Scheduled For Corrective Repair Of Dog Ears and Surgeon is in the Hospital. Who is Responsible For Paying?

I had my tummy tuck in Feb 2011. In Jan 2012 I was scheduled for corrective repair of my dog ears. My surgeon is in the hospital with no return date in sight.The office is referring patients to another doctor. The new doctor saw me and gave me a quote. He suggested I take it to my current office to see if they would pay it or anything on it. Who is responsible for paying the new doctor ?

Doctor Answers 2

Scheduled For Corrective Repair Of Dog Ears and Surgeon is in the Hospital. Who is Responsible For Paying?

With very careful planning and execution, “dog ear" occurrence can be minimized. Occasionally (despite best efforts), after tummy tuck surgery surgery, patients will have excess skin or adipose tissue at the very end of their incision lines. These may be referred to as “dog ears”. "Dog ears"  refer to a bunching up of tissue at the end of a incision line/scar. Generally they occur  because a surgeon,  in his/her attempt to keep the scar as short as possible,  has a discrepancy between the lengths  of the upper and lower tummy tuck incision lines. They can be avoided by extending the incisions and removing additional skin and subcutaneous tissue. Most patients will much prefer a longer incision line than  the bunching up of tissue and contour elevation, which is visible and palpable with and without clothing.  Often, excision of the dog ear, if it's still a concern roughly one year postoperatively can be corrected easily under local anesthesia. Cost will vary depending on the specific practice, specific policies, and specific patient circumstances. I hope this helps.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,503 reviews

Secondary Surgery is Patients Responsibility in most cases

The majority of Plastic Surgeons only guarantee their best surgical effort and experience to give you the best results they are capable of but they do NOT Guarantee a final result. Guarantees that you will be happy with the results, and that there will not be any problems afterwards is being unrealistic. Although your surgeon might be willing to take care of this problem without charge or a reduced one, he/she is not obligated to do so, much less pay another doctor to do the same. You can ask but the above reply should be expected in most cases. Most surgeons have all their patients sign a consent form indicating that they would be responsible for additional surgical procedures - check your paper work to see if this applies to you.

Plastic Surgery is an inexact science and art form. For example it is not like carpentry where you can measure and make a piece of furniture over and over exactly the same both immediately after you finish and in the future. All surgery has risks which the surgeon may not be able to alter. You as a patient need to understand, and it is the plastic surgeon's responsibility to make you aware of the risks associated with this procedure. This is called "informed consent". Most plastic surgeons (all surgeons for that matter) would agree that that it is important for the patient to understand that what they are paying for is  the best possible effort using all of their skill and experience to achieve your goals.There are no direct or implied guarantee of results as too many variables existbetween patients (such as loss of elasticity, underlying muscle imbalance, sun damage, prior trauma, smoker, anatomic variation, etc, etc).

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 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.