When Plastic Surgeons Promise Us We Will Have Perky Breasts, and They Do Not Appear That Way, is That Breach of Contract?

When a Plastic Surgeons shows you a picture of what you will look like when he is done with the Breast Augmentation and you come out all distorted looking, would that be considered Breach of Contract?

Doctor Answers (11)

"Perky" Breasts

+2

Unfortunately, along with specific breast shape and cup size, "perky" breasts can not be guaranteed.    However, if your surgeon specifically guaranteed "perky" breasts in the documents that you signed before surgery and you can prove that they are not "perky" then that may be considered a breach of contract.  


Princeton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Results of Breast Augmentation Surgery

+2

One of the most important parts of any consultation with a prospective plastic surgery patient is communication about what is probable and what is possible. Terms like "perky" are rarely used by physicians because they mean so many different things to different people. When I discuss breast augmentation with patients, I use expression like, "increased superior fullness" or ,"larger volume". An operation performed by a surgeon on a patient is not really a contract in the classic sense. The surgeon is agreeing to perform a procedure on the patient which by necessity has a partially unpredictable outcome. Factors such as the patient's intrinsic skin elasticity or wound healing capacity affect the surgery in ways that can not be perfectly defined. You may not like your cosmetic outcome, but the question is not was it a breach of contract, but rather did the surgeon perform his job within the accepted minimum community standard. Your expectations are not the determining factor. My recommendation is for you to go back to your surgeon and in a constructive objective way express your frustration with the outcome. It may be that he will agree with you and work to correct it. You can also go to a different surgeon for a second opinion. Please make sure that the second opinion is a board certified plastic surgeon who performs breast surgery frequently.

All my best,

Daniel A. Medalie

Daniel A. Medalie, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Communication, expectation, and results

+1

Hello,

It sounds like you are not happy with your breast augmentation results.  This can occur for a number of reasons including result not expected or result secondary to complication.  The second part is easy to discuss and address since it involve specific issues that can be agreed upon by all parties involved.  The first is much harder and deals directly with communication.  It sounds like your situation falls into this second category.  You will have to discuss this with your plastic surgeon to see where the break down in communication happened and what is the next step in addressing the problem.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

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Surgeon promising what you will look like

+1

If a surgeon shows you a picture of what you will look like following breast augmentation, that surgeon is setting him or herself up for an unhappy patient. There are too many variables in how a patient will heal, what anatomy they are starting with, what degree of stretching of their tissues will occur, etc., etc.  Patients may show a surgeon what kind of breast they like, and the surgeon can use this as a way of discussing with a patient whether their expectations are realistic.  And since the result obtained is as much a product of the patient's starting anatomy and unique healing process as anything the surgeon does, promising a specific result is foolish.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Good Plastic Surgeons Do Not Promise Or Guarantee Results

+1

Plastic surgeons usually do not (and never should) promise or guarantee a good result, "perky breast", etc.  The reasons are that medicine and surgery are inexact sciences with many variables, some of which cannot be controlled.  When I show pre- and post-op photos, I am portraying what is a possible and likely result, but not a guaranteed result.

John Whitt, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

When Plastic Surgeons Promise We'll Have Perky Breasts&They Don't Appear That Way, is That Breach of Contract?Answer:

+1

Oddly enough, we don’t really pay doctors to guarantee any result. We pay them to try their best to get us the results everyone would like, after years of training and experience. Like Soldiers, Firefighters and Police Officers, we pay them to do their best and if battles are lost, buildings burned and criminals escape, we don’t ask them for money back. Words like “Promise” and “Guarantee” really shouldn’t exist in Medicine. But honor does. Tell them what you don’t like and see what they say.

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

When Plastic Surgeons Promise Us We Will Have Perky Breasts, and They Do Not Appear That Way, is That Breach of Contract?

+1

Your question is concerning to me. I wonder did you sign an ASPS 2005 "AUGMENTATION MAMMAPLASTY WITH SALINE?SILICONE IMPLANTS" ? It is 9 pages long and discloses all differing issues, as to results, expectations. In one section of page 1 paragraph 6, "The shape and size of the breasts prior to surgery will influence both the recommended treatment and final results...." Thus if you signed this than any oral discussion will not over ride this signed consent, legally. If your ? boarded PS stated to you you would have "perky" breasts, did you see his before & after pictures? Did you see results you thought you could attain. To me it seems your realistic expectations and the communication between you and your chosen surgeon had/has some real issues and faults. If by chance you did not sign an informed consent that that could another issue. 

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

Breach of contract if breast implants don't turn out right

+1

technically, it would fall in the realm of medical malpractice and not contract law. It  not being a contract means there can be no breach of contract. Courts have upheld that the relationship between a doctor and patient does not constitute  a contract. Having said that, most doctors will show images of what you might look like, but I have not seen them guarantee the result as that is impossible to do. The doctors that use computer imaging to show patients a potential result clearly state that there is no guarantee that the image will represent the final result. I would imagine that if you read through the consents you signed, there is also wording saying that results cannot be guaranteed. 

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Perky Breast

+1

I have been a board certified plastic surgeon for over 25 years and I have never ever used the term "perky breasts"  I have always discussed realistic outcomes with each patient of mine and have turned down patients who se expectations I felt were unrealistic and unattainable.  I will not go into the "breach" aspect of your question.

Edward J. Bednar, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Breast Augmentation Results

+1

Thank you for the question.

Most well experienced board certified plastic surgeons know better than to promise the patient that she will look like “a picture” or that she will end up with a specific look or with perfect symmetry.  The need for realistic expectations is one of the most important conversations we have with our patients.  If the surgeon feels that he/she cannot  communicate this need with the patient it behooves him/her not to do the surgery. After all it is every plastic surgeon's goal to end up with a very happy patient.

I tell every patient that much of what we end up with after breast augmentation surgery depends on what we start with because we are, after all enhancing what the patient already has.

In regards to “breach of contract”  or standard of care discussions it would be necessary to have much more information regarding your specific case.

I hope this helps. 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 709 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.