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Plastic Surgery Problem Patients

Should Plastic Surgeons Turn Patients Away?

An article in yesterday's New York Times brought up the issue of patient selection for cosmetic surgeons. Apparently, "problem patients" come up a lot. Surgeons turn away candidates because they have had too many procedures or think they are seeking surgery for the wrong reasons (like to find a husband or keep a job). According to the article,

Facial plastic surgeons estimate that roughly 10 to 15 percent of the potential patients in consultations harbor outright hostility toward past surgeons or have unrealistic expectations about how radically surgery can transform the chin they hate.

But what about the fact that beauty ideals vary over time and individual opinion, as New York Magazine's article on "The New Face" detailed last month? Should it be up to the person paying for surgery to decide what they want and whether it's for a good reason?

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Join The Conversation
missamygirl missamygirl 8 years
I definately agree that surgeons should be able to turn people away, just as any other doctor would refuse to operate if there was not a problem. I work for a plastic surgeon and we have definately seen some women who couldn't possibly be pulled or lifted any more than they already are, especially in our Beverly Hills & Newport Beach offices. Any surgeon would have to be crazy to operate on people like this and anyone who does obviously is not a good doctor.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
I definitely think that they should have a right to refuse to do surgery on a patient. They can always find a doctor who will do it but the doctor doesn't have to do it themselves.
lizlee89 lizlee89 8 years
this is so stupid - plastic surgeons aren't in the business of trying to protect people - they're banking on people's insecurities and our society's stupid warped sense of beauty...
kastarte2 kastarte2 8 years
Of course doctors should be able to turn people away. If the patient asks for something suspect, the surgeon's name is on it. Even if the patient is happy with the results, the doctor still has his reputation to consider.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Yes, no doctor should ever work on the "cat" lady (Jocelyn Wildenstein) again. I have no idea what the h*ll she did to herself. She was beautiful to begin with and she snapped. Big time.
Manoukia Manoukia 8 years
If only more surgeons would turn patients away. Can Joan Rivers get any worse? I could believe my eyes when I saw she had something done again. Or Priscilla Presley, or Melanie Griffith?
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Of course they should be able to turn patients away. It's their practice, and it's not as if they're doing lifesaving surgery where being turned away might mean illness or death.
lindac lindac 8 years
I think the doctor has an OBLIGATION to the patient to do what's best for them physically and psychologically. There are cases of body dysmorphia where no amount of plastic surgery will ever be enough to satisfy a patient. Some people (like the woman mentioned above with the breast issue - hell they already weigh 20 lbs) need psychological help and any surgeon who would continue to operate on her is unethical.
Jabbadoo Jabbadoo 8 years
Hey sometimes the surgeon needs to turn him/herself away! I've seen some plastic surgeons & dermatologists on TV and I've thought.. "Oooh step away from the botox and cheek implants.. you are not what I want to see when I go to a Dr for a consultation!"
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 8 years
options=opinions (it's late, i'm tired.)
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 8 years
Some people almost die from plastic surgery though. Some crappy doctors don't know what they're doing (probably not the case here..) and some doctors know better than to fk up. (Don't get me wrong.. I'm totally going to get breast augmentation when the time is right.. I'd love a tummy tuck.. some laser work on two veins behind my right knee.. all about my buying my mother an eye and face lift.. and me when the time eventually comes for that. it's our money.. but most consultations I've seen where I'm at free [and then surgery within a specific monthly time frame] and I'm more than willing to get one to three options.)
shopgirl123 shopgirl123 8 years
I'm shocked at the outcome of this poll! personally i think in the end, its your body, and your the one whos stuck with it till the end of time, and you should be able to decide for yourself how you want to treat that body! The surgens job is to take your money and give you the results! its none of their business what its for... its not like it can harm anyone!
jadeangel25 jadeangel25 8 years
Doctors have the right to deny treatment to patients they aren't comfotable treating. There should never be anything mandatory imposed on the doctor. I understand the doctors' perspectives here.
vivaciousv1114 vivaciousv1114 8 years
If a doctor is truly responsible, they should definitely turn patients away if they believe the procedure would do more harm than good. I've also heard that doctors can refer patients to psychologists to see the underlying reason for the surgeries before doing any work on them. Which I think is a really good idea, especially for people who keep going back to get something done and are never satisfied.
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
I think a surgeon should definitely be able to turn away a patient! Clearly, he's not going to turn away people just 'cause, because they need to make money too. So if the surgeon is turning someone away, it's probably in that person's best interest. Some people just aren't ready for it, and most surgeons have worked with enough patients to tell who is and who isn't.
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 8 years
I would want someone to turn me away if they thought I was doing something wacky to my body (rather than just trying to milk me for money).
chippyshero2066 chippyshero2066 8 years
Yes they should have the right to turn patients away, especially if the patient has severe health problems that might effect the surgical process.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
Of course, the doctor has the right to turn a patient away. As mentioned, the procedure may cause more harm than good. Also, if the patient is "hostile" towards the doctor, the doctor has the right to refuse working with that patient (and vice-versa). Hostility is unnnecesary, counter-productive, and inappropriate in a doctor-patient relationship. JMHO.
Ellenora Ellenora 8 years
I think they should turn them away, especially those addicted to plastic surgery. Plastic surgery isn't going to fix a low self-esteem either. So yes, I do believe that a surgeon has the right to say "no" to a patient.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 8 years
Of course they should turn people away. Especially if they can tell this person isn't taking it as seriously as they should or doing it for the wrong reasons. Also in cases with people who are addicted to surgery; there should be a limit and doctors should not perform work on them.
bonchicbongenre bonchicbongenre 8 years
Absolutely. One of the main principles of the physician's oath is "do not harm." If a doctor believes a cosmetic procedure would do more harm than good, than they should absolutely turn someone away.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 8 years
The plastic surgeon does know better and has the responsibility to not give a patient a potentially unsafe and completely unnecessary surgery. It's not about hostility. Some patients don't see the point when the plastic surgery needs to stop. I would mention examples, but I don't need to since I'm sure people could think of some.
myystque myystque 8 years
I'm for personal freedom--if a person hates their face and wants it changed, who's the doctor to say they know better? Doctors aren't omniscient. But, it is a doctor's right to turn someone away because they don't want that person to be "hostile" toward them in the future.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 8 years
Like it's already been said, surgery shouldn't be done when it isn't going to do the person any good. What about the lady who's trying to get even bigger implants when she already has very large ones. I don't think what she wants would be safe at all and imagine how much her skin is being stretched out. And there are people who obsess over every little thing and constantly find more they think needs to be fixed. For some it just goes and on. It's not that they get a couple of surgeries and that's it.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
Of course they should turn patients away. A doctors first duty is to protect the patient, and it the surgery that is being done could cause more damage than good it's the doctors duty to say no. I'm surprised some people " cat lady" etc have been able to get so much work done when in many cases it's clear that people have some other medical issues other than their appearance
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