Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Expert Forum
Plastic surgery and bulimia
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Questions in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery forum are answered by Dr. Michael H Kirsch and Dr. Mario Tuchman. Topics covered include teeth extractions, wisdom teeth, dental implants, bone grafting, orthognathic surgery, facial bones realignment, facial trauma repair, jaw alignment, anesthesia , jaw cyst or tumor diagnosis, reconstructive jaw surgery, temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) and TMJ surgery.

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Plastic surgery and bulimia

I consulted with a plastic surgeon about having liposuction on my cheeks.  He said that the problem was not excess fat in my cheeks but the alignment of my jaw and referred me to an oral surgeon.

My concern is that an oral surgeon will notice the erosion of enamel on the back of my teeth (my four center, front teeth are all yellowed  - I've seen pictures and it's nasty), know that I have an eating disorder, and then not just refuse to do the surgery but also tell the plastic surgeon.

So: (1) do all dentists / oral surgeons know, based on this pattern of erosion, that it is caused by bulimia; (2) is there anything else that I could tell him caused this; (3) will he know whether I am still purging or if this happened in the past; (4) will he refuse to do cosmetic surgery if he knows I'm bulimic; and (5) can he tell the plastic surgeon without my consent?
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Hiding any part of your medical history from any of your doctors can have serious and life threatening consequences.

I strongly urge to to speak with them honestly about your eating disorder and your concern for how they will treat you.

Information contained within this reply is intended solely for general educational purposes and is not intended nor implied to be a medical diagnosis or treatment recommendation.  This is not a substitute for professional medical advice relative to your specific medical condition or question. Always seek the advice of your own doctor for medical condition. Only your doctor can provide specific diagnoses and therapies.
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Thank you for your reply. I understand that, ideally, I should disclose everything.  And I intend to have a physical before having any sort of surgery to make sure there is nothing seriously wrong.  I know, however, that the plastic surgeon will not perform the other procedures if he thinks I have an eating disorder (not because he thinks it's dangerous, just on principle).   Can you at least tell me whether there is any other way to explain the erosion and if HIPPA prevents the oral surgeon from telling my plastic surgeon if he does suspect something?  
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Michael H Kirsch, DDSBlank
Dr. Michael H. Kirsch
Caldwell, NJ
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