My surgery was to include upper and lower blepharplasty, and fat transfer. Six weeks post-op, I was informed the lower bleph could not be performed due to a "low" vector. I am very disappointed because I was not told beforehand, nor immediately following the surgery, that this part of the operation could not be performed. My recovery was long, my bruising and swelling was severe. I do not wish to have any corrective work in the future. What should I expect from my surgeon?
Should a Surgeon Offer a Partial Refund if a Lower Bleph Was Paid For, but Not Performed?
Doctor Answers 7
Refund for surgery not performed
I would check the paperwork provided to you when you signed up for surgery. That said, it would be unusual to encounter a situation like this, as it should have been detected on careful pre-op evaluation.
In any event, I would refund money for a procedure that I did not perform. Look at the quote for what that might be. Also, you might want to look into what the anesthesia and OR fees were, as you may also be entitled to get those back too.
Refund For Surgery Not Performed
It may have been a very good judgment for your surgeon to not perform the lower eyelid blepharoplasty. However, if you paid for the service the fees for the procedure not performed should be refunded back to you.
The plastic surgeon does not perform an operation you paid for it most certainly should refund the money.
Any plastic surgeon can opt not to proceed with an aesthetic procedure if he deems it not in the best interest of the patient. If you pay for this in advance a full refund should be expected.
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Your concern is a valid one
When doing a lower lid blepharoplasty, I sometimes discuss fat repositioning vs fat excision as being an intraoperative decision that I might make. That is all part of the blepharoplasty, but with a variation of technique.
However, if you paid for all 3 procedures, and one procedure [lower blepharoplasty] was not done at all, then you should have been informed immediately after surgery, and a refund for that procedure should be coming your way.
I would have a frank, polite discussion with your surgeon.
Lower Eyelid Surgery
A critical piece in the Doctor-Patient relationship is the timely sharing of information. A discussion about a planned procedure that was not performed is a little late at 6 weeks. Although your Surgeon was correct not to perform a procedure that could potentially lead to problems, a frank discussion of your eyelid anatomy and potential solutions is more a part of preoperative planning than intraoperative discovery. Although a negative vector is a relative contraindication for lower lid subciliary blepharoplasty, the procedure can still be performed with adequate re-suspension techniques (please see the photo in the link below). I agree that your Surgeon should be wiling to work with you on this.
Intraoperative partial cancellation
Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty
The decision to perform or not perform a lower eyelid blepharoplasty should be made during the consultation process rather than intraoperatively. Certainly, a negative vector can preclude the performance of a lower lid blepharoplasty but you will need to speak with your surgeon directly to determine why this did not come up during the initial preoperative consultation. Best Regards,
Jacque LeBeau, MD