Secondary Plastic Surgery- What to do When you are Unhappy with the Results

As much as plastic surgeons try, some patients do not get the results that they had hoped for.  It can be due to a complication, such as infection or bleeding.  Not following your doctor’s instructions can result in a poor outcome as well.  Even if the surgeon does everything properly, and you take perfect care of yourself, you can still scar noticeably or react poorly to an implant or suture material due to genetics. 

So what do you do?  My advice is if you like and trust your plastic surgeon, let him/her know that you are disappointed, and ask about what can be done to improve the results.  As long as you are respectful and reasonable, a good doctor will do what he/she can to work with you.   You can ask why it happened, and the answer might be helpful in explaining the possible remedies.  Many times, no fee is charged.  If he/she gets offended, or tries to blame you for the problem, definitely seek another opinion.  This usually is a defense mechanism to try to avoid blame.

If you do not like or trust your surgeon, or cannot return due to distance, it is often helpful to seek a second opinion from a board certified plastic surgeon in your area with a good reputation.  They can evaluate you, let you know their thoughts on your complaints, and might offer to treat you with injections, medications, or surgery if needed.  Of course, you have to pay for these services.

Helpful things to bring are your medical records or a treatment summary from the first doctor, which they are required by law to provide for you.  This lets the doctor know what exactly was done, and if you have any implants, the size and type they are.  If the second opinion plastic surgeon says things like “Who did that to you?”, or “Your doctor did not know what he was doing”, also beware.  A good surgeon will try to figure out what happened, and help you fix it.  He/she cannot make judgments without first  seeing your records and knowing exactly what happened after surgery.  The primary concern should be on your happiness.

Also be open to the possibility that the first plastic surgeon might have done everything right, and that your expectations might be unreasonable.  As well trained as we are, we do have limitations as to what we can deliver.