Sick note/returning to work advice after surgery?

I had labiaplasty for medical reasons but had to pay for it privately. I do not want my work knowing exactly what I had - am I within my rights to not explain further than 'gynaecological surgery'? My surgeon is giving me a note with only that on it. The thought of going back and being 'probed' with questions is stressing me out while i'm supposed to be recovering. Please help! Thank you.

Doctor Answers 8

Fear of being 'probed' about labiaplasty

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You have a right to privacy, and those you work with should know that. As a side note, however, patients have told me if they say, "I had female surgery," that tends to shut people up. But you don't have to and have a legal right to not be interrogated.

If you were interested in additional information on labiaplasty, please click on the link below.

All the best.

Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Note for surgery?

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The procedure you had is your business and not your employer, have the doctor write a generic note stating you need to be off work for said amount of time due to having a medical procedure. 

Nothing more should be required and the UK wouldn't be any different from the US in this matter. 

Kurian Thott, MD
Fredericksburg OB/GYN

Labiaplasty medical note

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Your health care is your own business. Employers are not privy to what specific procedure you had and may only want to know that you are able to return to work and perform without restrictions. A note with "surgery" alone should suffice leaving it to you to inform them of gynecological types of surgery. But beyond that you should not be asked for specifics. Good luck and maintain your privacy

Nikesh K. Patel, MD
Freehold Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Don't answer personal questions

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Hello Miss UK,
There's absolutely no reason why you should explain what procedure you had to anybody. If you haven't shared your issues regarding large labia then no one is even going to come close to guessing that you had a Labiaplasty. Most people are unaware of this as even an option. Even if you had an appendectomy you have every right to say that you had "a surgery" and not divulge any details, period.
Congratulations and best of luck with your healing.

Oscar A. Aguirre, MD
Denver Urogynecologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Sick note/returning to work advice after surgery?

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Thank you for your excellent question and congratulations on your surgery!  Your employer does not, and should not, know the details of your procedure as you have privacy laws to protect you.  For my patients I only indicate a necessary treatment or surgery.  Hope this helps. 

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Tell them to mind their business

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Your coworkers could care less about the details of your gynecological surgery. In my practice, I don't even mention surgery simply stating that you are under my care and may return to work on a specific date. Ask for a similar note and don't stress over it. Do you really care about the details of your co-workers' medical issues?


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Hello K_19,

I am not sure of the handling of this issue in the UK but here is California (US) I only disclose that which the patient requests. I tell the usual employer that the patiemnt had surgery and leave it at that.

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon


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ALL YOU NEED TO TELL THEM IS THAT YOU WERE OUT SICK. Your doctor can re-write a note saying that you were on medical leave and under his or her care. That's all that needs to be said. If they ask you any further questions you are not obligated to answer.

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.