Advice needed-scar revision backfired 
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 Advice needed-scar revision backfired


I  need some advice.

Two weeks ago I went to a plastic surgeon (board certified, good rep) to
have an old acne scar revised.  The surgery took about fif{*filter*} minutes; he
put stitches under the skin and on the surface, and removed the surface
stitches a week later.  He advised me to put warm compresses on the site.
That night a large acne cyst which I'd guess had been developing under the
bandages during the previous week virtually on top of the surgical site
became visible with the warm compress, another compress the next day
brought it to a head and it drained (I haven't had any cysts in this area
of my face for years).  I went back to show it to the surgeon; he said
sometimes an oil gland gets sliced in the course of surgery; he prescribed
6 days of erythromicin and "wait and see."  Well, now I have another hole
just a millimeter from the old one (which he stitched up nicely, btw); I
don't know at this point how bad a scar this one's going to be.  It seems
at this point that the best I can hope for is that it won't be worse than
the old one.  I went back to him today, and, without even bothering to sit
down, he looked at the hole, and said:  "Hm, don't know what's happening
there.  Let's wait a month and see."  Then out the door.  Except for the
surgery itself, he's barely spent five minutes with me, and today marks my
fifth visit.  He decided the infection was over so I'm off the antibiotic,
but not only does the cyst not seem quite finished, a bit of suture is
coming out of the hole.  I'm still applying warm compresses.

I don't think physicians are God or that they should be perfect.  Mistakes
are made, accidents happen, unforseen complications arise.  My question
is:   Should he offer to fix the new scar for nothing (obviously
insurance, even if I had it, doesn't cover this type of procedure),  do I
have the right to ask him to do so?  To be honest, even if he offered, I'm
not sure I'd accept; I suddenly don't trust that he knows what he's
doing.  Why didn't he tell me this might happen?  He gave me no indication
of any risks whatsoever.  Should I get another opinion?  Should I ask for
a refund?  Should I yell and stamp my foot?  I'm really quite upset about
this.  He really seems either not to know what to do at this point or not
to care.  I'd like to be more proactive and assertive than I have been
with him, but I'm unsure of what the next step should be.


Thu, 16 Oct 1997 03:00:00 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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