Surgeon Wants Fee to Correct Abdominal Liposuction Bump - Is This Right?

Had a breast reduction and a small amount of liposuction to flanks and mid abdomen about 6 months ago. There is a small amount of fat that can be removed causing an uneven bump. I have already paid approximately 30K between surgeon fee and anesthesia for both procedures. Procedure can be done under local anesthesia, in the office in about 30 minutes. I just feel surgeon was out of line to charge me a fee, even if its a few hundred dollars, is this customary? I know this is NY but come on!

Doctor Answers (12)

Fee for secondary lipo

+1

If it is a small area and this can occur naturally then I normally will do it free and only charge a small fee for the cost of my supplies and this is usually 75 or 100 dollars.


Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Should fee be charged for minor revision after major surgery?

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You have already paid a substantial amount of money for the two procedures and this is a minor revision.  I would waive the fee unless this has been discussed pre operatively.

Kenneth L. Stein, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Revision fee

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This is always an uncomfortable situation especially if it has not been spelled out in writing before surgery.  If I think the patient has a satisfactory result but it could be a little better, I will waive my surgeon's fee but  I will charge a facility fee and, if anesthesia is necessary, the patient pays for that.   If I think the patient has a really good to great result ("perfect" is not in my vocabulary), and I think the patient is being overly picky, I also charge a surgeon's fee.  This is all spelled out in writing and I have the patient sign off on this policy.  I also have my policy posted on my website. 

 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lisa L. Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

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Cost for liposuction touch-up

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Each surgeon has a different revision or touch-up policy based on many different factors. It is best to get it defined before having surgery. In your case, after paying so much for your surgery, it may be reasonable to ask your surgeon to waive the additional fee.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Ohio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

If touch-up surgery is "free" when does it stop? When "perfection" is reached?

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Regardless of the fees/costs you paid, the procedures you requested were performed with all of the education, training, experience, and skill of the surgeon, his staff, and the facility could bring to bear on your behalf. And by your own admission, everything turned out well except for "a small amount of fat" causing "a small bump". It appears as if you expected your surgeon to deliver a "perfect" result, but was every aspect of your post-op instructions followed "perfectly," or was there perhaps a tiny bit of unintentional non-compliance? This is not to "blame" you, but why would you hold your surgeon to an unattainable ideal that no one can attain?

If your fee had been $29,700 would you have been "OK" paying "a few hundred dollars" more to reach the result you desired? What if that falls short or leaves "a small dent" that requires another touch-up? This is precisely why "free" touch-up or revisional surgery is not a good idea. Otherwise, the patient would potentially request "free" touch-up after "free" touch-up until that elusive "perfect" is reached. While that may sound preposterous to many, it certainly can and does occur! The additional fee is simply a cost-only for equipment, supplies, medications, and a portion of staffing costs for that procedure. The surgeon often makes up the balance of the actual cost out of his pocket.

So, your doctor was NOT "out of line" in assessing a truly minimal fee for touch-up surgery. Perhaps a higher fee should be charged to every patient in case some of them require or request touch-up surgery. But would that be fair if things turn out great with one operation only, as it does for the vast majority of patients?

The individual surgeon's policy should have been clearly discussed and perhaps even a part of the consent form or written materials; please review your information.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Surgeon Wants Fee to Correct Abdominal Liposuction Bump - Is This Right?

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In my practice NO but that is my personal practice. Discuss these concerns with this $$$$ surgeon. From MIAMI Dr. darryl J. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Question about charges for minor postoperative revisions

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Unfortunately, policies regarding secondary or touch-up procedures can be confusing and do vary from practice to practice. Often, these are outlined before surgery either as a separate written policy or as part of the consent form.

Many plastic surgeons will not charge a second surgical fee for a touch-up or revision related to a significantly less than ideal outcome if it is performed within a certain period of time after the surgery, often 6 months to one year, though you may be responsible for any outpatient and anesthesia charges. If it is minor and can be performed in an office facility under local anesthesia, many won't charge anything. This is my policy.

You may want to check your paperwork for policy information and discuss it again with your plastic surgeon. Though I don't have all the info, in my opinion if you spent 30K on these 2 procedures, performing a small revision without a charge would have been the right thing to do.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Policies vary

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Mac,

Policies regarding touch up/revision surgery vary widely from practice to practice and may even be affected by the rapport that you have with your surgeon.  Oftentimes you can speak openly with your surgeon and at least bargain down the fees for revision.  No surgeon, not even a well established one, wants an unhappy patient.  Keep in mind that you may have signed something saying that there would be a charge for revisionary surgery.  Also, bumps after liposuction can occur and are sometimes beyond the control of the surgeon.  Good luck!

Kenneth R. Francis, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Touch-up fees

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More than likely the fee is for a facility fee which is actually not a fee paid for the surgeon's work. It would be to pay for supplies, and staffing and facility.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Touch up liposuctions always incur an operating room charge.

+1

It is not very often a patient needs a touch-up surgery for liposuction unless they had it done under general anesthesia, then they usually need at least 1 or more touch ups.  There is always a fee for the operating room which is $750 in our case and which I always tell my patients during their consultation.

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.