The Truth Behind Negative Plastic Surgeon Reviews

All surgeons can expect to have some “negative reviews”.  When one investigates these reviews, they are not generally triggered by a real complication such as serious excessive blood loss or a post-operative infection.

The reviews are usually written because the surgeon has failed to meet the patient’s expectations.

Surgeons go to a great deal of trouble to ensure that their patient understands the likely result of their surgery.  In my practice I use computerised imaging and show lots of before and after photographs. I always discuss any limitations with the patient.

Unfortunately, however, studies have shown that up to 10% of patients seeking plastic surgery have a condition known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder. This can be very difficult to diagnose at the consultation and yet it is known that these patients will never be content with the outcome of their surgery. They are very quick to blame the surgeon for not achieving the perfection that they desired – even though the likelihood of this occurring this was pointed out to them at their pre-operative consultation.

Writing a negative review is an attempt to punish their surgeon. A more appropriate response would be to see the surgeon for a follow-up appointment to see if anything further can be done. Sometimes all that is required is to allow sufficient time for swelling to settle. The result a year following surgery is always far better than the result after only a few months. Occasionally a secondary intervention may be appropriate.  This may simply be the use of some collagen or fat to improve symmetry. Should an additional surgical procedure be required (such as revision of a scar) this can often be done under local anaesthetic with minimal inconvenience.

A negative review often says more about the patient than about the surgeon!