I’ve been hearing from some people all across the States about what to do if they’re not happy with the results of their surgery. I can even remember after my breast augmentation thinking, “Holy Crap! They’re HUGE!” Of course the swelling subsided and now I couldn’t be happier. But for those of you still not happy with your results, I offer 5 tips for your consideration:

Tip 1: Don’t get Angry

The first thing not to do is sulk, write contentious e-mail, or be angry. I know this is easier said than done. But even in the most expert of hands, plastic surgery does not always go perfectly. As surgeons say, the only surgeon who has no complications is the surgeon who never operates!

And don’t confuse an unexpected complication with an imperfect surgical result. Although the occurrence is unlikely, any surgery is open to possible infections, scarring, or poor healing. There’s no reason to be angry with the surgeon because unexpected complications are not the fault of your surgeon.

Tip 2: Ask for Some Time with your Surgeon

Nationwide, about 15 percent of plastic surgeries require some form of touch-up, additional work, or even a revision. If you have selected a board certified plastic surgeon, he or she has probably seen your case before and knows exactly what to do.

Also, a competent surgeon will stick with the problem until it’s rectified. Not only did he or she take an oath to do so, your surgery represents a walking advertisement, so it’s in the doctor’s best interests for you to be satisfied.

Tip 3: Look at Your Before Pictures Again

Due to typical swelling and bruising and a healing process that can take weeks, patients sometimes forget what they looked like before surgery. So take another look at your before photos and compare them with your present state. In the case of the average liposuction, you should be willing to wait three or four months to let the procedure settle before you consider a revision.

A rhinoplasty can take up to a year to fully heal. After all, the third party in your surgery is Mother Nature. And she just might take her time letting your body heal for your surgical enhancement to shine through. So sometimes, a little more time for healing will solve the complaint, disappointment, or any real or perceived unsatisfactory results.

Tip 4: Consider Minor Touch-Ups

Being dissatisfied with your surgery is not the end of the world. Quite often, a minor touch-up or a series of small procedures may correct the problem quite well. In a breast augmentation, for instance, it is not a major undertaking to inject a little more volume into one breast implant if the patient’s bust line does not look quite symmetrical.

The most important thing is that patient and doctor meet, be totally honest with each other about what can — and can’t — be done and be mutually respectful. In the case of a rhinoplasty, for instance, some minor divots in the nose can be filled in the surgeon’s office with Juvederm or Restylane. The business details of the touch-up — that is, who pays for what — should be found in your pre-surgical agreement.

Tip 5: Consider a Second, or even a Third, Opinion

Caring physicians always have the patient’s best interests at heart. So if you and your doctor can’t agree on exactly what should be done next, ask for a second opinion from a highly-qualified physician who specializes in the same procedure. For instance, suppose a rhinoplasty patient is not happy and wants a smaller nose. However, the surgeon says he can’t really make the nose any smaller — and still be safe. However, the patient is still insistent. That would be the perfect time for some fresh thinking in the form of a second opinion. Some plastic surgeons will even suggest that at the beginning of the discussion.

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