Can Someone else Perform Your Surgery Other Than the Doctor You Paid For?

I was told that sometimes Certified Plastic Surgeons allow students or trainee to perform the surgery. Is this true and if so isn't the patient supposed to ok it. I know in teaching hospitals this does happen but the patients knows. Can it also happen in private practice without the patients concent? If yes, How can I protect myself from that? Also, If the papers you sign the morning of surgery says other personel may be used during your surgery what does that mean. Haven't had sugery yet.

Doctor Answers 8

Cosmetic surgery in an accredited private surgical suite is done by your surgeon only.

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This is a very real and common concern. In the private setting, there are no trainees for you to worry about. And in general, cosmetic surgery is so delicate, and the plastic surgeon is so anxious for a good result, that the surgery is not delegated to someone else.  But be very open about your concerns.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Discuss your fears with your surgeon

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I always get my consents and have a discussion with the patient 2 weeks pre op. If my patients have fears or questions regarding who is doing the surgery, it is cleared up well in advance of the surgery. I don't like last minute consents. In my AAAASF approved surgery center, there is no chance of anyone other than me doing the surgery.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Can Trainees perform cosmetic surgery?

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If you have a procedure in a teaching hospital, the residents do participate in the surgery. I perform all my cosmetic procedures either in my own accredited OR or in ambulatory surgery centers which do not have surgical residents---hence, my patients are guaranteed that I will perform the entire operation myself. The consent to other personnel typically refers to the involvement of the scrub nurse, surgical tech, etc.

Trainees & Plastic Surgery

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Tell your plastic surgeon you want them and ONLY them to operate on you.  That's the best way to guarantee that no trainee will operate on you.  If you don't want any trainees in the room during your operation, then specify this too.  If you're paying for elective surgery, you have the right to make these demands.


Warmest Regards,

Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)

Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Only the doctor you specify should perform your abdominplasty (tummy tuck), as well as any other operation.

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Very simply, since you are paying for an elective procedure, directly specify to your surgeon that you want only he or she to perform the operation.

Who Will Do My Surgery?

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The best way for you to achieve peace of mind is to select your plastic surgeon carefully and ask him/her directly.  You should feel comfortable asking any question that will help you achieve peace of mind and/or decrease anxiety.

 Best wishes.

Can Someone else Perform Your Surgery

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Your best protection begins by asking your surgeon if there will be trainees in the operating room and if so what there role will be. Very few surgeons in private practice have surgical trainees working with them. 

It should never happen without the patient's consent, and it seems highly unlikely that it would. Do read your consent carefully, and ask questions about anything you don't understand.  If you won't be getting the consent form until the day of surgery ask for a copy in advance so that you can read over it at your leisure. 

Thanks for your question, and best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Who is doing your surgery?

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The sentiments expressed are quite true and you should discuss your concerns with your doctor.  You are also allowed to line out any statements you do not like on your consent, including the part about having observers or residents in the room.  Private practice doctors have their reputations to protect and unless they have an employee trained for certain procedures, they do not delegate the surgery to others.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 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.