Meet Lindsay Pihaly, Patient Coordinator with Body Cosmetica, in the Minneapolis area. Lindsay works with multiple plastic surgeons including Dr. Gregory Mesna and Dr. Joseph Gryskiewicz. She is a one woman gateway to the best Minneapolis has to offer in the cosmetic arena. All of her physicians are board certified members of the American Society of Plastic Surgery and are regarded as outstanding members of the medical community. I had a chance to talk to Lindsay and pick her brain on the expanding world of plastic surgery.
Me: So I know you're based in Minnesota, and are somewhat of a plastic surgery guru. How did you get started in this business?
Lindsay: I've been in the medical field for 15 years. I've always been drawn to Body Cosmetica. I had a procedure done a while back and I remember it being a very stressful decision and time period. People shouldn't have to feel that stressful.
Me: How has your past procedure influenced you in your current role?
Lindsay: Plastic surgery is exciting, but people begin to get scared. It's important to have an advocate and to help people feel like they are cared about.
Me: How do you go about accomplishing this?
Lindsay: I build friendships with patients. I go through the entire process with them from consultation to post surgery checkups. I give them my personal cellphone number so they can call me at any time of day or night.
Me: There are a lot of opposing views when it comes to plastic surgery. What do you have to say to people that are on the fence about it?
Lindsay: A lot of people see plastic surgery as being very shallow and surface based. Working in this industry shows you how false that is. Outsiders don't see the woman who desperately wants liposuction because she hates her body, cries herself to sleep, cries when she wakes, looks through her closet for at least one item of clothing that looks flattering, has low self-confidence, and lacks emotional and physical intimacy. Some things are in your control and some things are out of your control. Plastic surgery is supposed to be a comfortable happy experience, and you should be able to change your looks, if your unhappiness really does just stem from insecurities about your looks.
Me: Has there been any patient story that has really stood out to you or touched your heart?
Lindsay: A woman came in a short while ago and I could tell she was nervous and trying to keep her composure. We went through the standard questions and it seemed like something was really bothering her, So I halted the interview process, looked at her, and said,“Why do you really want to get this plastic surgery?” The woman broke down in tears and admitted that she was so depressed because she hated the way her stomach looked. She kept saying she was embarrassed about feeling this way because it seemed so superficial. She felt misunderstood by her family because they didn't understand her pain, over something they saw as fake and petty.
Me: How did you deal with such a heart-wrenching experience like that?
Lindsay: I just felt for her so much that I began to cry with her! I wanted the surgery so badly for her and really wanted everything to work out successfully, both financially and aesthetically. I knew our doctors would do a fantastic job on her tummy tuck because they are highly regarded. However, she didn't have much money saved, so I came up with a great payment plan for her. She was so dedicated to getting the procedure that she paid above and beyond each month, and in no time she had paid off the surgery.
Me: Did you speak with her again after the surgery? Any notable difference?
Lindsay: Absolutely. I saw her shortly after the procedure and we just hugged each other and began to cry tears of joy. Her eyes were so bright and no longer dim and filled with sadness. She was so much more confident and her shoulders were rolled back with pride. Plastic surgery didn't change her. It just refurbished her, and allowed her to expose her true self once again.
Me: What are the most important skills you must have in your job role?
Lindsay: I have to have personal relationships with my patients. I really get to know them and create friendships with them. I also always keep an open line of communication. Especially after surgery, patients have so many questions about issues they may be having or whether what they're experiencing is normal. Before the surgery, I try and write down a list of things the patient needs to accomplish to have a successful plastic surgery, and I make sure to keep them on track.
Me: Any last words for people that are debating getting a cosmetic procedure?
Lindsay: The first step to getting somewhere is deciding you are not willing to stay where you are. If you want it for yourself, then get it for yourself. It's that simple.
Top 5 Cosmetic Surgical Procedures of 2013:
Breast Augmentations 290,000
Nose Reshaping 221,000