Cosmetic surgeon’s diary lifts lid on patients’ dilemmas

Plastic surgeon Nigel Mercer has documented a week in his working life and the results were today published in The Daily Mail. The five-day diary reveals just how varied the list of procedures can be for a typical cosmetic surgeon, and the very different reasons why people choose to undergo surgery. According to the diary, Mercer performs breast reduction surgery on Monday, short-scar face lifts on Tuesday, cleft lip and palate reconstructions on Wednesday and Thursday, and on Friday he consults with men about nose jobs, eye bag surgery and liposuction to get rid of man boobs. In among all of these surgical procedures, Mercer sees patients who are considering surgery, and in one revealing paragraph he writes: “In the afternoon, I see private patients in my consulting rooms in Bristol. One is a lady in her 50s who has travelled from the North of England. She’s had a hard life and is convinced a facelift will be the answer to her problems. “She doesn’t look old for her age, but her suffering is in her eyes — and no surgery can take that away. So I spend an hour dissuading her from having an operation, suggesting non-surgical procedures such as Botox and fillers.” The diary reveals the variety of surgery performed, but also emphasises how important it is for surgeons to have an ethical outlook, and for them to take the time to understand a patient’s reasons for wanting surgery.