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I have a general question regarding a Doctors responsibility and obligations.

Dr. Dean Kane Q & A. Q. I have what is referred to as “dog ears” from a previous face lift. I went to a different Dr. to fix the problem and was suggested to get a forehead lift to fix the dog ears. I had the surgery done with this Dr. and and it didn’t remove them. Now he suggests another surgery although minor will cost me another $1500.00 . Shouldn’t he be responsible in picking up this unexpected cost? A. I am sorry for your disappointment. I wish to believe it is not the intention of any surgeon to leave behind a “dog ear” nor any other side-effect, deformity nor complication following any procedure. We certainly wish to meet your expectations and pursue the very best job we know how to. Surgery is a science and an art. While perfect results may be desired, they are definitely not guaranteed. Our canvas is the human body and each canvas is unique in its makeup. You may have had excess skin for which your surgeon hoped the skin would retract so it would not be visible or he / she did not extend the potentially visible incision long enough to flatten the irregularity. There are many ways for your primary surgeon to handle your concerns. In my practice, these include:
  • I try to absorb the greatest amount of the revision cost possible. I do this by not charging for the professional (surgeons) fee. I also try to reduce the cost for the operating room or treatment room and anesthesia as well.
  • If you visit a second opinion surgeon and he or she performs the correction, I would not expect that surgeon to absorb nor reduce any of the revision costs.
  • If the complication requires medically necessary care such as a heart attack, surgical infection or flap ischemia (lack of circulation), most but not all medical insurers will cover (within the terms of your contract) the care of this complication.
It is best for you to review these and any other “fine line” concerns with your surgeon and your insurance company. I hope this is helpful. All the best!  
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