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Dr. Norman Pastorek Explains Why Informed Consumers Make Better Plastic Surgery Patients

Noted NYC facial plastic surgeon cites educated patients as top trend in cosmetic surgery and urges careful research when choosing a surgeon

NEW YORK, Aug. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Consumers grow more educated about cosmetic procedures each year, says Dr. Norman Pastorek, a leading New York facial plastic surgeon. The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) cited a more educated consumer as its top trend of 2012. As a result, patients have more realistic goals for aesthetic improvement as well as a more sophisticated understanding of plastic surgery.

Information Leads to Realistic Goals and Satisfaction with Procedures

Dr. Pastorek, a past president of AAFPRS, says that the proliferation of information available to consumers online and through traditional book publishing has benefitted both consumer and plastic surgeon. Because the consumer is better informed, communications are improved between patient and surgeon, which in turn creates an open dialogue about setting realistic goals for a procedure. When patients have a clear understanding of the potential outcome of a surgery, they are more likely to be satisfied with the results.

Rather than relying on anecdotal evidence related to better-informed consumers, the AAFPRS cited a number of statistics in its annual report related to the evolution of the well-educated plastic surgery patient:

  • "Celebrity" requests are down. Informed consumers seeking plastic surgery now understand that each face is unique, and the desire to look like a celebrity (or have a celebrity's feature) is waning. The AAFPRS says that only 7% of the procedures performed in 2012 resulted from a so-called "celebrity" request.
  • "Area of concern" requests are high. Patients are now able to articulate how they would like to improve a feature rather than simply asking to look different (or like someone else). The AAFPRS reports that 53% of all patients request a procedure by area of concern, such as eyes, nose, or chin.
  • "Specific procedure" requests are growing. Rather than requesting a certain look, 28% of aesthetic patients are asking for a specific procedure such as rhinoplasty (nose reshaping) to address their cosmetic concerns. This indicates that they have done research to identify a specific surgery that may treat their issues.

Patient Research Must Include Surgeon's Background and Skill

Dr. Pastorek stresses that patients should exercise the same degree of scrutiny when choosing a plastic surgeon as they do when researching a procedure. While it is vitally important to understand the surgery, it is equally important to research the credentials of a potential surgeon. An experienced, skilled plastic surgeon can direct a patient toward the procedure most likely to meet the patient's goals for cosmetic improvement. While choosing a surgeon, patients should interview as many doctors as necessary until they feel comfortable with the physician as well as his staff.

In addition to researching qualified physicians and appropriate procedures, Dr. Pastorek maintains it is also important for the patient to understand his or her motivation for seeking a cosmetic procedure. While plastic surgery can improve appearance and self-esteem, it should not be undertaken to please someone else or to attain a "perfect" life. An honest discussion between an educated patient and an experienced surgeon can result in the formation of reasonable goals and a happy outcome.

About Dr. Pastorek: A top facial plastic surgeon in New York City, Norman Pastorek, M.D., P.C., F.A.C.S., has been elected by his peers to The Best Doctors in America® and Castle Connolly's America's Top Doctors® every year since the inception of these guides. In 2011, he was also named to U.S. News & World Report's Top Doctors list. His office is at 12 East 88th Street, New York, New York 10128. Reach him at or call (212) 987-4700.

Media Contact: Janice Pastorek at or (212) 987-4700.