The doctors at Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, PC talk about their close relationships with their patients. The doctors are as dedicated to delivering outstanding surgical outcomes as they are to helping patients feel restored and whole after a mastectomy. Their practice's culture of hope includes patient support groups and events that build a sense of community and camaraderie, so patients feel they are not alone, but supported through a difficult time.
Dr. Feingold: Well, we develop close relationships to our patients. I think early on in practice I was trying to perfect technique to give the patient a good outcome, but it became apparent that it takes more than an operation to help a patient feel restored, feel whole, and feel well after a mastectomy.
This is a complicated imposition on a patient. It affects the sense of femininity, and loveliness, and sensuality. And so you can't restore all those feelings and a sense of confidence for a woman and herself, and with her partner, and with her family just by an operation. And so we've developed a program of support that begins on the very first day of consultation where each patient gets assessed for what their worries and their concerns are.
Dr. Israeli: When patients come in for the initial consultation, there are frequently other women that are at various states of postoperative recovery that I'm seeing. And we now have what we call the Patient to Patient Caring Team, so these women that are maybe a week out, maybe a month out, maybe a year out, maybe in the room right across the hall from a woman that's newly diagnosed that's overwhelmed with the decisions that she's facing, and this is where they step in. They can come in and show them what they look like.
Dr. Feingold: More often they're part of the sisterhood of support, the group support of women that are matched based on the type of surgery they've had or their age, and they help each other really through the healing process.
Dr. Israeli: The uplifting event, the term uplifting, is obvious in this context. It started out small to where women can come. Maybe they can work with a makeup artist as an uplifting experience. They can perhaps meet with a bra fitter after their reconstruction, and it'll be sort of a social gathering. And we started out small, but it was quite a hit with the patients. And we realized that there is tremendous potential there for a sense of camaraderie with and between the patients, and with us.
To the point where last year it was over 100 women. It was like it was a party. It was really a ruckus party. I think it's something now that patients look forward to every year.
Carol: Oh, my goodness! This is where hope begins. It really and truly does. I can't imagine women who go to doctors, get reconstruction, and then they're let go. This is our support. This is what takes us on our journey which heals us both emotionally and physically.
Kim: Absolutely a fan of Community of Hope here. Coming to the groups you have a connection with people.
Ellen: It's the doctors who are so respectful of their patients. It's the PAs who are just so respectful, and it's just a philosophy, it's a culture, and it's people who really love working with and helping people to move towards healing in a real and authentic way, not patch them up and move them out. And I think that's what's so extraordinary about this practice.