Solution to problems caused after plastic surgery

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Solution to problems, accidents, complications, and aftereffect caused after plastic surgery | Knowledge on plastic surgery

There are times when the patients are not happy with what results in after the plastic surgery.

There are several reasons to this. The patient might not have had enough information on the surgery, too much advertising / promotion has blind-sided the patient, maybe the clinic or the surgeon was not skilled enough. Also, I think that there was not enough communication between the patient and the surgeon that could have led to the outcome.

In the neighboring country of China, there are cases where the patients physically abuse the doctors because of the negative outcome. Is there no solution to the dissatisfaction caused on the patients? I would like to share about this today.

First, I would like to look into a situation that is normal.

1. At first, the patient notices a problem in her body and wants it to be taken of. She starts to search for hospitals/clinics that can provide a treatment for her problem.

2. The patient visits the appropriate institute, meets the doctor and talks about related topics. She also gets information on the problem that she has and aftereffects of the plastic surgery. Then we would contemplate with all these information and decide on the surgery.

3. The patient shares everything that she feels such as physical problem, inconvenience caused after the surgery to the doctor. If these problems are minor, the doctor will monitor the situation. If the problems are severe, recorrection could be considered.

4. Long term monitoring is necessary after the surgery. The monitoring on the patient status, examination of x-rays, photos are conducted for minimum of 1 year. The patient and the doctor communicate on the changes that took places and other problems that arose after the surgery.

There is a reasons why I mentioned the term “normal case” above

In reality, the activities mentioned above are not followed. There are many, many cases where something abnormal happens. Let’s talk about these.

1. Cosmetic surgery could be perceived in both medical and business aspect. There is much capital involved with it. What I mean to say it that...

Medical actions are undertaken in order to protect the health of our people and this is why the government has great interest in it. There is a National Health Insurance, where all the Korean people are registered into. Also, this National Health Insurance is applicable to all the hospitals / clinics at our country. But cosmetic surgery cannot be covered by this insurance. It is not related with the health of our people.

Then, is cosmetic surgery absolutely not related to medical treatment? (Is it same as going to a parlor and getting your hair dyed?) We cannot say that it is because we use a knife for cosmetic surgery.

The government needs to intervene so that the cosmetic surgery is not done only for business purposes. It needs to check if unqualified doctor is putting a knife onto the body, if inexperienced doctors spending much money are advertising heavily, if there are many incidences of complications or not. Someone needs to monitor and overlook these activities.

Surprisingly, there is no entity that does this in Korea. The patients are exposed to these much invested advertising by the hospitals and leads to encountering the medical entities without any subjective reasonings. This first encounter is important because the patients could make a decision with false or wrong information. She would not be able to understand and accept what happens after the surgery and could lead to much conflict with the medical institute.

2. Although this might happen, there can be a way out of it. The patient needs to meet the doctor no matter if she got false or wrong information from both on and off line. Therefore, she has a chance to talk with the doctor appropriately.

This is why I think that the conversation between the patient and the doctor is the last bastion. This is the final chance that a doctor can meet and explain to the patient, the circumstances of putting a knife onto the body and correcting the false information that the patient has.

But, there are times that such an opportunity goes to waste.

The patients register into large hospitals that do heavy advertising, get counselling from 2-~30 hospitals to gather information. They also compared the specs of these hospitals.

Medical treatment is a connection of one person to another, to find out what problems can be treated and if there are any aftereffects in the process but this concept has been long been changed to a product that patients shop for.
How much do you think that such a patient, who tours around different hospitals and makes a choice, can trust the surgeon?
If you are going shopping to a Walmart, you can pick up an item and throw it away or not buy it the next time if you do not like it. But you cannot throw away your body and buy a new one. This is the biggest difference and the biggest problem.

3. Now, the patient pays her bills and completes the surgery in the hospital
This is the point where the problems begin.
As the swelling goes away, the patient should be confident about her looks, show off her looks, have no problems with the surgery and have her body as perfect as she saw in the advertising.

This does not happen in reality.

No matter how interested or caring the doctor is, if the patient does not listen to the doctor or even remember what the doctor said due to the much and mixed information that she got from the different hospitals, the doctor and the patient would not be able to communicate with one another on the expected problems that arise after the surgery.

4. Whether it is minor or not, there is always a problem with plastic surgery. As long as a person has a greed to look better, the dissatisfaction rate cannot be 0%.

Generally the complications should not be looked at with the patient’s subjective eyes but with objective sense and see how dissatisfied the patient is.
There are many cases where the patient is not satisfied with the size of the breasts after the breast augmentation although the size of the implant had been decided together prior to the augmentation.
Then, now the priority is for the patient to spend much time with the doctor and share all the dissatisfying points that she has. The information related with this surgery and dissatisfaction can only be collected from the doctor.

The more complain the patient has, such conversation between the doctor and the patient would be difficult. The patient has much expectation before the surgery and if this expectation is not fulfilled, she would be very resistant to the hospital personnel and the doctor would defend his/herself by saying that “this problem could not be avoided”.
If there is no proper conversation, then there would be many conflicts. There are organizations for solving such conflicts, but these does not help that much.
The legal confrontation or conflicts between the hospital and the patient takes much tiring time. This also shows that our medical system does not have developed policy.

5. The biggest problem with the cosmetic surgery is that this is no warranty, ie. No insurance coverage for it if there are any problems.

A problem would lead to legal confrontations, and whether this is solved or not, there would be much money involved with it. In most cases, the patients already have spent much money on the surgery therefore they do not have money to spend elsewhere.
Such reasons make the patients react physically on the hospital and the doctor.

This could be an unnecessary comment, but I think that the government needs to step up in such situations.
Whatever the percentage is, whether it is 1% or 0.5% or 2%, the patient should be able to collect some amount of the related cost from the patient or the hospital. This collected money should be spent on the problems that may arise after the surgery. (This is just my own wish....)

All policies or laws are unnecessary if the doctor and the patient cannot come to an agreement. If things do not work out, then we should complain about the law.

But if you talk to the surgeon properly before a surgery and expressed all your feelings, then do you think it would be difficult to talk about the problems that arise after the surgery?

You should have realistic wants
You should open up and have a structural talk with the doctor
You need to have an objective understanding of the surgery
You need to continue to talk with the doctor after the surgery

I think these are more important than any other policies or regulations.

This thought came up to my mind when I read thousands of words on medical conflicts stated on Consumer Protection Board homepage.

This is all for today. Thank you.

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