How Can I Trust Bad Reviews from Patients of a Top Certified Rhinoplasty Surgeon?

I been looking for a facial surgeon with an extensive experience on the field and good credentials to get a rhinoplasty. I finally found one and i thought he would be the one, but all the reviews from his actual patients say they are very unhappy with the results and regret having the surgery done by him and they even say he ruined their lives because he would not face his mistake! How can i really know this will not turn out to be a nightmare if i trust in him?

Doctor Answers 13

Online Reviews

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There is virtually no oversight when it comes to online reviews. Competitors are free to write anomomous patient reviews. And generally, unhappy patients are more vocal than than satisfied ones. I recommend examining the surgeon's pre-op and post-op photos. I also recommend consulting with multiple plastic surgeons prior to deciding who best addresses your needs.

Good luck

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Rhinoplasty surgeon and online reviews

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It is important to look for a qualified rhinoplasty surgeon who has performed thousands of successful rhinoplasty surgeries.  Understandably, this is a difficult process.  Look for someone who is board certified in otolaryngology and in facial plastic surgery.  The on-line posted reviews of a surgeon are rather indicative of the success of his patients.  Keep I mind that even the best surgeons in the world will always have 1 or 2 negative reviews in addition to the many positive reviews that are out there.  However, if the surgeon has a vast amount of unhappy patients it is probably best to look elsewhere.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Speak with the physician yourself

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As a plastic surgeon with 30 years experience, I would like to say that every patient had a good result and was happy, but unfortunately this is not always the case. I can say that 90% of my patients had good results and were happy, but the other 10% are the ones that we are most concerned about. Those are the ones that the surgeon has to look at closely to see if it's an error in technique, a bad experience in the office, or bad choice by the surgeon in operating on the patient. Every procedure has complications and not everyone has the results they are looking for. Other patients are not ever going to be happy. Their goals may not be realistic or they may not be happy with someone in the office ,other than the physician. I've had patients have good results and they are happy, and 20 of their friends think they look great, but one friend may tell them they look terrible and all the sudden their impression of the physician and the results changes.

If some of the patients write negative reviews, but there are also many positive reviews, and you're comfortable with the physician, ask him if you could speak with some of his former patients and look at before and after photos. You might want to speak with a few surgeons in order to make a better decision

Joseph M. Perlman, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Rhinoplasty surgeon

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In plastic surgery there will always be dissatisfied patients  and in reading a doctors reviews, a few unhappy patients out of many reviews is not unusual, even among the finest surgeons.  When you find multiple bad reviews, however,  this should raise a red flag and is worth paying attention to.  You should note what their specific complaints are about and ultimately use your own best judgement in making your decision.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Online reviews

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I would not totally rely on online reviews.  A lot of the surgeons that have bad reviews are actually excellent surgeons.  Rhinoplasty surgeons are held to a high standard; they sometimes receive bad reviews because they may be seeing revision rhinoplasty patients that are not reasonable in their expectations and because they may have a problem that is not easily corrected due to scar tissue or other factors.   The best way to evaluate your doctor is by looking at results and speaking to patients that he has operated on.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon .

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Can bad reviews be trusted?

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Tough question. I would have to agree with my colleagues as to the fact that most unsatisfied patients usually have unrealistic expectations to start. What concerns me, however, is that you state "all his reviews" are negative. If this is true, then I can understand your reservations. I always advise my patients to 'do their homework' and research the best possible option for THEM. Go see him/her, look at his/her work and maybe ask to speak to some of his/her patients to get a clearer picture of the truth. Best to be well informed now than regret later.  Best wishes, Dr. H

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Can You Trust a Surgeon with Bad Online Reviews

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Online reviews are not considered credible as a tool to evaluate physicians and surgeons. Furthermore, rhinoplasty results are hard to rate since many patients seen for rhinoplasty have unrealistic expectations and a high percentage have signs of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (they are unlikley to be pleased). Also, expert rhinoplasty surgeons tend to get the more difficult and revision cases and therefor may end up with less satisfied patients. You may want to get a few opinions to feel more comfortable.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

How to judge rhinoplasty surgeon

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In complete agreement with other responders, while the veracity of online reviews cannot be assessed, before and after photos of actual rhinoplasty results the surgeon has achieved for others are indisputable truth (provided there is no Photoshop alteration).  

Judge from your own opinion of the surgeon's results, not anonymously posted online comments.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Trusting surgeon with bad reviews

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Online reviews, especially negative ones, can be difficult to assess. Generally unhappy patients are more vocal than happy ones and are more likely to write a review online. Also, it can be hard to verify who actually wrote the review.

If you haven't met with the surgeon yet you could get a better sense of him or her by setting up a consultation. You could ask about the reviews that you've read as well.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Rhinoplasty Surgeon

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If you think the surgeon is right for you, make an appointment to meet with him/her to see if it feels right.  You need to discuss the concerns for your nose with the surgeon in person for a full evaluation and consultation.  While positive reviews may give you peace of mind, negative reviews may not necessarily be true.

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 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.