Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Doctor Will See You, and Your Party, Now - New York Times

Gone are the days when patients slipped into a plastic surgeon’s office alone and sometimes in disguise for a consultation and, after the surgery, slinked away to a secret location to recover. Now, patients may arrive not only with a wish list of procedures they have seen on TV or researched online, but also flanked by parents, siblings, spouses or partners. Or the wild card: the friend.

For some doctors, having a second person in the room can be extra insurance that the serious information they are trying to impart is being heard. But at times the consultation begins to feel like a shopping trip to Barneys.

“They come in like it’s a party event,” Dr. Hidalgo said. “Like, ‘We need an activity today, let’s go see the plastic surgeon.’ ”

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