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Why given a second chance I wouldn't have plastic surgery again

  • DashedHopes
  • 1 year ago

Following a poor outcome from a midface lift and eyelid surgery I had  6.5 months ago, I wondered how many others (like me) who have had a less than desirable result result  now feel about plastic surgery? Do you feel differently about it now? What if anything have you learned from your experience? If you could turn back the clock what would you do differently? It seems there are more and more people who are becoming "victims" of plastic surgery. The question is why? And more importantly, why is it when surgeons who perform bad surgery and have a moral responsibility and duty of care towards those who's lives they have blighted are allowed to turn their backs on their patients and walk away without so much as an apology and get away with it?

As a "victim" of plastic surgery myself,  I did all I could to minimize the risks by choosing a " well trained and experienced, board certified surgeon". Despite this, I still got a bad result. The surgeon who performed the procedure deviated from the original plan: I got a truncated procedure (probably because as he was preparing to go on leave the following day and may have been pushing time). When I looked in the mirror, felt like I had been the victim of a perverse experiment: The left and right side of my face look as if I was operated on my two different surgeons: The oval of my face has skewed due to uneven placement of my cheeks and my eyes were badly scarred and look worse than before from live fat grafts that had been harvested from my lower back in an attempt to correct the tear troughs resulting in lumpy lower lids. 

I've been asking myself if there was anything I could have done differently and the answer is no. I did everything in my power to avoid being where I am now but there is only so much you can do to avoid falling prey to incompetence and its not helped when TV, social media, magazines and the internet normalise and trivialise cosmetic procedures. I have had time to reflect and with hindsight now feel that if I could turn the clock back, I wouldn't do it again for the following reasons: UNCERTAINTY Until you have had the procedure, it seems the doctor doesn't know how you will fare as each person responds differently to surgery and it may not turn out the way you want or expect. Plastic surgery carries higher risks than one is made aware of and you will never know if it was due to your Doctor's incompetence or your own body's reaction to the surgery? Seems you won't know until you've had the procedure. ABSENCE OF MORAL OBLIGATION AND ETHICS.  There are excellent and talented surgeons with integrity who are genuinely interested in their patients and take pride in their work. Are aware of the difference they can make to a person's life and feel morally responsible to ensuring the best outcome. Others are only in it for the money. LACK OF MORAL INTEGRITY AND CREDIBILITY Not all surgeons are created equal. And not all are honest about their abilities. Many will never tell you if the surgery YOU seek presents a challenge for them. They would sooner take a chance with ruining your looks than see you walk away with your hard earned cash. (This was my experience).

ALL THE ODDS ARE WEIGHTED IN THE SURGEON'S FAVOR If and when things do go wrong, patients are left high and dry with no recourse other than to grin and bear it. Only death seems to qualify for negligence or malpractice. Disfigurement seems a risk patients are expected to take on board  as its "out of the doctor's control and not something they could have foreseen". That a surgeon failed to properly assess a patient's suitability for a procedure never seems to be a factor. LACK OF TRANSPARENCY Can you GUAGE the depth, breadth and talent of an experienced plastic surgeon with a good track record from just looking at his website? Marketing and media are powerful tools and websites are crafted, designed and worded to carefully convey what THEY want you to BELIEVE backed up by (what may in some cases be doctored ) before and after images of patients and reviews that could be written by anyone. Unless you work there you'll never know how much of it is real or true.

EXPENSE FOR REMEDIAL WORK Surgeons charge more to correct another surgeon's mistakes and there is an even higher risk of a poor outcome as the surgeon is working with  scar tissue which may limit what s/he can do and unless you have picked someone with experience in revision surgery and knows what they're doing, you could end up with little or no improvement or worse. DEPRESSION As someone who is 7 months on "recovering" from a bad midface lift and blepharoplasty. I know all too well that WHAT I'VE LEARNED? Cosmetic surgery is great WHEN it's successful and it can make a difference to your quality of life. The opposite however can also destroy you, morally, psychologically and financially.

WHAT WOULD I DO IF I COULD TURN BACK THE CLOCK/ Learn to love myself as I am. Do the best with what I have and find richer and more meaningful ways of bolstering my self esteem and confidence that won't wreck my head, looks or bank balance. MY ADVICE Don't do it unless you can have the moral courage to live with the consequences should anything go wrong.  And if you do, then make sure you have the means (beyond your initial surgery) to pursue your goals. You may not need it but if you do at least you will be prepared.

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Did you have the midface lift through the lower eyelids with your bleph? I recently learned of this procedure.. I need a upper bleph for medical reasons (asymmetrical ptosis) and have been researching procedures. I am so sorry this happened to you :(
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No, I had a muscle hemming lip lift that left me with catastrophic complications. I just found this thread and so many of the heartbreaking posts touched me. It is so hard to find other people who feel like you do.
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I share your feelings too. I am unable to express how I feel. It is just so overwhelming. It is so hard to accept that my life has been changed forever in a negative way. I had to Hide all my old pictures because I can't bare looking at them. I cannot face people that I know because of the humiliation. From what I was told years ago plastic surgeons were not allowed to advertise. Boy do I wish it was that way now. I fell for the slick website and fake positive reviews from staff. I feel for everyone who is going through this.
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I'm so sorry this happened to you. I know what you mean about looking at old pictures - I can't look at mine either. I looked so much better and I blame myself for letting someone cut my face the way this dr did. He was smooth and I was naive enough to believe him. I cringe when I look at my eye. And it's so difficult finding someone to correct the mistakes. I've been looking for almost a year. Part of my problem is that I can't trust any of the drs now.
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Thank you both for sharing your experience and insight. I feel the same. Nobody, even my grown daughters, can understand. I'm so embarrassed by my appearance and it has affected my life so much. They get exasperated with me for my sadness and tell me that I'm not the same person anymore. Just adds to the nightmare. I'm hoping with age (it's been 3 years since this awful coronal brow lift, the forehead and eyebrow will fall down some. I do wear hair extensions and a little wig for the bangs and that helps but not ideal. Thanks for letting me vent. You are all in my prayers. and Yes, an online support group would be so good, as this isn't anything we can talk about to anyone else.
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I share your feelings. You have expressed those feelings in ways I am not capable of doing. Is there something we all can do to hold these doctors and the board accountable for what these doctors do or don't do, tell you or don't tell you? I am so frustrated not knowing where to turn we hat to do. I am 28 months post op and I as m still swelling still in discomfort, still unhappy with what he did and didn't do. He also was going on vacation skiing in the South of France for a month. Did that contribute to his incompetence? I think it did but where do I go for help?
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There must be a way to pick the best surgeon. I am almost 60. Any suggestions? Thank you!
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First, it's important to realize that there isn't one best surgeon. Great surgeons can sometimes have poor outcomes and serious complications, and mediocre surgeons can have the occasional slam dunk. Complications can and do happen to all, and if someone claims otherwise they are either not being truthful or they haven't had enough experience. While there are most certainly some incompetent, unethical, and uncaring docs out there, there are also many who are highly skilled, good people who really do have your best interests at heart. Most like what they do and take pride in their work, and worked extremely hard to get to where they are. But even so, finding the right surgeon for your specific set of problems is challenging. Here's what I've learned is most important to a successful selection process: 1). through extensive research of your own - RS, Google, PubMed, Word of Mouth, physician recommendations, etc., narrow the field to half a dozen or so serious prospects. 2). Contact your prospects and start asking questions - how many of your procedure does he/she do annually (you want someone who does a LOT of your procedure on an ongoing basis). What is the doctor's complication and revision rate? What's the follow-up policy? How do they work with out-of town patients, if applicable? Will they get you a list of several past patients to contact to help you decide before deciding to schedule a consult? If out of town, is an initial phone consult an option? 3). Scrutinize before and after pictures with an eagle eye. Note incision placement and healing, degree of improvement (is their enough improvement to justify risk, expense, recovery, etc.), are any alterations in hairline acceptable, or obvious? If a facelift or necklift, do earlobes look natural? Do you consistently love the outcomes you see? Do you agree with the surgeon's aesthetic values? 4). What do your prospects think of your candidacy for the procedure(s) you're considering, and what kind of result do they expect can be achieved? What are your own expectations, and are they aligned? --- When all is said and done, it is relatively easy to find prospective surgeons who have the respect of colleagues in the field, have stellar credentials, and are considered expert in the surgical procedure you're contemplating, particularly if you are willing to travel. What is more challenging is to find someone from that subset whose "eye" you agree with, whose patients are clearly happy, and who clearly understands your goals and expectations. Be wary of surgeons who appear to devote major resources to marketing, have catchy names for their interpretation of a procedure, and be wary of after pics that conceal incisions, change lighting, and resemble more of a Glamour makeover than a medical record of fact. I wouldn't necessarily cross anyone off the list for website shortcomings (example overly glammed-up after pics), as some surgeons who are not PR-minded turn this stuff over to staff. Some of the best docs around eschew websites and marketing all together, or don't devote much attention to them. So there you have it, my 411 on finding the best surgeon for your needs. Even when you do all of the above, there are no guarantees that everything will go as you hope, but the odds increase exponentially. Best of luck to you, and I hope you'll let us know what you ultimately decide.
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Reno, thank you SO much! What a wealth of information, I am saving it for reference. I am in a fairly large city (Tucson, AZ) and relatively near to many PS's (Phoenix, SoCal, Las Vegas, ect) and would be willing to travel. That almost makes it more difficult as there are so many choices. I was originally looking at price (and still, to a certain extent) but have decided that isn't a major concern, since I only have one face ;) LOL I know one person who had "work done" but she didn't rec her doctor, so, there's that too... sigh. Thanks again!
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One way we can help each other is by sharing stories here and naming names. What incompetent surgeon did this to you?
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My surgeons name was Siamak Agha, Orange County, CA. He used my emotions, bait and switch tactics, lies, incompetent follow up care with me. I have been unsure if I can hold him accountable so for 18 months I gave been paralyzed not knowing what to do. This surgeon left me scared and offered no solutions did not even do what I was assured would be done and just continued to say I was great my results were great. I am 18 months post op and I am still suffering from swelling and discomfort from surgery. DO NOT GO TO THIS SURGEON he doesn't care, he isn't honest. He is a disgrace to his profession. I am a registered nurse and I am ashamed that we are a part of the medical community.
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Sorry to hear about your experience. I can relate. Any/All of these people should be held accountable and be punished to the fullest extent possible for damages, personally, professionally, emotionally, physically. The people responsible have ruined many lives.
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My surgery was many years ago - I was only 18. How could a surgeon cut eyelid tissue out of an 18 year old kid? Of course I blame myself because I let him. There's no way I could pursue legal action now - it's been too long. I think something should be done to hold these surgeons accountable. I really think this forum is a good way to alert others of our experience and hopefully save others from going through what we have gone through. But the drs who do this to us aren't being punished at all. That's what's not fair.
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Hello. I am so sorry that you are going through this. I can empathize as I just had what I would call a botched rhinopzlasty. The dr. Did not do anything that we discussed before hand and I look as though he stuck a prosthetic nose on my face. I look far less attractive than I think I did before, even with a crooked nose. The feeling that is sinking in that I spent my life savings to look less attractive is impossible to describe. I am horrified to look in the mirror. I do not want my family to see me because I do not want my mother to have to see her now deformed daughter. I do not know how I am going to face my friends. Regret... Like you said there is no way for you to know what your outcome would be. If I knew I would look like this of course I would never do it. But it's something I've wanted for ten years and thought about every day. I wish there was some sort of support group because the detachment that I feel from who I actually am not is something no one can relate to unless they've experienced it.
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I wish there was some sort of online support group too. I feel exactly as you do. Not recognizing yourself in the mirror is extremely traumatic. It's the end of a life as we once knew it.
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That was riveting reading & I feel so much for your suffering. I hope to goodness my healing goes well. All the best & I hope you find solace, peace & satisfaction amongst all your grief.
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I agree with your article. I am sorry that you had so much difficulty. I also had a face-lift one year ago and now feel less attractive. For the first 6 months I looked great although I did see an immediate loss of volume in my cheeks. Once the swelling subsided I was left with a loss of volume causing my face to look less lifted that prior to the surgery.My face is less attractive and I look older instead of younger. My neck does look better but at the expense of my face. I do not feel that my face is totally ruined but it looks drawn and older and one side is more sunken than the other. I would be afraid to try anything else as it may make things worse. i now feel that plastic surgery should only be risked when you are dealing with a an extreme issue .
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Agree wholeheartedly, thanks for posting. If we can save just one person from this miserable nightmare it would make me happy
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Thank you. I am sorry for your experience also. I think doctors need to be monitored more closely. To many don't do what we expect them to do, review your history, do a complete assessment of the areas in question and have a conversation of their findings with you on the pros and cons. I knew better, I'm an RN but I let my emotions get the better of me and I believed him when he said "you leave the surgery to me and you take care of the aftercare by following my instructions." I told my daughter that after surgery if the dr. doesn't come out to talk to you tell them you want to talk to him to get aftercare instructions. She had to ask. Anyway, I have thought about seeking legal counsel because I don't believe he did what we discussed. I just don't know how to go about doing it or finding someone.
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Truth
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I couldn't agree with you more! There has to be something that we can do. I fell for all the media, youtube videos, photos, and websites that the plastic surgery field puts out there. I am an RN and for 6 years I searched the web reading doctors websites, reviews and finally deciding on a doctor that actually specialized in thighs and surgery for weight loss patients. I however was only 142 lbs and 5'51/2 " and 60 years old so within weight for my age and height. I went to see the doc for lipo of thighs and butt with a butt and thigh lift and fat transfer to butt. I went back for 2 nd consult because during first consult he came in saying " I am so tired." I think at that point I felt sorry for him because I know how tiring and stressful his surgeries can be. I asked questions and then he asked what he could do for me and I told him I wanted my inner, outer, and back of my thighs lippoed and lifted and a butt lift with fat transfer. He looked at me and his only comment was, " I can't give you a twenty year olds butt," and I said I don't want a twenty year olds butt just a perkier one. He never commented that I wasn't a candidate or that he couldn't do it. I left but called for a second consult because I still had questions. He answered my questions but again never said anything about my not being a candidate. You don't always know what questions to ask because you don't know what to expect. He kept telling me that all I had to do was follow his after care instructions and he would do what he does best surgery. His attitude from the first visit was almost arrogant. He was very boostfull of his surgical as well as his eye for aesthetics. I went home and was called by manager she had told me previously that dr. would be leaving on vacation in February and she had a spot open before he left. She said there was someone else interested but she would give it to me if I wanted it. I wanted to have the surgery and be healed by summer so I could wear a bathing suit this summer. I'd always been self conscious of my thighs and butt so to not have that insecurity would be great! A week later I made the appointment went in and paid the surgery suite fees, doctor fees paid. If I cancelled I could get a refund if cancelled before two weeks of surgery date. If cancelled less than two weeks before surgery I would loose surgeons fee. It was already close to the two week window. When going over contract with manager I asked many questions about what I had read and she finally said to me, " you have to keep in mind that these contracts are written by the Board of Plastic Surgeons so they have to cover, and I said ," their ass, she says "yes." I specifically asked about labial distortion had the dr. ever had this happen to a patient and she said no never. Well to make long story short. It is 15 months since surgery, my stomach is still swollen, oh I left out the fact that during second consult he said we should do a mini tummy tuck would make for a better outcome and scar. I said ok. Then while marking he said we are going to be doing a lower body lift! I had read about lower body lifts and had wondered if all that he was going to do to me was the same but hadn't really thought about if because I only thought people that had lots of loose skin had that surgery. I wasn't one of those people. Anyway couldn't back out now I would loose $23,000! It is 15 months later, I still have a swollen stomach, still have numbness, tightness and swelling around suture lines and on outer thighs. Each visit I voiced concerns about my stomach swelling, my inability to shave my legs because I was so tight even four months out and I still have giggly thighs, and fat on back and inner thighs which made me think he didn't lipo thighs at all. I got surgical report and I have to say as an RN I have never seen such poor reporting. There is only report on lipo of flanks. I emailed him because I preferred emailing questions and responses from him and his staff so I could have a record. I wasn't confident of this dr. Or office so I tried my best to keep records. This time though he called me and said yes he lippoed inner outer and back of thighs and he said if he had reported all that he had done it would have taken 10 pages! Well I know that's what your suppose to do! I have been back over the operative report and where they put procedure to be done it only says lipo of flanks plus other procedures. I had specifically asked manager prior to my surgery in a follow up email when I had noticed it didn't say anything about lipo of thighs etc and she said of course it would been done it is part of the procedures. Well I have photos of myself and the only bruising I had was on my flanks. So I was thinking of contacting a lawyer not for malpractice but perhaps failure to perform or something like that. I don't know what to do but needless to say I can't wear a bathing suit because thighs are still jiggly, scars have migrated I had scars where I shouldn't have had scars, my skin is looser then before and my stomach looks way worse then before. Please think about carefully about surgery before you get it. Go see a psychologist before having the surgery, talk to patients of dr. That are similar to your age, height, weight, procedures to be had. I say this because I had talked to three of my drs. Patients my problem I think is that they were all post bariatric patients with over 100 lbs of weight loss. I should have been given patients similar to my profile.
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Thanks for saying what very few are willing to admit -it has caused me to think more about the risks of these procedures. I'm sorry you had to experience this.
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I realize that nothing I say is going to discourage someone very determined from having surgery as I was that person myself one. I convinced myself that having done everything to minimize all the potential risks, all would be well. However, nothing can predict the surgeon's competence on the day. They are not infallible. Like any other human, they have their good and bad days. I discovered that my surgeon worked very late hours and was performing at least 2 procedures a day. I have been wondering since, how much sleep he had when he did mine. If my post has helped to make you aware, then I'm glad. I really would not wish anyone to go through the shock, despair and sense of helplessness one feels after a bad procedure. It really is life altering …..
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This is a very moving story. My heart goes out to you. How are you now?
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Thank you for your kind comments. I'm coping as best as I can but my life is not the same. I've lost the 'me' that I was. I cannot identify with the person in the mirror.
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