Turned Down By Your Plastic Surgeon

Are you interested in cosmetic surgery? Well, before you have surgery, you’ll need to consult with a plastic surgeon. A lot of people think the consultation is simply an obligatory step before surgery. In fact, the consultation is a two-way street. During that important hour, your surgeon examines and interviews you. And you interview the surgeon. Like a courtship, if both of you mutually agree that you’re right for each other, then the relationship may proceed. But it is important to remember that the consultation is just a consultation – not necessarily a prelude to surgery. And ethical and careful surgeons turn down many patients – for medical, psychological and social reasons. That may anger some people who think that going to a surgeon is like buying an airplane ticket. And some people might even want their consultation fee returned to them, thinking they did not get their money’s worth.

Posted on | Arthur Perry, MD, FACS | Comments ()

Are you interested in cosmetic surgery? Well, before you have surgery, you’ll need to consult with a plastic surgeon. A lot of people think the consultation is simply an obligatory step before surgery. In fact, the consultation is a two-way street. During that important hour, your surgeon examines and interviews you. And you interview the surgeon. Like a courtship, if both of you mutually agree that you’re right for each other, then the relationship may proceed. But it is important to remember that the consultation is just a consultation – not necessarily a prelude to surgery. And ethical and careful surgeons turn down many patients – for medical, psychological and social reasons. That may anger some people who think that going to a surgeon is like buying an airplane ticket. And some people might even want their consultation fee returned to them, thinking they did not get their money’s worth.

If you are not a good candidate for surgery, a doctor who saves you from going under the knife is doing you a great service. You should heed that advice well, and think carefully before shopping around for another surgeon who is willing to accept your risks. The benefits of surgery should far outweigh the risks. When the risks rise, as in a patient with diabetes, heart disease, or another chronic or emotional illness, the chance of a problem after surgery increases. And sometimes those problems could result in spiraling complications or even death.

All doctors want their patients to do well with surgery. I’ve long said that no matter what your demands are, sooner or later, if you have enough money and persistence, you will find a surgeon willing to do almost anything you want. The celebrities who have been made into freaks illustrate that. Celebrities might hold an extra card that the surgeon wants, namely notoriety, which translates into more patients and increased income. But sometimes, financial pressure clouds judgment. And sometimes, the surgeon simply does not have good judgment, which is a characteristic harder to teach than a surgical skill. But like a good mother protecting her child, your plastic surgeon needs to be able to say, “No." And if that happens, you should say, “Thank you.”

For more information on choosing a surgeon, check out my book Straight Talk About Cosmetic Surgery.

Blog written by Arthur Perry, MD, FACS
Dr. Perry has over 2 decades of experience as a clinical surgeon and has been named to the “Best Doctors in the NY Area” book...