Who Pays for Plastic Surgery Mistakes?

If a surgeon admittingly makes a mistake, do they usually do repairs at no charge? Do they also cover the other fees such as anesthesia?

Doctor Answers 2

Payments after complications

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Your question is a common concern. If a surgeon makes a "mistake", then my recommendation is that you should sit down with the surgeon and discuss the issue. One of the most important parts of deciding on your surgeon is the rapport you have with the surgeon you choose. On the other hand, if the issue is that your expectation has not been met or that you were unfortunate to have had a known complication then the answer to your question may be a bit more uncertain. Its always best to speak with your surgeon first. More often than not, the issue can be resolved in a professional manner.

Raj Ambay, MD
Plastic Surgeon
Tampa, FL 


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Generally there are several issues with this situation that must be managed on an individual basis. Complications are always a complex matter. Rarely does a surgeon intentionally makes a mistake. Errors in judgement do occur and sometimes these are unavoidable. In many instances, there are issues with discussing the problems which have occured and apologizing for those problems. In fact, many states have considered passing a law that allows physicians to say they are sorry. In many instances, surgeons may waive their fees but typcially do not cover supplies or anesthesia. Some insurance carriers and attorneys will advise their physicians to charge or have patients sign a waiver. There are no hard and fast rules. However, the vast majority of surgeons seek to obtain successful outcomes. It is best to maintain an open discussion with your surgeon who will work with you to achieve your goals.

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