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Is There a Limit to What a "Good" Surgeon Will Do for a Patient?

I consulted w/ a ABPS certified surgeon with excellent references recently. He was on the top of my list until I saw pics of one of his other patients online. He implanted 800 cc saline implants in her and overfilled them 1600cc. The woman raves about her results but looking at her pics left me cold. Can I trust the credibility of a PS that would willingly perform that surgery? Am I right to think he may not have my best long term interest at heart?

Doctor Answers (1)

Trust in a surgeon

+2

You raise a number of very important points. One, what is the value of photos? And what is the duty of a plastic surgeon relative to his patient's desires?

My opinion is that photos are not a good determinant of a plastic surgeon's skill or value to a specific patient. This is because you do not know what the goals of the surgery for each patient was nor do you know if a particular patient is happy with his or her result. You aslo do not know if the result was dictated by the patient, planned by the surgeon, a compromise between the two, or a fortuitous result.

This brings up the issue of the goal of the surgery. I believe the goal of surgery is to please the patient but the duty of a plastic surgeon is to guide the patient in these goals, not to determine them for her. If the patient is estatic but you do not like the way she loks, who are you to say? However, if the results are not safe, then that is the plastic surgeon's duty to discuss the safety of the goals with the patient. I bring up the issue of transgender surgery (i.e. man to woman or vice versa) since this is the extreme form of cosmetic surgery. You are not to judge what a patient undertakes to reconcile how they feel with how they look. The issue is whether that surgeon discussed all the options, reviewed all the complications and side effects, and executed the surgical plan competently.


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