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What to Do with Bad Patients Who Try to Extort?

Plastic surgeons deal with a large group of patients who are largely dissatisfied with how they look. These patients are disappointed with what they see in the mirror, and they are seeking out the plastic surgeon who can make them look and feel better. However, the respect for doctors has gone by the wayside with past generations. Doctors and plastic surgeons in particular are looked upon as ATMs for certain patients. Some patients run out on the bill after having Botox and filler. Some patients provide phony photo IDs and fraudulent credit cards to pay for services. Some patients request charge backs for services already delivered. Some patients enter into the surgery and pay, but proceed to cry foul the minute the surgery is over. There are often clues to this type of behavior prior to surgery but that is for another article.

For these patients, their goal is to be as annoying and threatening as possible following surgery. They may write false and defamatory reviews, frequently less than a week after surgery. They may threaten legal action, citing something that was done incorrectly no matter how ludicrous the assertion. These patients may even resort to threats to person.

They believe that the plastic surgeon would rather refund their money or provide a settlement offer rather than deal with them for another minute. And, while this may be the path of last resistance for the surgeon, society at large is not being helped by giving into these types of demands and threats of extortion. These individuals have moved beyond the normal doctor patient relationship into a very morally reprehensible position and they should not be rewarded for their behavior.

Many of these individuals are perennial offenders. They move from one plastic surgeon to the next getting surgery after surgery at no charge by crying foul following each surgery. Welcome to 2021 and really 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017, etc. for that matter – the year of the con artist. Recognize many negative reviews for what they are – absolute nonsense and drivel written by those with an agenda trying to create their false narrative against mean and insensitive doctors, incompetent doctors, and the list goes on and on. The truth is that plastic surgeons represent the intellectual apex in medicine, and people in general should be far more skeptical of some of these reviews.

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Dr. Kenneth Hughes, Hughes Plastic Surgery

Kenneth Hughes, MD, Los Angeles plastic surgeon