Offensive to Consult with Multiple Plastic Surgeons?

Do you recommend your patients get a consultation with another surgeon? If they do, are you offended? I had that situation recently and the initial surgeon said he wouldn't operate on my since "I didn't trust him enough." What are your thoughts?

Doctor Answers 27

Multiple consultations, absolutely

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Your surgeons response to obtaining a second opinion or consultation is not the norm in the Chicago area and should raise a red flag. Trust betweeen surgeon and patient is something to be earned by honesty and integrity in one's practice, and in placing a patient's interest first.

Most patients do indeed seek more that one opinion which can be very helpful understanding the multiple approaches available. You only need to look at the responses on this site to appreciate the diversity of opinion in cosmetic surgery today. Cosmetic surgery is blend of art and medical science. Patients are all unique individuals with differing needs. Your instinct should tell you to look elsewhere for care. Chicago is a large city with many fine practices to explore. Keep looking.

Best of luck,


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Not at all- My thoughts on the matter

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Of course I would love for every patient I see to want me to be their doctor, but that is not realistic. My feeling on the matter that things work out for the best, even if the patient doesn't come to me.

Anyway, If the patient goes to another surgeon and finds a better fit, it is best for all involved that the patient find the best fit.

Frequently patients tell me that they are seeing several doctors. I accept it, and honored that they come back to me. I think that if a surgeon blows up like you said (given no other information), I think that you should move on to the surgeon you like better, and don't give the hot head another thought.

Big egos

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Surgeons in general have big egos. So, it doesn't take much to bruise them. You are certainly within your right and it is our privilege to provide alternative opinions for you. If your first surgeon's ego is so bruised that he will not operate on you, then it is his loss. Whatever you liked about him, I'm sure you can find it in another surgeon. Good luck!

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Always good to get several opinions

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I always encourage my patients to see multiple plastic surgeons. I do warn them to make sure they are seeing someone certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. If they are not sure who to see, I do not hesitate to give them 2-3 names of surgeons that I feel do quality work in what they are wanting done. After getting multiple opinions a patient can then make a decision as a better informed patient and I think feel more comfortable with the surgeon that they allow to do their surgery.

Gary Hall, MD (retired)
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon

No problem with multiple consultations

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I think it's a good idea to visit more than one plastic surgeon and you will be surprised at the differences. In an interview with Matt Lauer on the NBC Today Show, titled "How to pick a plastic surgeon", I specifically mentioned getting more than one opinion.

Last week, a patient told me that I was the first surgeon she saw, and that she felt she needed to still see two more. However, she followed her comment up by saying, "You've set the bar very high." Indicating that she was pleased with our team and approach. I also ask people to come back at no charge if they have further questions, as sometimes they get confused with what they may hear from another doctor.

Darrick E. Antell, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

At least 2 consultations with board certified plastic surgeons recommended

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If I were you I would be disturbed by the doctor's defensiveness-his insecurity would make me uneasy about his emotional maturity.

I always recommend that people considering plastic surgery should consult two board certified plastic surgeons before deciding to have surgery.

A successful outcome depends on the skill of your surgeon and as importantly, the comfort level and trust you have in the doctor.

I recommend that potential patients ask themselves, "would I feel comfortable calling this doctor at night or on weekends if I am worrried or having a problem?"

Trust your gut feelings about the doctor; Are you treated with respect and kindness? Are your questions treated with patient understanding?

Having surgery is placing your life and well being in the hands of another person, and you must feel you can trust the doctor if you are to have a good experience.

Actually, when patients chose me after seeing other doctors, I feel an even stronger bond and try my best to earn the patients trust and confidence.

An exception of course is the patient who is ambivalent and confused and goes to many different doctors wanting the doctor to make the decision for them--that is not appropriate.

I agree with Dr. Rand that many patients who are referred by a previous patient of mine do not see other doctors. In these situations, the trust gained by the previous patient is transferred to the friend. This is understandable and appropriate.

Multiple Plastic Surgery Consults

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Thanks for your question -

In our office, we encourage patients to talk to as many people as they'd like. It is important that patients have as much information from as many sources as possible.

Typically, if your doctor is afraid of you speaking to other plastic surgeons - that's probably a good signal to keep looking.

Find a board certified plastic surgeon that encourages you to be as informed as possible - including talking to other physicians. I hope this helps.

Multiple consultations

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You should definitely pursue as many consultations as it takes untill you feel comfortable.

Generally 2 or 3 are sufficient. However, every once in a while I encounter a patient who sees 5 or 6, and this does seem excessive.

This situation sounds very unusual and I would steer clear of any surgeon who would give you an ultimatum.

There can be many different options when it comes to achieving your surgical goal. Being an informed patient will ultimately lead to your overall satisfaction with the procedure.

You have nothing to lose by walking away. Perhaps this was the surgeon's indirect way of saying they did not want to operate on you. In this case you are best to seek care elsewhere. Seek a surgeon who is open to your questions and encourages you to seek alternatives.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Always good to get a second opinion

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You need to feel comfortable with your surgeon. Most plastic surgeons will encourage you to get a second or third opinion. Any surgeon who is uncomfortable with that is probably not for you.

Robert M. Jensen, MD
Medford Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

No surgeon should be offended when you get another opinion

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Unless you feel completely comfortable with the first surgeon you see (and you have thoroughly checked him/her out), it's a very good idea to see another. It may turn out to be a little time and money well-spent. Any surgeon who discourages you from doing so is probably not the one you want doing your surgery anyway. It's probably not useful to get more than 2-3 consults altogether unless you really don't care for any of those you see.

Bruce K. Barach, MD
Schenectady Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 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.