The Importance of Shared Decision-Making in Plastic Surgery

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery, now among the most commonly performed procedures, are seen as positive ways to help people improve how they see themselves and in being comfortable in their own skin. Because cosmetic surgery is a personal journey, the adoption of shared decision-making (SDM) makes sense to achieve the best possible care and desired outcome. A study published by The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, advocates for the adoption of SDM in cosmetic medicine and aesthetic surgery. The SDM emphasizes that the cosmetic surgeon and the patient make decisions together about each step in the process both before and after surgery. Using SDM allows both the patient and the surgeon to have a significant input in what options he or she believes are best.

In times before SDM was possible, surgeons would inform the patient of what would take place, how the surgery would go, what techniques would be used, and what the patient would do during recovery, and the patient would agree or disagree to go through with the procedure. This informed consent approach is very much a one person decision-making process. This can be a hindrance to achieving optimal results from the surgery since cosmetic procedures are so highly personal to each patient.

The process of SDM, meanwhile, should look more like a partnership with a surgeon presenting options and explaining the different benefits, risks, and outcomes of each option. After options are presented, a patient and surgeon can decide together which method of treatment will best help the patient achieve his or her desired outcome. The SDM process, according to research, shows that patients who have a role in planning for procedures will be more satisfied with the results.

Dr. Shahram Salemy, a highly skilled and respected plastic surgeon in Seattle, has been a longtime proponent of SDM. Having used SDM since the start of his practice, Dr. Salemy comments, “We work with patients together as a partner in creating an individualized treatment plan to meet their aesthetic goals. Breast augmentation cases are excellent examples where SDM is especially important to achieve desired results. We collaborate with each patient to determine appropriate volume and look at both health and anatomical factors.”

Dr. Salemy is a graduate of Yale Medical School. He is FACS fellowship trained, and has been honored with numerous awards during his practice from both his colleagues and his patients in the field of plastic surgery. It is Dr. Salemy’s goal to tailor his treatment to each patient’s individual needs so every patient comes away satisfied and a positive experience.

Contact the office at (206) 467-1101 or online to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Salemy at his Seattle or Richmond, WA locations.