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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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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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Dear Dashed Hopes, Your post here sums up the awfulness of lookingin the mirror after plastic surgery. I dread having to look in the mirror to get ready to go to the outside world so much that I've really become a hermit. Ihope people considering plastic surgery read your words.
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Oh how I wish I would have had your advice before I had plastic surgery. A plastic surgeon performed an upper blepharoplasty on one eye only and he took too much skin away. Now I have one eye that there is hardly any space between my brow and my eye. There is no way to correct it- I don't have enough skin. So I am disfigured and I have been so upset about it.
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So very sorry this has happened to you. If you haven't already done so, consult with a highly skilled oculoplastic surgeon (or several) about skin grafting for correction. Sometimes an excellent result can be achieved in the right hands. Best of luck and keep us posted.
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Thank you for your suggestion. I have gone to 2 oculoplastic surgeons in the past month and have another appointment with one this week. They are giving me hope again. My main problem now is that I am terrified of having any surgery again and I'm not sure how to determine who is most skillful. I will keep you posted.
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well said.
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I too was a victim of bad plastic surgery. I literally destroyed my nose for no reason other than BDD. I was a very handsome and rugged looking man. Women would flirt with me everywhere I went, whether it be the gym, fast food restaurants, mall and even in my car. I knew I was good looking, but with BDD you only focus on a defect in your face. That to me was my nose; I thought it was keeping me back from living a more meaningful life. So stupidly I got rhinoplasty. I later discovered that I had all the symptoms of BDD - comparing, obsession, low-self esteem. I now spend most of my time indoors and wish I could die just to get rid of the pain and sorrow I live through every minute. The worst part is the surgeon ruined my nose, asymmetrical and overly narrow. I get stares of disgust and shame wherever I go. I think plastic surgery should be highly regulated and only for people who really need it.
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I too regret plastic surgery to correct a mild "tuberous deformity" on one of my breasts, basically, I would have been better off getting a mastectomy and reconstruction with an implant versus what I am left with now. Feel free to look at my case, not one, but two board certified "Top Docs" disfigured me.
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A WARNING. Did you know .... Finding the truth about your doctors competence may be very difficult, if not impossible in future? There are now companies offering to salvage Doctors' reputations by ensuring that negative posts from patients are removed from websites! So next time you "google" your doctor for feedback/reviews and all you get is a glowing report of their competence and a list of highly satisfied customers, don't get too excited as you may be looking at a skillfully marketed and managed profile of your doctor. It would appear as consumers, not only do we have no recourse when a doctor screws up but we cannot avoid being their next victims as any negative reviews from former patients that would have steered us clear from them can be removed to protect the doctor!
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Thank Goodness I got to this site before undergoing facelift.Now I realize a lot can go wrong,as with any invasive surgery, but this can cause extreme depression anxiety and loss of self esteem post op, more than the wrinkled neck & joules I have now...thanks, love this site where people are honest and helpful!!
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Thank you so much for your comment.i have been considering facelift for years now. I tried to avoid invasive surgery by having the Ultherapy, which was expensive,painful and shows absolutely NO results. So your comment has made me re- evaluate my consideration for facelift..thanks again. GREAT HELP!
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Yes, certainly things can and do occasionally go very wrong with plastic surgery - with any surgery - so it is absolutely essential to confront that possibility very thoroughly and honestly before committing to any elective procedure. Obviously, exhaustive research is a no-brainer, along with soul-searching to come to terms with what risks are acceptable to you, weighed against how bothered you are by whatever it is you are looking to correct. Facelifts overall have a very high approval rating, and many, perhaps even most who undergo the surgery are ultimately pleased with the outcome. However, a poor outcome has the potential to alter a life and disfigure a face. The risks of that happening can be greatly minimized, but not entirely eliminated. If you do your homework, connect well with a highly qualified and experienced surgeon, talk frankly with other patients who've had the procedure you're considering, scrutinize many of the surgeon's before and after pictures, and make absolutely certain all of your questions have been answered to your satisfaction and that you're on the same page as to what will be done and what to expect, then you have a high probability of a positive result. But a high probability is not a guarantee. There's no right or wrong answer, it's an individual decision. For me, aging changes seemed to happen almost overnight and I just couldn't accept that the face looking back in the mirror was mine, and that it would only get worse as time marched on. I tried, but just wasn't doing a good job of accepting things and "aging gracefully" - which is easy advice to give until you turn out to be aging badly, rapidly, or both. I chose to roll the dice and fortunately things have worked out very well, and I think the clock was turned back 15 years, or close. We make deliberate decisions to get on a plane, get in a car, go skiing, get in a car driven by someone we don't know, etc. every day, all of which carry a small chance of a disastrous outcome. Only you can decide what is right for you. All the best.
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So very very valid & Yes I too like most have struggled with the what if's? & so desperately feel for those who have had unsuccessful surgeries :-( PS is elective surgery & like all surgery there is risk? It is by no means a walk in the park - so be really, really sure it's for you.
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Dashedhope- You took the words right out of my mouth. I did not undergo a facelift, but I had an ultherapy treatment 2 years ago and sculptra injected immediately after ultherapy. It cost a lot of cash and now my neck area looks like a deflated balloon. I have considered a necklift to correct this, but so far I have not found a doc that I trust.
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lilt,..I also had Ultherapy 6 months ago,along with Juverdern, some months later Laser Genesis, then the Obagi Nu Derm system.My neck looks worse, more wrinkled since ultherapy..I am depressed about it, but nothing to be done but learn from my mistakes hopefully. Thanks good to hear from someone else who has had similar issues.
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I think the Ultherapy removed some of the fat from my neck.
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