Plastic Surgery Gone Wrong

Plastic Surgery Gone Wrong Research Your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Mishaps and dangers can be shocking, sometimes tragic, for patients who don’t select a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Plastic surgery, no matter how routine or minor it is, is still surgery and must be taken seriously. TV shows like Botched! feature extreme cases that may be misleading and cause people to think “that will never happen to me.” However, just because your plastic surgeon hasn’t had a severe complication doesn’t mean you’re not at risk to experience plastic surgery gone wrong.   


Dr. Wigoda stresses the importance of researching your plastic surgeon before any procedure. If a board-certified plastic surgeon advising you isn’t enough, just look at some of these patients’ horror stories who came to Dr. Wigoda for help after selecting the wrong plastic surgeon the first time around.  

  1. Breast Implants Gone Wrong Testimonial, How Dr. Wigoda Made it Right
  2. Lipo Nightmare: Dr. Wigoda Saves Life with Grafting Procedure
  3. Second Time is the Charm: Patient Gets Corrective Augmentation

Here’s what you need to do before committing to a plastic surgeon and going under the knife:

1. Make sure your plastic surgeon has hospital privileges

If you’re having a plastic surgery procedure at an outpatient clinic, make sure that, like The Aesthetics Institute in Fort Lauderdale, the clinic conducting your surgery has been inspected and accredited by the American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF).

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr Wigoda AAAASF Plastic Surgery Center

Next, confirm where the plastic surgeon has hospital privileges. Even though your plastic surgery won’t occur in the hospital, this is a crucial step because hospitals do background checks! Hospital privileges are granted to a plastic surgeon by a committee of other doctors who check their credentials and training. They are in turn approved by the chairman of the department.  Make sure that the plastic surgeon has privileges for exactly the procedure that you want performed. For example, dermatologists may have privileges to take care of skin problems but not for liposuction or a facelift in a hospital. If your plastic surgeon doesn’t have hospital privileges, that’s a huge red flag and you need to ask why.

2. Ask for “before and after” photos of other patients

You wouldn’t buy a car before test driving it, would you? While you can’t necessarily test drive your plastic surgeon or the results, other patients’ “before and after” photos are the closest thing to it! You need to evaluate the work that has been performed to feel confident this plastic surgeon will help you reach your post-op goals. Board-certified plastic surgeons are trained to take “before and after” photographs of all surgical procedures and these should be available for patients to review during consultations. It’s understandable if your plastic surgeon cannot readily show you a photo of every one of their patients as some may opt out; however, some references showcasing the procedure in which you’re interested should be available so that you can be confident in your decision. Do not agree to a procedure with a plastic surgeon whose results make you hesitant or if you don’t feel you’ve been fully briefed and educated on all aspects of the proposed procedure.  

3. Talk to former and current patients

Again, you cannot test drive a plastic surgeon, but the next best thing is talking to someone who has already undergone the procedure you’re seeking! When applying to a new job, most people have several references and plastic surgeons are no different. If you ask for them, your plastic surgeon must be able to connect you with prior patients who can vouch, not just for their surgeon, but also for their results. Talk to former patients and ask about your surgeon’s bedside manner, availability, professionalism and anything else that will help ease your mind. Like in an interview, a person can ooze confidence and make you feel like they’re the right choice; however, if their references don’t check out, you shouldn’t check in.

Research Tip for Plastic Surgery: Check out the plastic surgeon’s reviews on Yelp or Facebook!

4. Make sure your doctor is aware of your medical history

If your plastic surgeon doesn’t ask about your medical history after the initial consultation, you should be concerned. There are risks to surgery and your plastic surgeon should not play them down in any way. Your surgeon needs to be aware of any current or past medical problems, drugs or supplements you’re taking, etc. The plastic surgeon must know about your lifestyle and activities in order to give accurate predictions of your surgery and recovery. By asking for a detailed medical history, your plastic surgeon conveys their concern first and foremost about your safety.

Depending on your age and health, a full preoperative evaluation including past medical history is very important.  They should request lab work for blood counts, coagulation profiles, and basic chemistry profiles. Additional tests may include chest x-rays and EKGs, which are commonly performed on people over 40.  

5. Spot check! Is the office clean?

At some point during your initial visit, your plastic surgeon should give you a tour of the office so you have a chance to visualize where your procedure will occur. If you’re not provided one, ask! Scope out the surgery center and make sure that it’s up to your standards and you’re comfortable. Before you go under the knife, you need to make sure the office is clean, professional, and stocked with up-to-date equipment. If something looks off or inappropriate, be wary of it. The clinic where your surgery takes place should be as sterile as a hospital to reduce the risk of complications. The liposuction nightmare video referenced above is about a woman who lost most of her skin, and almost her life, to a flesh-eating bacteria that she was infected with during a routine liposuction procedure. Take a tour on your second consultation too. If something looked off on your first visit and wasn’t resolved by the second, take your business elsewhere.

Remember, plastic surgery is your decision and you shouldn’t settle for just any plastic surgeon. If you have any questions or want to book a free consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is an expert with zero lawsuits, zero disciplinary actions, zero major complications, zero patient deaths and thousands of happy patients, contact Dr. Paul Wigoda today!  

Image Source: 123rf/HONGQI ZHANG