Researching and taking your time to choose a surgeon with appropriate training and experience can minimise risks and increase your chances of being happy with the outcome of a procedure. However, unfortunately there are many patients who are not happy with the results of their plastic or cosmetic surgery. Not only that, they are in pain, feeling disillusioned, scared, angry and not sure what to do or where to go. We thought we’d put together a bit of a guide to direct you as to what steps to take if you aren’t happy with your results, with the help of respected plastic surgeon, Dr Justin Perron, based in Brisbane QLD.
Talk to your plastic surgeon
There are several organisations and agencies that you can contact if you are not happy, however the first thing most of them suggest is to try discussing the problem with your plastic surgeon first. Are they aware that you aren’t happy with your results? Have you tried talking to them about it? Ultimately, the best outcome is going to be if your plastic surgeon hears your concerns and wants to help you find a solution. Some plastic surgeons will perform a revision free of charge, while others might do the surgery at a reduced rate, ie. they won’t charge for their time, but you may have to pay for the hospital and anesthetist.
We always suggest that one of the things you ask a plastic surgeon at your very first consult with them, before any surgery takes place, is what their stance is on revisions, eg. if you’re not happy with the results. This will make it easier to discuss if ever there is need to.
However, if your plastic surgeon is completely unresponsive to your concerns, and you truly believe that you have been wronged, you may wish to take the matter further. Make sure you’re not complaining because you just don’t like having bigger boobs after all, or you were expecting them to be bigger – remember things change over time and you need to allow enough time to get a ‘final result’.
Making a formal complaint is not to be taken lightly, and can have long term effects on a surgeon’s reputation, so you want to make sure you are making a complaint for the right reasons.
Taking the next step
To make a formal complaint there are a few organisations where you can do so. There are:
- The Medical Board in your state;
- AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) – ph. 1300 419 495
- Health Care Complaints Commission in your state (see links to these below);
Australian Capital Territory – Health Services Commissioner
New South Wales – Health Care Complaints Commission
Northern Territory – Health and Community Services Complaints Commission
Queensland – Office of the Health Ombudsman
South Australia – Health and Community Services Complaints Commissioner
Tasmania – Health Complaints Commissioner
Victoria – Health Complaints Commissioner
Western Australia – Health and Disability Services Complaints Office
The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) also have some really good information on their website about the complaints process to follow and have an extensive list of who you can contact in each state.
A lot of the support groups around can help guide you in the right direction too. If you wish to join, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Justin Perron is a widely respected plastic surgeon. If you’d like to arrange a consultation with him you can phone (07) 3010 3300.