Up to 45% of my patients come from out of town, out of state and abroad. Obviously, a number of challenges are posed when initially consulting such patients due to geographical restrictions. Fortunately, due to the technological advances of today’s Internet, such as VOIP with videoconferencing and e-mail, both the patients and the doctors can get a sense of each other before they actually meet in person. Even though such a “virtual consultation” cannot substitute for a detailed face-to-face physical exam and interview, it does provide an initial backdrop for the surgeon to assess what the patient’s goals are, whether they have realistic expectations and lay down a framework for a particular surgical plan of action. In turn, the patient can assess their individual comfort level with the doctor, whether that doctor can potentially fill their goals and at what approximate price. One must realize that these “virtual consultations” cannot substitute for an in-person consultation nor can they be construed as offering definitive medical advice to a patient. They only serve as tools to facilitate a potential doctor-patient relationship, saving time and the expense of traveling to the doctor for a consultation if it is already obvious that it would be fruitless.
If you are choosing to communicate with Dr. Haworth via e-mail, etc., it is necessary that you send him properly taken photographs of the area or areas of your face and body that are bothering you. As a guideline facial photographs should be taken from four angles.
The first one is an AP (anterior-posterior) view
The second one is an oblique view (note how the tip of the nose touches the far cheek edge)
The third is a pure profile view (with the eyes looking straight ahead)
The fourth view is called the worm’s eye view (this is only needed in rhinoplasty surgery).
For the body, these same rules of thumb apply. Simply send well-framed photographs of your troublesome area (whether it be your hips, abdomen or breasts) in an AP, oblique and lateral view. Make sure that the photographs are taken at the appropriate distance-it is important that Dr. Haworth can get a sense of how your breasts, for example, relate to the width of your hips and waist. If the photographs are taken too close, anatomic proportion may be very difficult to assess.