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You are Unhappy after Cosmetic Surgery. Now what?

 Overwhelmingly, after cosmetic surgery, patients are very happy. You had surgery, had an uneventful recovery, and can see a huge improvement. Everyone is happy. It’s all good. In fact, patient surveys show most procedures are accompanied by satisfaction rates in the 97 to 99% range.

Sometimes true complications occur, like bleeding or infection. These are rare, less than 1% in most cases, and are usually not the source of patient dissatisfaction. People understand this stuff can happen.

Sometimes in the first 3 to 6 months after surgery as swelling resolves and your tissues heal, it becomes apparent a little more could be done to maximize your results. In these cases a “touch up” procedure can be done to get everyone happy. Again, this isn’t really what I am hitting on.

I am talking about you being totally unhappy. So now what should you do? Patient dissatisfaction almost always stems from a lack of communication, which leads to unmet expectations. So, while you may be tempted to see a bunch of other Plastic Surgeons to see what your doctor “did wrong”, that’s not your best answer. Here are a few reasons. First, the other doctors aren’t thrilled about a mad patient in their office. They may hesitate to take you as a patient. Secondly, they weren’t there for your original surgery, so they are at a pretty big disadvantage. Third, another doctor is not going to be enthusiastic about dealing with someone who they may deem to be litigious. Finally, a new doctor is going to charge a lot more because revision surgery is always more difficult. Your best price will always come via your original doctor. So, though it may be counter-intuitive, your best option is to go back to your original surgeon. Why, because in all likelihood, you are unhappy because your surgeon didn’t fully understand what you told him/her pre-op or you might not have made yourself clear. It usually has nothing to do with technical skill or competence and once he or she knows exactly what you want, they can probably deliver. Or, maybe they can’t achieve what you are looking for, but they can now let you know before you have more surgery.

In most cases though, your issues can be worked out and chances are everyone ends up happy. Hopefully you never end up in this situation but if you do, start by meeting again with your doctor.

Lee Corbett, MD 


All posts on this blog are authored by Breast Augmentation expert Dr. Lee Corbett. Dr. Corbett specializes in cosmetic surgery of the face, breasts, and body.

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