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I think that I was fondled by a plastic surgeon during my examination
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An_252449 posted:
I've seen a local plastic surgeon twice for tummy tuck post op consults as my real surgeon is out of state. In hindsight I believe he was inappropriate. At the first exam I was nude and he kept tracing the incision in my pubic area again and again with his ungloved finger as he spoke to me, as if to illustrate his point but it seemed overly done. And he reached his ungloved hand between my legs and gently pushed up on my vag and told me that the swelling would resolve there. At the next visit, he went to unbutton my pants. I did it myself but once my panties were down he did the same thing w/his unloved hand and made the same comment. Did he fondle me? If I asked my real surgeon about it, is he obligated to report the incident? I am relictant and embarrassed to ask him, so I hope you all can give me advice.

What ordeal can I expect to endure if I report it?

I do not want to suffer anymore embarrassment of confronting this surgeon who was otherwise extremely nice... And what if I am wrongly accusing him? I know how men are - I will be made to look like I imagined it all and suffer further humiliation. Plus he did have a female chaperone in the room but he smartly positioned himself between me and her line of sight. So she would deny my story. - edit

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marysings responded:
Do NOT return to that man. If you aren't going to report him, go to someone else. He should be reported but fighting a dr. can be a losing proposition.

Stay away! If you return, you are saying what he is doing is all right. We both know that's not right!!

All the best,
Mary
I'm strong willed and I tell it like it is. I make mistakes, I'm sometimes out of control, but I love and give with all my heart.
 
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tnmist replied to marysings's response:
I echo Mary's thoughts.

Also, I think there must be ways to report a physician without telling another physician. There are medical review boards and things. Fines, censures, etc., up to pulling a license...

Try here for starters:
http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/frequently-asked-questions.page

That's the American Medical Association's website.

I'm sorry that happened to you.
Every day begins with an act of courage and hope: Getting out of bed. - Mason Cooley

Misty
 
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HoopersJudge replied to marysings's response:
So, you believe he did fondle me then? I know that plastic surgeons have to touch you in ways that other surgeons do not. I have seen quite a number of other surgeons for pre op consults and none of them made me feel as though I had been touched inappropriately. BUT at the same time, I have never seen a plastic surgeon for a post op consult as this was my first procedure (I had a tummy tuck)... so maybe that is different, and of course each surgeon may have their own protocol on how s/he examines a patient.

My gut keeps telling me he was wrong. And I sit here thinking about how I willingly stood nude with this man, not once but twice.
 
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HoopersJudge replied to tnmist's response:
But if I report him then I will have to talk to a bunch of people about it. I will be victimized a second time. I may even have to face him.

I just thought about asking my surgeon because he could tell me if what happened was misconduct. But I suspect he might have a legal and ethical obligation to report the incident.
 
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tnmist replied to HoopersJudge's response:
Hi, HJ. It's a personal decision, of course. I could sit here and write how I feel about your situation and what I think, but, honestly, I'm not sure what I would do until I was faced with it. I definitely cannot say, "If it were me..." You know? But I do think there is more than one way to look at things. Maybe reporting it will empower you and help heal this hurt against you? Maybe your courage will prevent him from doing it to others. Chances are you are not the first one he has done that too! You could be getting the ball rolling towards stopping a creep. Only you really know what is the best way to handle it for your own health and well-being.

I don't know what the statute of limitations is for reporting such a thing. Maybe a little ways down the road, you will be up to tackling it? I would suggest documenting everything and dating your notes at least, in case you change your mind later. Maybe writing it all down while it's fresh in your mind? It's only a suggestion, though. I've never been faced with that sort of dilemma.

Oh, and listen to your gut! A professional medical doctor would not leave you wondering. I avoid female exams like the plague, but when I was having problems, and I sought out a doctor, it turned out to be a male doctor, and it was definitely all professional and clinical. I do tend to zone out in order not to freak out, but I don't go so far away that I wouldn't know if something inappropriate happened.

I just can't stress this enough: Listen to your gut.
Every day begins with an act of courage and hope: Getting out of bed. - Mason Cooley

Misty
 
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marysings replied to HoopersJudge's response:
I reported a psychiatrist last summer for abandonment. I reported him to my state's Health Board. He always saw me without a file and made scrawling notes on a sheet of 8x10 paper. By the time he responded to the Board there was a file and his 'proof' of innocence. Of course, he is the last person I want to see again. Why do I say that? Because he joined the group of doctors where I am now a patient. eek!

Follow your gut. Simply wait to see your doctor. If you open your mouth to your doctor, you could cause a lot of problems. If you confront the new doctor, he will deny it to the moon and back. In my humble opinion, it's a loosing proposition either way. Some will say fight, but I've been there and it is just simply frustrating.

Mary
I'm strong willed and I tell it like it is. I make mistakes, I'm sometimes out of control, but I love and give with all my heart.
 
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tnmist replied to marysings's response:
Wow, thank you, Mary for sharing that. There are a lot of unknowns, that's for sure. I know that would be a tough decision for me to make. I know I have tolerated some injustices over the years simply because of the frustration level it would cause to fight something, but I have never had to deal with anything of this caliber. Thank you for your insight.
Every day begins with an act of courage and hope: Getting out of bed. - Mason Cooley

Misty
 
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HoopersJudge replied to tnmist's response:
Thank you both for your advice and for listening. I posted my dilemma on a board where you can get free legal advice. The idiot male lawyer who answered told me to call the police and let them investigate it. Yeah, right, I will discuss with two male police officers in the Midwest about a complaint about potential sexual misconduct by a local prominent male surgeon. This is exactly what I want to avoid! See this is the typical dumbass male response - did the lawyer even read what I wrote about not wanting further humiliation. And police are clueless in this situation.

I have looked into this further since my post. My surgeon would have a legal and ethical responsibility to report it unless doing so would cause me further harm. Even if he did not report it, I have to wonder if it would negatively impact or influence my care with him -- I think it is reasonable to assume that he would be cautious about touching me/examining me for fear that he might make me uncomfortable at the very least, or worse that I might report him for misconduct... so this could affect him giving me the best possible care. Your thoughts?

I can file an anonymous complaint with the state licensing board. They would never tell the surgeon my name but he probably could figure out it was me from the details of the events.

And the surgeon in question, well he has several malpractice suits. I have not read anything about sexual misconduct except one woman who said she had proof that he liked to molest his female patients. I read a bunch of court documents and testimony from this same woman who slammed the surgeon for ruining her face. Based on what I have read so far, she may have been a patient predator or she may have been a truly hurt victim trying to get back -- she went through extremes to get back at this surgeon, creating lots of websites using his name, blasting him on social media etc. She did a lot of damage to his reputation and caused him a great loss of clients. Anyway, the point is that he sued her in court and won. I just would not want to go through anything like that, and I am nervous about what he might do to further protect his reputation from damage... even if he only suspected it was me.

I know far worse things have happened to women who have been accosted by men. I hate to seem dramatic over such an incident that is minor by comparison. It is just the last few days I have been very upset by this. It took me a while to be able to discuss my body and feel comfortable with my male surgeon -- I always use female doctors for my private parts. And finally when I felt safe in such matters, this thing happens with this other surgeon. I know that I am going to feel awkward when I see my real surgeon next month for the exam and photos... before this happened, I was really looking forward to reviewing my transformation. Now I just feel icky.

Sharing here has helped. I am going to wait to see how my surgeon handles the exam. Does he touch me like this other surgeon did? If so, then I know it is normal. I do not know whether or not I will discuss with him what happened. Like I said, I'd love to know but I do not want it to cause awkwardness in my relationship with him or interfere with him providing the best care he can for me. He is a very skilled surgeon with a great bedside manner and I trust him. I don't want anything to jeopardize that. I hope that makes sense. I guess you will understand if you have been in my shoes -- have seen too many doctors that are not highly competent. It is hard to find the cream of the crop, like the proverbial needle in the haystack. Since I want more surgeries, I want to continue with him as my provider.

But I won't do any follow-up care with anyone else in the future after this experience.
 
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tnmist replied to HoopersJudge's response:
You really have done your research, and I'm sorry you got mixed up with that creep doctor to begin with. I think maybe going forward, based on your experience I will research any new doctors to see if there are any complaints against them ahead of time. You have really opened my eyes a bit. Thank you.

It sounds like a losing battle, though, with your situation to try to seek justice. You are smart for being cautious about all this. Good for you. I appreciate your coming here and sharing with us. Let us hear how it goes with the regular surgeon, if you don't mind.

Here where I live, there is a non-profit organization that is slowly educating the police force about how to handle victims of domestic violence and such things. Some policemen do listen and learn and others blow it off. It will be that way everywhere. We all know that a lot of cops become cops for the power rush, but there are good and decent cops and lawyers out there, too.

Take care.
Every day begins with an act of courage and hope: Getting out of bed. - Mason Cooley

Misty
 
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HoopersJudge replied to tnmist's response:
Thanks, I will let you know how I make out. Stay tuned...

BTW I discussed this with a few other women who have had plastic surgery and they think it is suspect. None have experienced what I went through with this doctor.

I have a friend who is a practicing physician. I may ask his perspective so as to have the doctor's point of view.
 
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tnmist replied to HoopersJudge's response:
Sounds like a good plan.
Every day begins with an act of courage and hope: Getting out of bed. - Mason Cooley

Misty
 
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HoopersJudge replied to tnmist's response:
Oh god, I am sick to my stomach... My friend who is the physician confirmed this was sexual misconduct. I broke into tears and hyperventilated when he told me. I am distraught.

I was so looking forward to my appt with my real plastic surgeon next month to go over my results and look at my before and after photos. Now I just want to cancel that appointment.

I also am mad at my real plastic surgeon because I had asked him to refer me to a PS in my state for follow up. He told me he did not know anyone and I was left to find one myself. Of course who do I pick? Chester the Molester. You know dam well that if my real surgeon had simply made a phone call and ask a professional courtesy of another PS to care for me that this would never have happened.

God I let this guy do this to me twice. WTF does that say about me? Why did he pick me?
 
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tnmist replied to HoopersJudge's response:
Okay, deep breaths...slowly exhale. It doesn't reflect anything about you! It reflects the fact that he is a perp and should be stripped of his license at the very least. Of course we are going to assume that a physician we go to will be professional because the majority are.

Hmm, honestly, I don't know about professional courtesy calls. When I moved out of state, I asked both my PCP and dentist if they knew of anyone where I was going, and neither of them did. If they had contacted someone, I suspect an office employee may have simply done what you did, find someone in the phone book or whatever. I'm just assuming here...I really am not sure how that would be handled. I know I was especially concerned about finding a good and decent and caring PCP, and my old PCP, as nice as he was, could not help me. (3 years later, I'm still looking for one!)

It's good that you are mad! You should be mad! I'm mad FOR you! BUT, be mad at the perpetrator, not yourself and most probably not your regular PS.

For the past 1-1/2 years that I have been dealing with stuff, my therapist (T) has to keep reminding me not to blame myself but to blame the perp. That's where your feelings should be aimed at.

You did NOTHING wrong. You didn't.
Every day begins with an act of courage and hope: Getting out of bed. - Mason Cooley

Misty
 
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HoopersJudge replied to tnmist's response:
Thank you. I was in crisis last night. A fellow patient of my surgeon who I have met online at ObesityHelp was emailing with me last night. She is a survivor herself and was able to offer me a lot of support.

And this afternoon I spoke further with my physician friend. He stressed that the focus here is how the surgeon made me feel. He should not have made me feel this way. Period. And that is enough grounds for me to file a complaint. That is very helpful for me to re-frame it this way. My whole focus has been on did the surgeon sexually assault me?
My physician friend said he was concerned that I was taking the blame and placing it on myself and that I was defending the surgeon. We talked about some options for how I can take care of myself and how I can pursue this. He also said that he hears this sort of thing a lot from patients and it goes under reported.
He said it would be reasonable for me to ask my real surgeon's opinion and it would not interfere with my relationship with him if he is a professional.
I am feeling much better right now. I have been feeling like a victim, feeling vulnerable, the past few days - last night being the worst by far. I want to take my power back.

Thank you for being here to support me. I truly appreciate all of your emails.





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