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A personal statement

A personal statement

Plastic surgery and I

dr Gil Zeligson
My attraction to the field of plastic surgery began to take root within me as a medical student when I observed a reconstructive throat surgery on a cancer patient. During the surgery, muscle and skin are transferred from the chest to the neck through a sub-dermal channel. The transferred tissues are shaped so that they may be used to reconstruct the tubular structure of the throat. The great creativity and complexity of the surgery put a spell on me and convinced me that this is the field I want to work in for the rest of my life. About a decade afterwards, during my specialty training, I performed this complex surgery and felt that I had come full circle.

During my training, I learned to appreciate how important my expansive vision as a plastic surgeon and ability to understand how each stitch, incision and surgical decision will affect the final outcome and the appearance of the organ operated on.

From then, many years went by during which I learned one more thing about myself. Beyond the challenge of performing a complex surgery, there are two aspects which bring me great satisfaction:

a. The great joy I experience as a result of an aesthetic and perfect result at the end of a surgery.

b. The great influence of the surgery on the quality of life of the patient.

There is nothing like being a witness to the great change that takes place in the life, personality and self-confidence of the patient, who was so preoccupied with and distraught due to one aesthetic problem or another which I treated.

These experiences which are based on the personal and direct relationship with the patient are the things which bring me great joy more than anything else and prevent me from losing my passion, which could have been my fate if I had dealt only with the technical aspect.

My approach to cosmetic surgeries is derived from these insights and includes a number of principles:
Matching expectations and understanding the desires of the patient are critical steps on the path to surgery. Any decision regarding intervention needs to take the patients character and desires into account. There is no “one size fits all” for all patients.

Personal attention and surgeon availability are of utmost importance in my opinion. The majority of patients undergo this “experience” for the first time in their life but it is natural that many questions and doubts arise. Additionally, they entrust something very valuable in my hands – their body. This is not to be taken for granted and the responsibility that rests on my shoulders is clear. A person who has put such great faith in me is deserving of the best attention which I can provide. In addition to my skills as a surgeon, since these surgeries are elective surgeries, the safety of the patient and the minimization of risks are essential conditions for performing a surgery. In this way, for example, I will reject certain surgeries among smokers or will prefer a certain surgery over others due to safety concerns.

As a rule, I strive to obtain the aesthetic result with the most natural possible look, while minimizing the “evidence” of surgical intervention. The operated look (“done look”) – is not desirous in my opinion.
Trustworthiness – I contemplated whether or not to discuss this here and decided that despite it being obvious I will note this characteristic, since this is a condition that cannot be violated, in my opinion, for maintaining any relationship and even more so for the doctor-patient relationship.

In most medical professions, it is very difficult, or even impossible for the patient to judge the abilities of the surgeon. In the field of plastic surgery, the patient has a substantial ability to appreciate the talent/abilities of the surgeon by looking at outcomes of previous surgeries.

I invite you to look at the variety of surgical outcomes (also from other categories in which you are interested).

At your service,
Dr. Gil Zeligson