Doctor Not at Appointments When I Ask Questions Or Have Issues?

I recently had an umbilical hernia repaired, full tummy tuck, and lipo. My dr was not present at the pre-op appt to answers my questions. Then, I popped a stitch in my hernia repair 5 days post op and he was not on call. He was also not present for my post op appt one week after surgery. The nurses have tried to answers my questions, but are limited. I am unhappy with the out come of my lipo, my skin is VERY saggy. I have requested an appt with the doctor to discuss my results. What should I say?

Doctor Answers 5

Lousy follow-up care

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Yikes.  This does not sound at all right to me.  There are some things that should not be delegated and seeing patients who have questions or problems are right up there on my list.  If you cannot connect with your surgeon, I would establish care with someone else. 

But first, make absolutely sure that the staff is not stonewalling you.  Are you able to contact your surgeon directly via email or voicemail?

I hope everything turns out okay for you. 

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Unhappy with doctor

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It sounds like you have legitimate concerns. I would first discuss them with the office manager so that a definite appointment can be made soon to discuss your concerns with your surgeon. Express yourself honestly and calmly to your surgeon. I would hope that he/she would be receptive to your concerns. Good luck.

Surgeon has flown the coop?

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I assume you spoke with the surgeon who did your surgery  prior to seeing him in the pre-operative area. Otherwise, who examined you at the time of consultation, made recommendations, and told his staff what procedures to schedule, and how much time to book in the OR? And if you didn't have all your questions answered prior to surgery, why did you not ask your surgeon as he marked your body in the pre-op area?

Furthermore, what surgeon does this much surgery without seeing his patient in consultation one or more times, photographing and marking the patient prior to her going to sleep on the operating table, and then not being available after surgery? Sure, we all leave town to go to meetings, vacation, or family events, but like Dr. Kraft, we make arrangements to ensure not only care, but excellent care, when we cannot attend to our patients ourselves. And we try not to schedule "big" surgeries prior to planned absences from our offices.

I agree with Dr. Jugenburg--something is just not right here. Hopefully it's not your choice of surgeon. An ABPS-certified plastic surgeon takes more pride in his/her work than to treat patients in this manner.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Unavailable physician

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I have a strong opinion on this subject. I do not schedule major surgeries such that I am not available for the postop visits; for tummy tuck, that means I will not book a case unless I am in town for two weeks afterwards. Preop consult should be performed by the operating surgeon and not by a third party. You should meet meet with your doctor with a list of questions. You paid him, not his nurses and he is responsible for your care.

Something doesn't sound right

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Your doctor was not available to you before surgery or after surgery?

Perhaps I am missing the whole picture but why did you have surgery with someone who was not giving you their full attention prior to surgery?  Is your surgeon a board certified Plastic Surgeon?

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 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.