Patient Portal

Ezine 3 November 2002

Dear Friend,

Welcome to the third issue of my ezine. It is amazing how many more people keep signing up. Keep telling all your friends and neighbors! It’s free and a fun way to learn about plastic surgery. I am utterly overwhelmed by the tremendous number of questions I have received. I will pick out a few that I think are interesting and let you see how I answered them. I again thank everyone for their interest and ideas. Keep emailing your questions…

Our first question is from SH:

Email Question - I haven't made an initial consultation yet, but I have with 2 other doctors and have not been impressed.

1. I am concerned when a doctor does not perform surgery (ie. I am looking at liposuction) in a hospital setting. The rationale I have been given is "cost"...apparently, there is supposed to be a big difference in costs of the procedure whether you have it done in a surgical center versus hospital. Why is this the case?

2. At your consultation, do you suggest other procedures that may be beneficial?

I am brand new to this and am still in the researching the right doctor phase...of course, costs are always an issue too as cosmetic surgeries are not covered under my insurance plan.

Thank you for your time.

Email Answer –

1. You really should be worried - especially when a doctor does not have privileges to perform a procedure in a hospital - ask him! Remember, one of the safest ways to know your surgeon is the real deal – ask him if he has privileges to do the operation he wants to do in his office, at a real hospital!! Many non plastic surgeons cannot get hospital privileges for a particular procedure (since they have no training in that field and should not be doing that procedure). Unfortunately, though, there is a huge cost difference between a hospital and a surgery center. That is not up to us but the hospital, who likes to make money. Believe it or not, if I perform an insurance case at a hospital, the hospital usually gets paid right away, does not have to worry about case type etc. As a surgeon, you have to pre-certify, they approve it, then they drag things out for another 2-4 months and sometimes refuse to pay. It is unfortunate and ridiculous. Trust me, there are many frustrated doctors in the US. This is also part of why many doctors are trying to get into the cosmetic stuff – they like cash up front without having to fight with insurance companies over what is rightfully yours to begin with. And we won't even talk about how much the surgery centers or hospitals get paid vs. what surgeons get paid.

2. I ask you what bothers you and make recommendations after a careful and thorough examination. I often get asked by patients, “what would you do to me?” I never answer that question. I never start telling people what they need! Most plastic surgeons for some reason feel the need to do this. It is a common trait seen in many plastic surgeons. Some them do this very regularly without any regard for the person involved, setting etc.

Remember the American Board of Plastic Surgery is the board you want your plastic surgeon to be certified with. Check with them and make sure he is still a board certified member in good standing. Their site is

Our next question is from MA:

Email Question - Can liposuction be used to reduce a breast one cup size to make it even with the other? I’m looking to avoid serious surgery.

Email Answer - Yes, liposuction is a great way to get a breast reduction when you do not need too much taken off. During your exam, it will be determined if you are a candidate for this - it all depends on your skin tone, age, firmness of breasts etc. The younger you are and the better your skin tone is, the better chance you have of achieving a breast reduction with just liposuction! Two small scars are all you get. Do not think with only liposuction, though, that areolar differences or positional breast differences can be as accurately corrected.

Remember, no other plastic surgeon I know has ever had an ezine. They don't know how to tell others about what they do, what they should ask other surgeons etc. Some have a boring stuffy newsletter that is preprinted and they just add their name or something. This is not like that! You will not find useless stuff intended to get you to come in and see me and spend money in my office. Just help. Information. Remember, knowledge is power.

By the way, Happy Thanksgiving. Eat all the turkey you want.

Email me – ask whatever you want. You are the ones that will help make this ezine fun and exciting. What do you want to know?? Ask anything! Ask away…

Best regards,

Dr. Sam Speron

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

P.S. I want everyone to remember I’m doing this for you. I want everyone to become a well-informed consumer. But, I also want it to be easy and fun to read. I want you to look forward to getting it. Email me. What’s boring? What’s exciting to you? Let me know. You are the heart and soul of this newsletter. Are we still having fun??