"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"- Dr. Suess

A few people have stated "How about some modesty for these patients" or "You can identify them". I have thought about these issues. Quite simply, I won't dehumanize these patients by "cutting out their privates" and "blackening their faces. The patients I see are real patients, with smiles and frowns, breasts and  genitals. If we crop out their humanity, we also crop out their problems. Let's look at some examples. 

The poor little girl below is a real patient a with a terrible cosmetic problem- a giant keloid secondary to an ear piercing. Despite this, she can come before the camera and smile, knowing there is some hope with surgery. I think we lose a lot be covering her eyes. She is no longer the smiling little girl but just an ear with an ugly blob.  The eyes are a window to the soul.

Let's look at another example-this woman has a term pregnancy but also has an ovarian cyst that is twice as large as the term uterus. Her belly is so full she can barely breath and her feet are swollen from venous obstruction. Despite these problems, and the fact that she is about to have major surgery, she is smiling and her bravery comes through. Can we really get the story from the cropped picture. Nope! 

I explain  to patients that the photos are for communicating about the work we are doing. I ask their permission. They are almost always happy to have their picture taken.

Today is a busy day-a  radical neck/total thyroidectomy, a cholecystectomy, a cholecystectomy/TAH, a bilateral hernia repair and bilateral subcutaneous mastectomies. Fortunately, Dr. Uche is back and we are ready to work. We have done 83 surgeries. I am starting to get tired.