Honesty is the Best Policy

I can say without a doubt that I have never knowingly lied to a patient. I try to be as straightforward as possible from the moment of the consult through the last postoperative visit. If a patient is disappointed or a complication occurs, I try to explain it to them in as clear and open terms as possible. Even if a patient has had surgery elsewhere, I let them know my opinion. This should always be the case with a Plastic Surgeon.

Some patients state that they have been to other offices, and the doctor will “put it through their insurance.” I let them know that insurance does not pay for cosmetic surgery, and saying you are doing a hernia repair and not mentioning the tummy tuck is insurance fraud. The same goes for bogus deviated septum claims and breast biopsies that are really mastopexys. This doctor is not a nice guy doing you a favor, he is trying to make money and will lie to do it. If he lies to the insurance company, what makes you think he won’t lie to you?

You as well have a responsibility to your Plastic Surgeon. You must be honest, and let him know your complete medical history so he can keep you safe. Don’t hide things because you are afraid they won’t do your surgery, be honest and protect yourself. If you do not follow the instructions and something happens, admit it. Knowing the reason for a complication sometimes changes what we do to treat it.

I am never upset at a patient for doing something stupid, as long as they are honest about it. We have the same goal, to heal well and be happy. It is not about blame, it is about safety and working together. Helping each other is always best.


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