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Affording Plastic Surgery after Weight Loss:
My Bariatric Life: What about medical travel to Mexico?
Dr. Capella: You know there are good surgeons everywhere but they may not be experienced in post bariatric. But that being aside, the only thing about Mexico is that the problem is if you have a complication. It’s follow-up. Like I said earlier, everything’s fine when surgery goes well. How many people have I seen here who have been to the Dominican Republic or Mexico or anywhere? I’ve seen so many of them and nobody wants to take care of those patients. And they’re just going to get charged, again. If somebody needs a revision I have to say, "Look I have to treat you like you’re a new patient." Why would I want the liability of a case that’s complicated already?
There are just so many factors. So, there might be some savings but the risk is enormous. It’s a serious surgery. Especially this kind of surgery. It’s pretty big. The way that I look at it, once I operate on somebody that’s my patient and I will make every effort to make it better. This is my reputation. So I think that’s a very valuable thing.
MBL: Do you have additional comments on reducing cost?
Dr. Capella: I think I’ve tried to do everything I can by doing surgery efficiently. When we get in there we know what we’re going to do. And we do it as well as we can, but of course efficiently. When I first started doing body lifts it took 4 to 4-1/2-hours. Now it takes 2-hours and 15 or 20 minutes. When you refine what you’re doing you can eliminate steps that don’t need to be done, and it’s amazing. Every day we think of how we can make better the experience and more efficient. Ultimately I want to produce happy patients and to provide a good service. And I want to be available to a broad spectrum of people. I’m not trying to be this boutique service that barely anyone can afford. It’s not my goal. And I’m sure I’m a far better surgeon for it, too, because I’ve done so much of the surgery.
That’s why when someone’s not a candidate for something I just say that’s not a good idea. This lady earlier today wanted her breasts lifted and I said I think you look pretty good, just don’t do anything. What we’re trying to do is we want to increase that spread between how a person looks today and how much better we expect them to look afterwards. So if someone is getting a marginal improvement I have to ask her "˜why are you doing it?’ I want the maximum opportunity to make that person happy.
Continue to part 11 of the Interview with Dr. Joseph F. Capella.
Living life well-fed,
My Bariatric Life
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