgery may differ to another. It’s a good idea to book a consultation to discuss the reliability of this form of facial rejuvenation compared to other options available to you.

How long does the procedure take?

In most cases fat transfer surgery takes between one and two hours. It’s advised to ask someone to collect you post-treatment, and you should expect some swelling and mild discomfort for a few days.

Can I undergo this type of anti ageing surgery alongside other cosmetic procedures?

Yes, it’s often used in combination with other facial rejuvenation methods to improve facial contours and/or improve volume that may have been lost due to weight loss or the ageing process. In some cases autologous fat transfer may be used as part of wider anti ageing surgery, for example alongside a mini facelift.

What will be covered in the consultation for fat transfer?

If you’re considering fat transfer in Manchester booking a consultation is the next step. This informal meeting allows patients to find out more about the cosmetic procedure and the setting in which it will be performed. You’ll learn about the procedure in more detail, as well as the risks, pros and cons associated with it. It’s then advised you take away that information and digest it, assessing whether or not you feel it’s best suited to you, before making a decision to go forward with treatment.

For more information about fat transfer in Manchester you can visit the treatment page, or email the team to book a consultation with Mr. Gary Ross.

Direct Brow lifting in Aesthetic Surgery

The appearance of the eyebrow is an important landmark in facial aesthetics. Its shape and position convey youthfulness and attractiveness. Most authors suggest the brow in women should arch above the supraorbital rim and for men; the brow should arch along the rim. Aesthetically the brow is considered more aesthetic if it starts lowest in the inner portion with the peak of the arch is in the outer third of the eyebrow.

Botox has been used to alter the position of the brow by altering the pull of the muscles that elevate and depress the brow. Fillers have also been used to try and elevate the brow and may be considered a good option for many patients wishing to have a subtle change to the brow.

Surgically many operations have been suggested to elevate the brow and reduce the wrinkle lines. These techniques can be broken down into indirect methods and direct methods.

Indirect brow lifting

Indirect methods involve incisions remote to the brow. These may involve incisions in the hairline and the brow accessed through these incisions and the brow elevated either with or without the use of endoscopic devices with or without muscle division.

Direct brow lifting

Direct methods involve the placement of scars within the periorbital region. These can be through an upper eyelid incision or through an incision immediately above the eyebrow hair. Again the muscles can be altered via these methods.

The direct method of brow lifting with scars just above the brow has been a source of controversy with many surgeons concerned about how the scars are accepted by patients.

A recent study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal from Italy where a direct brow lift was performed in 212 patients has shown a 98% satisfaction rate with this method of brow lifting.
Mr Ross agrees with the findings of this study and believes that in the carefully selected patient and utilizing a similar technique as described in this study that patients are very happy with the results achieved.

Any patient wishing to undergo peri-orbital rejuvenation need to consider the various non-surgical and surgical options and be taken through the pros and cons and risks in order to be empowered to proceed or not. You can read more about brow lifts here.


What is involved in mummy makeover surgery?

Take steps to transform your body with mummy makeover surgery

The combination of cosmetic procedures involved in mummy makeover surgery is designed to transform the body after pregnancy or weight loss.

Although abdominoplasty (tummy tuck surgery) and breast rejuvenation surgery in some form, such as breast uplift surgery, are the most commonly combined body contouring procedures, others may be involved if it’s agreed they will benefit the patient.

All mummy makeover surgery treatment plans are designed to be bespoke, and are tailored to suit the needs and goals of the patient. Booking a consultation with Mr Ross is the best way to determine the suitability of this kind of body contouring surgery.

Mr Ross is a specialist in body contouring and breast rejuvenation surgery and helps patients from across the region, including areas such as Cheshire, Altrincham, Wirral, Alderley Edge, Wilmslow, Nantwich, Sale, Prestwich and Whitefield, to feel confident in their appearance again. 

Abdominoplasty as part of undergoing mummy makeover surgery

After pregnancy one of the main issues that may prove difficult to solve with diet and exercise is the abdomen area. Post-pregnancy women can be left with a variety of concerns pertaining to the mid section, including lax, sagging skin and stretch marks, as well as internal issues such as damaged muscles.

As part of mummy makeover surgery treatment plans an abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery as most patients know it, is the most common procedure under this umbrella term. There are variants of abdominoplasty (including full and mini tummy tuck surgery) and which form of this body contouring is offered is down to the individual patient.

During abdominoplasty as part of a body reshaping overhaul excess skin can removed/lifted, and the contours of the tummy area can be redefined. A smoother silhouette is just one of the benefits of tummy tuck surgery, but some patients can also lose stretch marks.

For some patients the issue is purely aesthetic, whereas for others the muscles affected by pregnancy may need tightening, and thanks to the versatility of this procedure much can be offered in terms of restoring the mid section.

Breast rejuvenation surgery as part of a mummy makeover

The breasts can be affected by pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, and for many women undergoing breast surgery in combination with tummy tuck surgery can prove to be life changing. Breast rejuvenation surgery may include breast augmentation, mastopexy (breast uplift surgery) or fat transfer, with the goal of improving volume and/or lifting the breasts.

When patients visit seeking breast rejuvenation as part of mummy makeover surgery (or because of extreme weight loss) the main issues are empty breasts lacking in volume, sagging skin and drooping of the tissue; this in turn often makes the breasts sit lower on the body.

Mastopexy and breast uplift surgery can help to reposition the breasts, lifting them to a more youthful position. This can include a breast implant if desired, although often an implant will not be enough to change the projection of the breast.

Additional mummy makeover Manchester surgery procedures

For some women additional body reshaping procedures will need to be undertaken during surgery. These can include liposuction, fat transfer or body lifting procedures – such as brachioplasty (arm lift surgery) and thigh lift surgery – to ensure a good overall result. Any of these can be added to tummy tuck surgery or breast rejuvenation surgery/breast uplift surgery providing a combination approach to your care.

Autologous fat transfer can help to restore natural volume to the breasts (although it can’t replace breast uplift surgery/mastopexy) as part of a wider mummy makeover, and liposuction can help to reduce stubborn fat from areas of the body affected by weight loss and pregnancy. Booking a consultation is the best way to discover which body contouring procedures are likely to give you the best results.

Book a mummy makeover surgery consultation

Helping patients from Manchester and the wider area including Cheshire, Altrincham, Wirral, Alderley Edge, Wilmslow, Nantwich, Sale, Prestwich and Whitefield Mr Ross is one of the specialists in the UK for mummy makeovers. Book a consultation on 0845 6250640 to discuss your needs, and you can see examples of this form of body reshaping surgery on the Mummy Makeover case study pages which include breast rejuvenation surgery, breast uplift surgery and abdominoplasty/tummy tuck surgery.

Undergoing fat transfer Manchester

Choosing fat transfer Manchester to improve breast volume

When researching surgery to improve breast volume it may be worth considering autologous fat transfer Manchester. This form of cosmetic procedure is designed to enhance the shape or volume of the breasts and for some women may provide a more suitable alternative to other forms of breast surgery.

Breast fullness and volume loss are common concerns presented by patients at consultation, and this volumisation procedure can offer restorative benefits. An increasingly popular way to improve breast volume, fat transfer Manchester is a plastic surgery procedure that can provide excellent volumising results.

For some a breast augmentation with implants may be the solution, while others may benefit from a rejuvenative procedure such as a breast lift (mastopexy); however fat transfer Manchester represents a volume loss solution that can provide various benefits.

Mr. Gary Ross is a Consultant Plastic Surgeon based in Manchester offering autologous fat transfer for the breasts, as well as the face, and helps patients from areas including Cheshire, Altrincham, Wirral, Alderley Edge, Wilmslow, Nantwich, Sale, Prestwich and Whitefield.

Fat transfer can be used as part of a wider body overhaul, for example alongside procedures such as abdominoplasty, as part of a mummy makeover; a combination of surgical procedures designed to transform the body post pregnancy or weight loss.

What causes volume loss in the breasts?

Breasts can lose their shape or appear empty, leading women to seek a breast procedure to improve breast fullness. There are several factors that can contribute to a loss of volume in the breasts. Most commonly the depleting volume of the upper breast can be attributed to ageing, weight loss, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

As volume depletes from the upper breast it can cause sagging and drooping of the whole breast, as well pulling of the skin leading to a deflated or empty appearance. Patients complain of lost confidence and seek treatment to rectify the volume loss and improve breast fullness.

How can autologous fat transfer Manchester improve breast volume?

Unlike breast augmentation procedures using silicone implants or breast lift surgery (mastopexy) – often used to improve breast volume – fat transfer Manchester uses fat harvested from others areas of the body to increase breast volume in a ‘more natural’ way.

Usually taken from areas of the body where excess fat can be found, such as the abdomen and thighs, it’s transferred to the breast as part of a reshaping and volumisation procedure.

Who is autologous fat transfer Manchester suitable for?

If a patient wishes to subtly reshape and volumise her breasts without implants, or is seeking an alternative to mastopexty (breast uplift surgery), fat transfer Manchester could be suitable. In some cases the removal and transferring of fat can improve the shape the patient’s figure while achieving subtle enhancement to the breasts.
Fat transfer Manchester is not recommended for patients that seek a significant increase in breast size, require full breast uplift or don’t have enough fat to transfer.

More information about autologous fat transfer Manchester

If you would like to book a consultation to discuss potential treatment using fat transfer Manchester please call the clinic on 0845 6250640. A consultation is vital in order to ascertain whether this form of breast volumising procedure is suitable, and will provide an opportunity to learn more about this specific form of breast rejuvenation surgery.

Prospective patients from Manchester, and surrounding areas including Cheshire, Altrincham, Wirral, Alderley Edge, Wilmslow, Nantwich, Sale, Prestwich and Whitefield, can also find out more detailed information about this type of breast rejuvenation surgery via the Autologous Fat Transfer page.

Breast Uplift Surgery (Mastopexy) – Is It Right For You?

Breast uplift surgery is designed to help those women whose breasts have sagged, either as part of the natural ageing process – sadly, gravity takes its toll on our bodies as well as our faces – or as a result of childbearing or weight loss.

What is it?

A mastopexy is aimed at lifting and recontouring the breasts to a more youthful shape and position.This usually involves repositioning the nipples and might also include Breast Augmentation Surgery (p 63) or Breast Reduction Surgery (p 65), depending on what your breasts look like to start with and the results you are trying to achieve.

Who is suitable?

You will need to undergo a thorough consultation to assess whether you are a suitable candidate. There are several different options depending on the degree of
sagging. The technical term for sagging is ‘ptosis’ and in breast uplift surgery the degree of ptosis is graded according to the distance between the nipple and the crease of the breast. In grade one, the nipple is about level with the crease; in grade two, the nipple is less than three centimetres below the crease and in grade three cases, it is more than three centimetres below the crease.
The surgeon will assess what grade of ptosis is present at the consultation and will then tell you which technique is most suitable for you. If you have only very mild sagging, you may only need a Breast Augmentation (p 63), but this will only lift the breasts by one to two centimetres and won’t halt further drooping as you age.


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What is mummy makeover surgery?

Discover what body contouring procedures are part of mummy makeover surgery

Mummy makeover surgery alludes to the combination of several surgical body contouring procedures designed to rejuvenate the body.

Most commonly this form of rejuvenation surgery includes a form of abdominoplasty (also know as the tummy tuck surgery) and fat removal, plus breast rejuvenation surgery of some kind. This can include mastopexy (breast uplift surgery) or breast augmentation surgery – with or without implants.

Not just for women seeking to improve their physical appearance post-pregnancy, multiple-procedure plans can also help women who may have lost a substantial amount of weight or are unhappy with the effects of the ageing process.

Mr Gary Ross is an expert in this field of cosmetic surgery and assists patients from across Manchester including areas such as Cheshire, Altrincham, Wirral, Alderley Edge, Wilmslow, Nantwich, Sale, Prestwich and Whitefield looking to combine abdominoplasty and tummy tuck surgery variations with breast rejuvenation surgery.

Which specific procedures will this surgery include?

This is an entirely individual and bespoke form of body contouring surgery, and therefore there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to undergoing a mummy makeover Manchester. Mr Ross tailors a treatment plan to maximise the surgical outcomes with the aim of improving the way a patient looks on the outside and feels on the inside.

Which combination of body reshaping and breast rejuvenation surgery procedures undertaken as part of a mummy makeover Manchester is determined during a consultation. This informal meeting with your plastic surgeon is designed to allow you to voice your concerns and receive some expert advice.

A mummy makeover Manchester can include several body contouring procedures including abdominoplasty; a surgical procedure know more commonly as tummy tuck surgery designed to reduce excess skin and fat as well as repair damaged or separated muscles where necessary.

Tummy tuck surgery as part of a mummy makeover

– There are several variations of abdominoplasty including ‘mini tummy tuck’ surgery options, so you can be sure Mr Ross will tailor a plan to directly tackle specific issues.

– Abdominoplasty forms part of a mummy makeover surgery because it helps to reduce excess skin, remove stretch marks and improve the overall contours of the mid section.

– A scar is inevitable, however, most prospective patients agree this is preferable to sagging, hanging skin that may occur due to pregnancy or significant weight loss.

Breast rejuvenation surgery as part of a mummy makeover

– Which form of breast surgery a patient requires depends on the specific concerns they present with. As part of mummy makeover surgery, mastopexy (breast uplift surgery) and breast augmentation may be offered.

– Breast uplift surgery is the most common procedure as part of mummy makeover surgery because it’s specifically designed to lift the breasts up, removing excess skin if needed. The nipple is usually repositioned and breast implants can be utilised during the same breast rejuvenation surgery procedure.

– Alternative options to breast uplift surgery include breast reduction and breast augmentation; this usually includes implants to improve volume which may have been lost due to breast feeding, weight loss or ageing.

Other body contouring procedures that are considered as part of mummy makeover surgery can include thigh lift surgery, brachioplasty (an arm lift to remove excess skin or reduce bingo wings) and full body lifting.

We help patients based in Manchester as well as surrounding areas including Cheshire, Altrincham, Wirral, Alderley Edge, Wilmslow, Nantwich, Sale, Prestwich and Whitefield. Call the clinic today on 0161 4014064 if you wish to learn more about this type of cosmetic surgery; alternatively you’ll find extensive information on the mummy makeover page.

Cosmetic Surgery and Body Image. A Public Health epidemic?

The reasons for patients wishing to undergo cosmetic surgery are complex. Although cosmetic surgery can improve quality of life and can help improve ones body image, patients should only consider cosmetic surgery after carefully considering the pros and cons and risks. It is also imperative that potential patients have realistic expectations and aspirations.

Patients must be fully informed and others should not influence decisions. Increasingly decisions to proceed are being made based on body image “norms” that have been created by fiends on social media and through aspirational peers within the media that may influence their decisions.

A new survey for the 2017 Dove Global Girls Beauty and Confidence Report, interviewed 5,165 girls aged 10 to 17 in 14 countries and showed that over 50% of girls had low body esteem. Having a negative body image was also linked to negative health effects.

The Dove “Real Truth About Beauty Revisited” also highlighted that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful.

The negative self esteem of not feeling “normal” or similar to friends or peers can affect ones own body image and lead patients to explore cosmetic surgery.

The evidence would suggest that the prevalence of negative body image is increasing and there are increasingly more women looking to alter their body in an attempt to conform to a social “norm”.

Sadly advertisements and social media that are altering our perception of reality are affecting the social norm.

Although we have recently seen a move in Israel and France to reduce the use of overly thin models and a move to limit the prevalence of “photo shopped” or altered images within the media we have a long way to go to stop the epidemic that is upon us.

Within my own cosmetic surgery practice I now only offer cosmetic surgery to less than 30% of patients I consult with. I have seen a dramatic increase in very beautiful women with low self esteem who are incredibly vulnerable. More and more I am telling patients “the perception of yourself is not how others would perceive you”.

Sadly, it is very difficult to build self esteem when it has been negatively affected throughout childhood and cosmetic surgery is rarely the cure.

Prevention of a negative body esteem is undoubtedly a public health issue that threatens our society unless addressed urgently.

Rejuvenate the body with mummy makeover surgery

How would mummy makeover surgery improve your self-esteem?

For women seeking to improve their self-esteem post pregnancy, mummy makeover surgery can offer life-changing results, both physically and mentally.

Surgical body contouring procedures can be combined to improve the appearance of areas of the body most commonly affected when pregnant; in most cases this includes both the abdomen and the breasts. Breast rejuvenation, breast uplift and tummy tuck surgery can all be offered as part of one surgical visit, making this form of cosmetic surgery increasingly popular.

Mr. Ross is a body contouring surgery expert in Manchester, helping patients from across the region in areas including Cheshire, Altrincham, Wirral, Alderley Edge, Wilmslow, Nantwich, Sale, Prestwich and Whitefield look and feel fantastic again.

Who is mummy makeover surgery suitable for?

Pregnancy can take its toll on a woman’s body, affecting both the skin quality and the tightness of muscles. Regardless of how trim or ‘in shape’ a patient may have been before having a baby, the process of gaining and losing weight, as well as breast feeding, can leave the body looking remarkably different.

Of course, this can impact someone’s self-esteem leading to unhappiness – but there are body contouring options that can help. For women unhappy with the appearance of loose skin on the abdomen or empty, sagging breasts post-pregnancy (or alternatively due to the ageing process) Mr. Gary Ross offers a combination of procedures known collectively as mummy makeover surgery.

What is involved in combination body lift surgery?

Designed to surgically improve these aesthetic concerns and boost self-esteem, procedures can include abdominoplasty, liposuction and fat removal, breast augmentation, breasy rejuvenation and mastopexy/breast uplift.

Each surgical procedure offered as part of combination surgery offers patients a different aesthetic resolution, and Mr. Ross will tailor the surgical solutions to ensure your specific goals and issues are addressed.

Tummy tuck surgery: During an abdominoplasty several issues can be improved; excess skin and fat can be reduced, the abdominal wall muscles can be tightened, and – if required – hernias can be addressed. In terms of skin rejuvenation in this area, stretch marks can also be removed or the appearance improved. Abdominoplasty (also known as a tummy tuck surgery) is an effective form of cosmetic surgery that offers long term results.

Breast rejuvenation: For lifting and improving volume in the breasts, mastopexy/breast uplift or breast augmentation can be considered as part of the breast rejuvenation side of mummy makeover surgery. The position, shape and volume of the breasts can change during and after pregnancy, and each concern can be corrected during breast surgery.

A proportion of women will require a breast uplift whilst others may need mastopexy plus breast implants to address volume loss or to increase breast size. In some cases the nipple will need to be repositioned during breast rejuvenation surgery, which is discussed during your consultation.

Things to consider before undergoing surgery

Whether you choose to undergo breast uplift or other breast rejuvenation surgery procedures with a tummy tuck there are some things to consider before committing to undergoing cosmetic surgery. Scaring is to be expected with procedures such as abdominoplasty and breast rejuvenation procedures including mastopexy or breast uplift, but most women choosing this form of cosmetic surgery agree that this is a reasonable trade off for improved self-esteem and body confidence. The recovery process can also be demanding and you will require time away from work.

A consultation is required to determine suitability and every patient is given a bespoke treatment plan designed for their specific concerns. During a consultation you will also learn about the risks associated with the procedures involved, such as tummy tuck surgery and breast rejuvenation, and you’ll given time to consider your options before committing to mummy makeover surgery.

More information on mummy makeover surgery

You can improve your self-esteem and rejuvenate the body with a combination of body lift, tummy tuck and breast rejuvenation procedures. For more information about undergoing body contouring procedures such as tummy tuck surgery and breast uplift, or to book a consultation to discuss your needs, please contact the team on 0161 4014064.

Prospective patients from Manchester, and surrounding areas including Cheshire, Altrincham, Wirral, Alderley Edge, Wilmslow, Nantwich, Sale, Prestwich and Whitefield, can also find out more detailed information about this type of cosmetic surgery via the Mummy Makeover page.

Communicating with Patients Throughout the Surgical Journey

I recently consulted with a patient that underwent the removal of a lipoma from her shoulder performed by another surgeon at a different hospital. The surgery had only been performed 2 weeks previously.

She described attending her postop consultation, 48 hours previously, with her original surgeon and expressing concern about the appearance of her scar. She quoted that her surgeon’s response to her concern in relation to the appearance of the scar was “that’s the price you have to pay”. Following a series of email exchanges it was clear that the doctor patient relationship had broken down. Throughout the consultation with myself she was tearful and emotionally distraught.

Having examined the scar it was clear that the surgeon, having removed the lipoma, had opted not to remove the excess skin of the shoulder and had opted to approximate the deeper tissues that resulted in a degree of skin excess. The excess skin was prominent above the skin surface and it was the skin excess that was causing her the concern. The actual superficial scar had been sutured perfectly and looked to be well healed.

I explained the role of dissolvable stitches and how the scar would flatten with time. I showed her examples of how scar’s matured over time and how excess skin would flatten. I also explained that on the shoulder, which is a very mobile area, that excising the excess skin may have eventually led to a more stretched scar and in fact her original surgeon had likely technically performed the ideal operation.

What struck me most about this was that although an optimal operation had been performed the patient not only felt that she had not achieved the optimal outcome but no longer trusted either the surgeon or the hospital in which the procedure had been performed. Not only did she not trust the original surgeon but she had consulted with myself as a second opinion as she had convinced herself that the surgery had been performed negligently and that she needed urgent revisionary surgery.

It is very unlikely that this lady will ever consult with her original surgeon again and the negative impact of her journey has affected not only her but also her family and friends. Increasingly negative experiences are being detailed through social media and on line reviews leading to reputational damage to individuals and organisations.

As surgeons we need to be aware that the technical aspects of surgery are only a very small part of the patient journey and that providing information and empathising with patients throughout the journey both preoperatively / postoperatively is imperative in delivering the optimal outcome.

Although performing an optimal technical operation is what we aim to achieve surgically what we must focus on the needs of the patient and what will make them happy. In order to improve quality of care surgeons must engage with patient feedback and patient outcome measures in order to reflect on what aspects of their practices can be improved.