Doctor won't apply my $1,000 deposit for a cancelled blepharoplasty appointment, towards a less expensive procedure.

A well renowned plastic surgeon in Toronto refuses to apply my $1,000 deposit for a cancelled blepharoplasty appointment towards a less expensive procedure. I cancelled the appointment within 30 minutes of making it.

His office told me that my deposit could only be put towards another surgical procedure. Then when I went in to see the doctor, he told me that they will put it towards a $3,000 Ultherapy treatment, which is non-surgical, but they refuse to put it towards an $1,100 Clearlift treatment. Is holding your money hostage common practice?

Doctor Answers 7

Cancellation of surgery

Thank you for sharing your question. Every doctor's office has a cancellation policy. You should be informed of the policy prior to putting down a deposit. The deposit is to protect the doctor from last minute cancellations since the previously blocked time might not be filled. Also, doctors often have to arrange staff and an Anesthisiologist for surgery. Most doctors will understand extreme circumstances and try to work with patients.  Good luck,

Canceled appointment for a blepharoplasty procedure

When canceling a surgical procedure, especially at the last minute, the operating room and anesthesiologist and the nursing personnel  have all been scheduled weeks in advance for that day for  that patient.  In addition, the surgeon's time has been blocked out of the clinic to make sure they are available for the surgery itself in the operating room.  Best to check with your operative surgeon to work something out since most likely want to keep you as a patient

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 126 reviews


Each office has a different policy and you should read through the office financial policy to see what applies.  

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

$1000 deposit

This is a business practice question, so I would review the policies of your agreement. In general, if a patient cancels a procedure within the proper time frame, then the funds can be applied to different procedures. This should have been thoroughly explained at your preop. 

Arnold Almonte, DO
Roseville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Deposit from canceled surgery

it costs hundreds of dollars per hour to run a plastic surgery office. If a patient reserves a doctors time but doesn't use it, it costs the office and the doctor greatly. To accuse the doctor of holding your deposit hostage sounds a bit harsh when you in essence wasted his time. Perhaps you should be grateful that he is offering to apply it to anything at all after you cost him the opportunity to earn a living during the time he reserved for you.

Daniel Lensink, MD
Redding Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Plastic Surgeon won't apply my $1,000 deposit for a cancelled blepharoplasty appointment, towards a less expensive procedure.

Every office has different policies regarding deposits and what they can or cannot be applied to. It's unfortunate that this has happened but it does sound like your surgeon is trying to meet you half way in allowing the ultherapy when the office policy is to apply it only to surgical procedures. Your surgeon may have had to forfeit the $1000 deposit to the facility or the anaesthesiologist if the cancellation was on short notice and therefor might not even have that money in their account to apply to your treatment. Best of luck! 

Mathew A. Plant, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Cancellation fees

I would prefer to maintain a collaborative relationship with a patient and apply the fee to another procedure, with that second offer not being subject to repeat cancellation, but every surgeon has his own protocol.  When an anesthesiologist has been booked and just be paid to compensate for a last minute cancellation, that is when at least part of the deposit becomes non-refundable as I must fulfill my agreement with him.

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.