How important is "bedside" manner to the outcome of your surgery?

I am scheduled for BR surgery with a well known PS. I will have the anchor procedure. I find my PS to be abrupt and unkind. She has told me my breasts "will not be pretty". I am realistic about scars she also said the shape will always be boxy. Throughout the consult she talked about insurance. I have private insurance which will cover. She said will make next to nothing. She told me repeatedly this was a covered procedure not so I could look good but for function. I am concerned.

Doctor Answers 7

Bedside manner

I think bedside manner is important, but that is something your parents' teach you as a child.  Being nice to others in general.  Remember if they are not too nice to you before surgery, how will they treat you after surgery if you have a problem?  Find another surgeon IMO.


New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Good bedside manner important in a surgeon

It is very important for a surgeon to have more than very good surgical skill - they need to be able to develop a good rapport with you.  The success of the operation depends on your comfort attending postop appointments, following their instructions for care after surgery etc.  This will be difficult if the relationship is strained..

Bedside Manner

I believe that bedside manner is very important.  When you elect to have surgery you are forming a relationship with that surgeon.  You should feel very comfortable talking to your surgeon and asking questions about your procedure not only before your surgery but afterwards as well.  You will likely be seeing your surgeon for post-op visits for months after the procedure.  You should look forward to those visits and not dread them because you don't like your surgeon.

A plastic surgeon should be honest and give you realistic expectations but should also do everything to make your breasts as pretty as possible.  Whether you are paying out of pocket or through your insurance, the surgeon should take pride in their work and strive to give you a good outcome.  If you feel uncomfortable with your surgeon, I would recommend getting a second opinion from a few other board certified plastic surgeons that have a lot of experience with breast reductions.  Best of luck!

Jeff T. Healy, MD
Oahu Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

Is Unkind Plastic Surgeon OK To Do Breast Reduction?

Unless this plastic surgeon is the only one available to do a procedure you need or feel you must have, search for another. You will be relying on that person to take care of you if you have a complication at 2 AM. A surgeon who seems angry before surgery is probably not someone you want to depend on while you're recovering.

Some patients already approved for insurance coverage of breast reduction seek out-of-plan plastic surgeons and pay out-of-pocket to get the surgeon and the service they want.

Click on the link below to see a breast reduction case.

All the best in finding a compassionate plastic surgeon who has your best interests at heart.

Heather J. Furnas, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

How important is "bedside" manner to the outcome of your surgery?

I am sorry to hear about the less than favorable experience you have had thus far; based on  your description, I would suggest that you seek second opinion consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons in your area. There is no reason to proceed with a plastic surgeon who is “unkind” or feels that the outcome will not be “pretty”.  Above all, don't give up; breast reduction surgery tends to be one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform. Best wishes.

Bedside manner and comfort with your surgeon

There are excellent surgeons with very poor bedside manner and the converse is also true.  Your surgeon may just be trying to set realistic expectations, though her manner of doing so may be off-putting.  If you have reservations about your surgeon, I strongly suggest you seek a second opinion.  Choose the surgeon you feel is listening to your goals and concerns and will give you the best result.  Even if you have been approved for the surgery under the original PS, it isn't usually too difficult to have that approval transferred to a new surgeon if you decide to change.

How important is "bedside" manner to the outcome of your surgery?

If you are concerned enough to write this post, then consider getting a second opinion. Most breast reductions look nice after a few months and a surgeon should take pride in their work. See link below for examples.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 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.