What to Do when a Surgeon Has Good Reviews and Bad Reviews?

I would like to know how I would decide to use a surgeon to perform my breast augmentation when I see that the surgeon has extremely good reviews but then I'll see a bunch of bad reviews as well. How do I know to trust the surgeon with my breasts? I understand people can get online and post anything but I don't want to use a surgeon that's really friendly in the consultation just because he wants my money but then messes up my breasts and pretends I don't exist and refuses to fix them!

Doctor Answers 6

How To Use Online Reviews in Researching a Plastic Surgeon

Comments can tell you a lot more than "ratings" or "stars"

Online reviews are a fact of life today, and they can be helpful in learning about a surgeon. I'd recommend skimming through reviews for comments that give insights into how a surgeon might be a fit for you. Look for themes about their helpfulness durning consultation, the overall experience, their bedside manner, etc.


Bad reviews

No surgeon wants to see negative or bad reviews of themselves, and certainly if there are a large number of bad reviews, it could be cause for concern. Recognize also that in some circumstances fake reviews (both positive and negative) could be posted. I recommend reading reviews for what seem to be actual experiences that are consistent themes across many reviews (and even different review websites) as your best guide.


Going beyond reviews

While reviews can be helpful, they are far from perfect. I recommend emailing and calling a surgeon's office and see what impressions you get from talking with the staff. Ask questions. And ultimately book a consultation and visit with a surgeon in person.


Hope this helps

Nick Slenkovich MD, FACS




Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

How to Choose a Good Plastic Surgeon- Do Your Homework

1. Check credentials...Is thesurgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?

2. Check memberships ....American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons

3.  How many surgeries of this type has your surgeon performed?

5. Does he/she have hospital privieges to perform THIS surgery?

6. Check for any sanctions or loss of privileges.

7. Ask to see pictures of this doctor's work.

8. Check reviews. An occasional bad review shows that the reviews are real.  No one can please all of the people all of the time.  A pattern of bad reviews is a bad sign.


Mary Lee Peters, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Criteria to choose a surgeon...

When choosing your plastic surgeon, I believe that you should:

1. Review their credentials - is he/she board certified, do the proposed procedure regularly and have any adverse actions by the medical board?

2. In the consultation, make sure you see the physician. Is he/she thorough and take a history and perform an exam? Are various options discussed?

3. Do you know patients that have been operated on by that surgeon? Word of mouth is the best reference.

4. How does the office feel? Do you feel comfortable with the staff and doctor?

5. Finally, look at online reviews. Use them as a piece of the puzzle, not the definitive decision maker!

Hope this helps. Good Luck!



Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Choosing a surgeon

Very good question, thank you.

In my practice, most patients are referred by other patients.  I think this is the best source of referrals.  I would use the following to help choose a plastic surgeon.

Visit web sites for several plastic surgeons in your area.  There you will be able to check credentials of the surgeon, board certification and society memberships.  Check also the credentials of the anesthesia provider and the accreditation status of the facility where you will having your procedure.

While on the web site look at before and after pictures to make sure there is good representation of the procedure you are interested in having. Make sure the results are appealing to you.

Call for and have a consultation and see if you get a good feeling from the staff beginning with the first phone call.  Make sure you are comfortable with the doctor as well. I sincerely believe there are not a lot of board certified plastic surgeons who will be really friendly during the consult because he wants your money then will mess up your breasts and pretend you don't exist.  That may happen on TV but I don't know of any plastic surgeons in part part of the country who behave that way.  Again, a good issue to clear up with a word of mouth referral.

Lastly, look at reviews.  The best plastic surgeon will be unable to please everyone and nearly all plastic surgeons will have some bad reviews.  Be wary of the plastic surgeon with no bad reviews. It is general accepted that disgruntled patient may be more likely to post a bad review than a happy patient is to post a good review so weigh the information from the Internet appropriately.

Best of luck 

Ralph R. Garramone, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Online reviews

Online reviews must always be taken with a grain of salt.  The good ones are often solicited or faked.  An occaisional bad review is not unusual.  Every surgeon has the an unhappy patient now and then, and these patients can be especially vocal in venting their anger online.  What would concern me is if there is a surgeon who either has a lot of complaints, or complaints that are very specific or seem to be a recurring theme among the different patients.  

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

How to choose a surgeon for breast augmentation

I fully agree with the other surgeons answering this question concerning credentials, experience, outcomes and other patient referrals.  All other things being equal, I would also recommend a surgeon with whom you can easily communicate, as well as tell you how he or she would handle any problems that may occur in the early or late post-op. periods.

Michael Leff, MD (retired)
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 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.