Is It Ok for Post Op Review to Be Done by Another Surgeon?

I live out of province from where i'm traveling to have my rhinoplasty done (24 hour drive). Is it a big deal to have the surgery, drive home, and have another surgeon in my home town do my post op (take off cast, make sure everything's ok)? Gets very expensive otherwise.

Doctor Answers 11

Would my Hometown Plastic Surgeon take care of my after Cosmetic Surgery done Elsewhere?

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In the age of Medical Tourism where people travel to all corners of the earth in search for Cosmetic Surgery deals your question is extremely relevant and worth discussing.

I seriously doubt that your hometown Plastic surgeon would enthusiastically accept taking care of you after Cosmetic Surgery done elsewhere.  No one likes to be passed over. If he was not good enough to perform your surgery, why would he be good enough to take up your aftercare? Worse yet, if your surgery encountered any complication, why would any local surgeon take a chance of being  sued by getting involved in your care? 

Before you go elsewhere for your surgery consider who would care for you after surgery including if you suffered any complications. All of this must be discussed and agreed with your surgeon before you go to the operating room.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis, TN

Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Post-op review by a different surgeon

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While it is an acceptable plan to have another surgeon take off the cast and do postoperative follow-up, it is important that the follow-up surgeon knows how to deal with healing issues related to rhinoplasty.  It is best to have some degree of follow-up with the original surgeon so that he or she knows how well the healing process is going 3, 6, and 9 months after the procedure.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Your rhinoplasty is best managed entirely by your surgeon.

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Dear Rhandy:

It is quite important that the operating surgeon give all the post-op care.  In case of an emergency, of course, someone else can fill it, but if at all possible, your plastic surgeon needs to see you for all the postoperative rhinoplasty visits.  Only he knows what was done and only he knows what complications might ensue. 

A 24-hour drive is a long drive, so this certainly enters into the decision. 

How experienced and specialized is the doctor who would be doing the cast removal and first postoperative check?  Is he a specialist in nasal surgery?  If so, it is acceptable.  

Robert Kotler, MD, FACS
Facial Plastic Surgeon

Robert Kotler, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

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It is ideal to choose a plastic surgeon that plans to be available to care for you after surgery

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It is best that your post-surgery care be performed by your surgeon rather than another provider. Especially following rhinoplasty, it is important that the same plastic surgeon that performed your surgery be the one evaluating you as you heal. I have seen other surgeons' patients in followup and have had patients from out of town followup with other surgeons but this is not ideal. Your plastic surgeon needs to be more than a surgical technician. Your relationship shouldn't stop when your incisions are closed. Ideally, patients should seek a surgeon that will be available to care for them after surgery and be available to reassure them following their procedure.

Thank you for your question.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Is It Ok for Post Op Review to Be Done by Another Surgeon?

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Unless your hometown surgeon is a good friend of the rhinoplasty surgeon, I seriously doubt he would give you post op care. That care is included in the price of the surgery and should be given by the operating surgeon.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Rhinoplasty and Follow-up Care?

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Thank you for the question.

Although I can understand your desire to have your surgery performed by a specific surgeon,  I think it will be in your best interests  to allow the same surgeon to take care of your immediate postop care. You are potentially compromising your end results if you choose to do otherwise.

I would suggest that you either make arrangements to stay longer or choose a surgeon closer to your hometown.

Best wishes.

OK for post surgical care by another surgeon?

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My advice:  Be sure the surgeon in your hometown agrees in advance.  If that surgeon does rhinoplasty but you are going elsewhere, which is certainly your right, it's a real slap in the face to your hometown surgeon to do the post surgical care from someone else's operation.  What if there's a problem?  Your hometown surgeon, in general, having not performed the procedure, will likely not be inclined to manage such a situation with the same enthusiasm had he or she been your surgeon from the start.  Even if he or she is a Saint, your hometown surgeon will not know exactly what was done, and this handicaps the post surgical care. 

The surgeon you're traveling to should want to follow you closely enough to be the one who removes the splint and sees the result anyway.  Definitely follow your operating surgeon's advice, if nothing else.

I ask my out of town rhinoplasty patients to stay for at least a week near my office on relaxing vacation.

Just my opinion.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Rhinoplasty and follow-up care

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It is always nice for the same surgeon to provide the post-op care. On the other hand if things have gone straightforward, and the two surgeons know each other and take care of each other's patients, then it is probably ok. If not make sure you have the instructions from yoru surgeon for the other to follow.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Having first postoperative visit with a different surgeon

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It can be tricky to not have your original surgeon perform your postoperative care. Your surgeon is the best person to assess how you're healing so you should be certain that this arrangement is okay with him or her before having surgery.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews


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People travel all around the world for cosmetic surgery but the usually stay where the surgery is performed until there surgeon clears them for travel after surgery. I do not think any ethical surgeon would agree to perform surgery knowing the patient would leave right afterward and not return.

I hope you realize that this format of posting questions and receiving answers lacks the face to face direct communication required for you to make an informed decision regarding your surgery.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Aaron Stone, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

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.