The Surgeon Minute

Revision Plastic Surgery

Revision Plastic Surgery

Revision surgery is a sensitive subject that many patients and surgeons must occasionally deal with. Many patients endure complications from a previous surgery that require a fix, and even procedures performed by board-certified surgeons can have unforeseen complications. Dr. Richard A. Baxter, a board certified surgeon from Seattle, Washington, discusses the abundance of revision surgeries his practice takes on to correct mistakes and complications.

By: Richard A. Baxter, MD
and Adam McMillon

Revising Problems in Plastic Surgery

Revision surgery involves a plastic surgeon performing a procedure to correct a mistake from the original procedure, or to fix complications that arose following a procedure. “Revision surgery is an increasing part of my practice, and it’s a sensitive subject,” says Dr. Baxter. “Occasionally, complications can arise, even if a surgical outcome was flawless. It takes a talented surgeon to be able to handle revision cases, as they can be quite challenging.”

Revising a complication is only one side of the story. Many patients who receive unsatisfactory results from non board-certified surgeons can reap the downsides to playing it cheap. While you may be saving money by going to a lesser surgeon, their credentials and expertise may not be enough to achieve a fantastic result, and may in fact cause problems down the line. Revision surgery costs money, too, so getting it right the first time is money well spent.

Revision Procedures are Procedures, too

If a patient receives problematic results due to a lack of surgical expertise, going back to that surgeon to solve the problem may make it worse. “When you have an outcome that didn’t turn out as expected, there’s a temptation to attempt a simple fix to get it right,” says Baxter. “While this may be the right idea, more often than not, the solution is more complicated than it seems. If you opt to take the simple approach just to see if it works, you may end up in a position where you need more surgery, which is going to be costly not only for your wallet, but for your body. This is why taking a more in-depth approach by an experienced surgeon will be more fruitful than seeking a fast and simple fix.”

Something looks wrong with my result… Do I need revision surgery?

While some procedure complications may be obvious, a lot of results may appear to be complications, but are simply stages of the healing process. “All results benefit from the passage of time,” says Baxter. “Sometimes you may see something you don’t like immediately following surgery, and wish to come in and have it corrected. Full results are typically found beyond 6 months, a time period that allows the body to recover from surgery, the changes to settle in and the scars to heal. With any surgery, it’s extremely important to follow your surgeon’s advice to the letter. Be patient and really give it some time before considering revision surgery.”

 

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