For some patients, the gender of the plastic surgeon matters in a very important way. For other patients, gender does not matter in the slightest. How do you know when the gender of the surgeon might make a difference for you? After all, it’s 2017. It can be easy to feel that these types of things should not matter.
Does the Gender of the Plastic Surgeon Matter to You?
And yet, the question remains pertinent. When you schedule a doctor’s appointment with a new general practitioner, you are often asked whether you prefer a doctor that is a man or a woman. And when you are selecting a new plastic surgeon, there are a wide variety of criteria that can lead you to select a particular surgeon—gender among them.
Perhaps the most common form this takes during the search for plastic surgery is the preference for a surgeon who is a woman. Indeed, many plastic surgeons who are women advertise themselves in such a way that emphasizing their femininity. But just how important is this to many patients? Does the gender of the plastic surgeon matter that much? Let’s take a look at some ways of answering this potentially sensitive question.
Why Gender of the Plastic Surgeon Might Matter
Just so we’re clear: there is a difference between sex and gender. Sex is biological, referring to the reproductive organs you’re born with. Gender is cultural, referring to the set of identifiers and behaviors that tend to be associated with “masculine,” “feminine,” or a wide variety of other identities. That’s not going to be super pertinent to our conversation, but accuracy with words and concepts is something we always strive for.
All right, then. Let’s get down to the matter at hand. Why would someone seek out a woman plastic surgeon? There are several reasons. First, it’s important to point out that most patients seeking out women plastic surgeons are themselves women. (That should be no great shock. After all, most plastic surgery patients are women.)
Why Do Women Seek Out Plastic Surgeons Who Are Women?
There are several major reasons why women might seek out plastic surgeons who are women. Briefly, those reasons may include the following:
- Comfort in discussing sensitive areas of the body
- Comfort in exposing sensitive areas of the body
- Increased confidence in a more modest, more feminine-looking result
- An ease in discussing what’s desired from the final procedure
- The ability to have frank discussions about desired results and how to get there
I do want to point out that I don’t mean to imply that plastic surgeons who are men are incapable of discussing sensitive areas of the body or having a frank discussions about results. Rather, what I’m saying is that some women feel more comfortable having those types of discussions with other women.
Obviously, that’s not going to be true for everyone. But for those particular patients, having a woman as a plastic surgeon can bring a significant degree of comfort. For example, Orange County plastic surgeon Dr. Tenley Lawton spends a lot of time discussing the advantages her women patients find in having a plastic surgeon that is also a woman—especially in a part of the country that tends to, shall we say, exaggerate femininity.
Gender Isn’t the Only Criteria You Should Pay Attention To
Even if the gender of your plastic surgeon is important to you, it is by no means the only piece of criteria you should pay attention to. Sometimes choosing a plastic surgeon can be a long process—but it’s also an important one. And there are many things that make for a good surgeon/patient relationship.
Here are some of the things you should keep an eye out for:
- Experience and expertise: The more experience a surgeon has, generally the better the work will be
- Does the surgeon listen to you? You can usually figure this one out during the consultation
- Is the surgeon board certified? There are many boards that give out certifications, but these usually mean that the surgeon in question has some baseline experience and expertise
- Does the surgeon have before and after photos you can look at? These will be vital when it comes to anticipating whether you’ll like the final results or not.
Whether you’re looking for a surgeon who is a woman or not, you will definitely want to take the time to ensure that you are selecting a surgeon who is a good fit for your needs and your desired outcome. Does the gender of the plastic surgeon matter in that regard? Only you can answer that question, but it might.