Doctor, Is This Normal?

I hear this question all the time. A large part of my practice is performing secondary plastic surgery (when a patient has had a procedure before and is considering “touch ups,” improvements or corrections). I will often ask the patient, “What did your Doctor tell you about this?” and they simply answer, “They told me it is normal.”

Quite honestly, sometimes I see imperfect outcomes that I would consider “normal,” while other times I see outcomes that are clearly not “normal” or acceptable (at least by my standards).

No one can guarantee you perfect results, nor is every result perfect. So when is a result a normal and reasonable outcome? And when is it clearly not acceptable, even “botched?”

Sometimes the term “normal” is often used as an excuse for a poor outcome. Sometimes the outcome from a procedure should have been, and still could be, better than what you have experienced.

The best way to determine if your outcome is “normal” is to visit with a reputable Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and ask him/her for their opinion. You will find out if your result is “normal” and reasonable, and if not, what can be done (if anything) to make improvements.

Robert Caridi, MD

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Robert Caridi, MD
Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS)
Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
Founder of Westlake Plastic Surgery