Do Surgeons Judge Patients?

I'm always afraid that a surgeon will judge me if I get surgery. I'm not very confident with my appearance and I've wanted to get several things done but I'm afraid that a surgeon will think poorly of me. Am I being overly paranoid or do they not care?

Doctor Answers (4)

Ethical dilemmas in medicine and plastic or cosmetic surgery: Surgeons judging patients

+2

Speaking practically and not idealistically, surgeons are people. People tend to belong to cultural groups that hold certain beliefs and traditions that may differ from one culture to another. Inevitably In treating patients, physicians may be subconsciously effected but we are taught not to be influenced and to treat patients with the over-riding principle of "primum non-nocere" meaning "First and foremost, do no harm". However ethical dilemmas do abound. For example, a devoutly Catholic surgeon may struggle on whether to terminate a pregnancy in the event of imminent death to the mother. Who's life takes precedence? When it comes to cosmetic surgery, ethicists have argued about whether the psychological benefits of the outcome outweigh the risks of surgery. For example, is it better to deny an aesthetic procedure to an individual who is distraught with the appearance of a certain body part and will counseling provide them with a superior alternative.


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Being "judged" by Plastic surgeons

+2

Regarding: "I'm always afraid that a surgeon will judge me if I get surgery. I'm not very confident with my appearance and I've wanted to get several things done but I'm afraid that a surgeon will think poorly of me. Am I being overly paranoid or do they not care?"

Contrary to what you see on TV, although like all segments of competitive professions (law, business, sports etc), we have our share of self-obsessed, "divas" and "pretty boys", the vast majority of my colleagues are decent and ethical individuals who are obsessed with attention to detail and trying to reach perfection in their work.

We RARELY judge people by their appearances but as a professional preoccupation we DO often wonder, when looking at people, what we could do to make this person or that person look and feel better. (This is no different than an architect or engineer looking at a structure and visualizing the possibilities).

An ethical surgeon will NOT judge you by your "beauty score" but by how genuine you are, how realistic your goals may be and how much fun it may be to work with you on your project of self-improvement.

Houston has a LOT of great Plastic surgeons. One of my favorite is Dr. Neil Reisman. Call his office.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Responsible, ethical Plastic Surgeons want to help you be happier

+2

Hi there-

It's hard to generalize across the entire specialty, but the quality surgeons (certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery) I am acquainted with do what they do because they find professional fulfillment in helping people like yourself live happier, more productive lives.

Having said that, part of a responsible plastic surgeon's responsibility to you is to understand your motivations and goals for surgery and establish your candidacy for surgery. It is rare, but does occasionally happen that surgery may not be in your best interests, and will only complicate your situation...

So to answer your question, I do not believe a responsible plastic surgeon would "judge" you, but I do believe very strongly that such a responsible surgeon should EVALUATE your situation, your goals, your anatomy, and your motivations and help you understand whether surgery is your best bet.

I hope that helps you somehow-

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Surgeons

+1

Surgeons are here to offer advice for things that bother the patient.  In many wasys we also are psychiatrists. There are many patients that I do not offer surgery to because of unrealistic expectations whether it is for the looks that they think they can achieve or the effects that the surgery will provide to their confidence level or day to day  interactions, to name a few..

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 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.