Regardless of the type of surgery you are getting, you can feel more confident knowing that the doctor you have consulted with in the weeks preceding the appointment is someone you trust with your procedure. As you get ready for the procedure, you start things off with the initial preparation steps, then you will be unconscious with anesthesia during the operation. You will be awake once the procedure is done and you are interfacing with the doctor. During the time you are unconscious, you are not fully aware of what can occur during the actual procedure. With the increasing attention being paid to ghost surgery, finding out that someone else you were not informed about has performed your procedure instead of the doctor can be an unwelcome surprise.

Ghost surgery is when a surgeon performs a surgical procedure on another patient who is unaware of the arrangement. Knowing that fact can mean that a trust has been breached and a patient has a right to file a civil suit. There are many cases where prominent figures, celebrities have filed lawsuits against their surgeons when their operation was performed by another doctor they were unaware of. Many patients have went on to form advocacy groups that promote more transparent and open information during the plastic surgery experience.

The Ethics of Ghost Surgery

The American College of Surgeons states that it is unethical to mislead patients about the actual professionals who are performing an operation. There are many gray areas along the line, such as information about other doctors performing a procedure being stated in the consent form that patients agree too. Misunderstandings can occur, and it is important for both patients and doctors, whether they are performing rhinoplasty, brow lift, facelift surgery, or other procedures, to communicate openly on this topic and make sure the procedure is performed to both party’s expectations.

How Should I Plan for Surgery?

If you have concerns about who will be providing your surgery, then take the following steps:

  • Request a surgical consent form in advance and read it thoroughly
  • Read and research the facility’s policies as well as information regarding students and trainees
  • Communicate frequently about who will be performing the operation
  • Communicate your own expectations to your doctor and any specific considerations you prefer to make

The trust between the plastic surgeon and the patient is of extreme value, and it is important to not have that trust affected by incidents of ghost surgeries. Consider this information if you are considering or planning for an operation in the future. For additional information, contact our team today.

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