Most of the time when reviews of plastic surgeons are read on the Internet, the comments have literally nothing to do with the quality of the plastic surgeon and more to do with the feelings of the patients in regard to how they were treated by the staff, how they felt in the office, or the degree of postoperative discomfort they experienced.. While no doubt all of these issues are important to the overall patient experience, this is really not how you should evaluate your surgeons.
I recently read reviews in regard to a local restaurant here in Birmingham which I have been to many times. It is, in fact, one of my favorite restaurants. I was surprised to see it received a 1 out of 5 star review. Upon reading it I noted that the review had nothing to do with the quality of the food but actually had to do with the fact that it was very crowded that night. This is obviously illogical because the restaurant was very popular and crowded, but the reviewer was angry that he had to wait on a table past his scheduled reservation. I actually have received the exact same review from patients who were angry that they had to wait on me when my waiting room was full. Well, who would you rather go to, a surgeon who is busy or a surgeon who has a hard time finding patients?
I hope that this information will be helpful to those who do wish to write some peer reviews on plastic surgeons because if the reviews are more reliable, it would be a very helpful source of information as to how to go about finding the right surgeon for you. Unfortunately, there are now fraudulent companies which produce positive reviews for plastic surgeons for a fee!, There are fraudulent reviews placed by other plastic surgeons who will masquerade behind anonymity and try to lower the online reputation of their competitors. There are the off-the-mark type of reviews noted earlier by patients who review about nothing in particular that is associated with the quality of the surgeon. So, since we can’t do anything about fraudulent reviews or cheap shots by unethical competitors, let’s look at ourselves as a consumer advocate and find how we can really post an effective online review.
First of all, obviously the main issue at hand (besides safety) is the result. When evaluating your result, be sure that you’re evaluation is not based on what your expectations were, but rather is based on what the surgeon told you would be a reasonable expectation. These two can be very different. When patients walk through my door with skin that is weather beaten and sun damaged from many years of abuse, they expect to walk out with a neck that looks like a supermodel This is, obviously, not reasonable. Patients with extremely droopy, misshapen breasts will have a more difficult time obtaining breasts that look like a centerfold’s; therefore, when evaluating the surgeon, be sure you are evaluating based on what you and your surgeon mutually decide are reasonable expectations.
Second, in terms of the result, you should also talk about whether or not you had any complications. Some complications occur at a certain rate no matter what the situation, even when everything was done correctly. Many times this can be attributed to other factors, such as the patient not following postoperative instructionsetc. So if your wound managed to fall apart, were you disobeying your surgeon and smoking? Were you taking your antibiotics as instructed? Were you doing everything that you could do to help the situation? Also, did you have a type of complication that happens at a fixed statistical rate no matter what? In other words, out of a certain number of tummy tucks, there will be an infection rate of approximately 2% across the board. If you happen to be one of those 2%, while it is extremely disconcerting, it doesn’t necessarily mean you went to a bad surgeon. If, on the other hand, the last 3 of 10 patients had an infection by this surgeon, then that is something worthy to place in the review.
What is even more important than whether or not you have a complication is how the surgeon managed the complication. Was the surgeon compassionate and caring? Did he see you more frequently? Did he resolve the situation? Did he tell you that he would take care of it, or was he distant and unhelpful? How a surgeon responds to a complication is an extremely telling factor in the overall quality of that physician and how he takes care of individuals. This is a significant factor that is worthy of mentioning in the review.
Last of all, other issues such as the personality of the surgeon, the staff, and the office environment, while not unimportant and reasonably can be mentioned, should all be factors that do not weigh as heavily in the star rating that you give a surgeon’s service. As for me, if I was selecting a brain surgeon, I, frankly, would not really care a lot about whether or not he was loved by everyone I would be much more interested in his technical expertise and his concern for me while he was inside my brain. Be that as it may, we know that brain surgery and cosmetic surgery are two different experiences and, therefore, in cosmetic surgery, the overall experience is important.
I hope these suggestions have been helpful when you write your review about your surgeon.