LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 30, 2021) — For years, aesthetic surgery has gotten a bad rap. For some, having aesthetic surgery may be purely cosmetic. For others, having aesthetic surgery can change the function of their vital body parts and, in turn, change their life.
Sarah Sbert never thought she would need to have surgery on her face. In her teen years, she developed a bump on her nose. It didn't bother her at first, but as her body and face grew over time, so did the size of the bump.
As the bump grew, so did the complications it caused. Sbert was experiencing daily nosebleeds, lasting anywhere from five to 45 minutes. She was constantly having trouble breathing through her nose. When she finally decided to see a doctor for the side effects of her deviation, the experience was not a positive one. She says they were so negative about her condition that they scared her out of getting a procedure to fix it.
Sbert was back to square one, living a life full of used tissues and coughing through the night. Her parents finally encouraged her to take another try at seeing a doctor, so she began to do her own research and look for someone she could work with. When she came across Dr. Amit Patel with the UK HealthCare Aesthetics Center, she found herself feeling how she did before — excited about how her life could change.
“There wasn’t a single negative review about him,” said Sbert. “Everything I read said that he was the surgeon you could trust to do this procedure. After my first appointment, I knew all those reviews were right and that Dr. Patel was the surgeon for me.”
From Patel’s point of view, meeting Sbert was happily upsetting. He was glad she came in because he wanted to help improve her everyday life; at the same time, he found it so unfortunate that she had been living so many years with inconveniences she didn’t need to have.
“She had chronic nosebleeds and sinus issues,” said Patel. “What’s worse is she was also experiencing secondary effects of her deviation, like trouble sleeping through the night and having low energy through the day. She didn’t even realize that those issues were also stemming from her nose.”
The preparation for aesthetic surgery is more than just understanding the patient’s anatomy and knowing the procedure. Every patient Patel sees has a different facial structure, a different desire and a different story. Patel says his favorite part of his job is the creativity.
“Everyone’s face is different, so they all should be treated differently,” said Patel. “I love to learn about them, take all of the information I gather and create something totally unique. It makes my job feel less like work, and more like art.”
When the day of Sbert’s surgery arrived, she was not nervous. Since Patel had prepared her so well, she felt as though she had nothing to worry about.
“I love the results of my surgery, I wouldn’t change anything,” Sbert said. “If anything, I wish I found Dr. Patel sooner so I could have had everything fixed earlier in my life.”
Patel also said that sometimes aesthetic surgery patients’ lives change in more ways than expected after their surgery. In Sbert’s case, sleeping better through the night led to more energy during the day, which has allowed her to live an overall healthier lifestyle.
Aesthetic surgery is clearly changing patients’ lives for the better. Why then, is there such a negative stigma surrounding the field? Patel says people are making the wrong assumption.
“People assume the goal is strictly cosmetic improvement and the intention is rooted in vanity,” said Patel. “In reality, especially with the face, functional improvement and stability are inherent goals. We rely on each part of the face — eyes, nose, lips, etc. — for their respective function as well as what they impart on our personal identity.”
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.