If You Can Find a Better Cosmetic Surgeon, Hire Him...but I'll Bet You Can't! - Chevy Chase, MD

Since I'm only 4 days post-surgery, this is...

Since I'm only 4 days post-surgery, this is all very fresh in my mind.

 

I contemplated, researched, saved for, meditated about and wished for breast reduction surgery for literally years.  Just when I was about to have it done in Missouri, I spent all my saved up money on a divorce instead (I traded working on two boobs for getting rid of one, but I digress).

Then I moved across the country to DC.  After the financial rape I endured from the ex (men are NOT the only ones who get screwed over in all cases), I started saving and researching all over again.

I actually contemplated surgery overseas (but chickened out...no amount of savings is worth my peace of mind).  Then I settled on having consultations with three board-certified plastic surgeons in the DC area.

I went in with expectations of needing/wanting liposuction (abdominal, flanks, thighs, back), a full tummy tuck and a breast lift and reduction.  I've lost a lot of weight (working out and eating well), but age, hormones and a stubborn metabolism wouldn't let me get to where I wanted to be.

One surgeon agreed that I needed all of those procedures.  He was nice enough, but I thought his sales pitch was a little too "slick" for my taste.

Surgeon number two was also very good, better sales pitch.  Said he didn't think I necessarily needed the tummy tuck, but didn't really explain much about that, other than that it would save me some money.  His staff seemed a little snooty to me, though, and that's important to me.

Then I went to Dr. Khalifeh.  His office was easy to find and his office staff was the warmest and friendliest I'd met yet.  There was virtually no time spent waiting (and I'm chronically early) and Dr. Khalifeh was so warm and genuine and easy to talk to!  His sales pitch wasn't a pitch at all.  He just talked to me about what I wanted to accomplish...didn't try to talk me into or out of anything.  He did offer alternatives, such as the laser lipo in lieu of a tummy tuck, along with a very good explanation of what the advantages (cost, recovery time, possibility that this would be adequate for my particular situation, etc.) and disadvantages (might not tighten my belly as much in the long run) of that alternative.

For the breast lift/reduction, he was very honest about what could be accomplished without insertion of an implant.  I would rather be perky and smaller than keep a lot of volume but have to have an implant, so I chose that option.

Surgery scheduled, payments arranged, his assistant called me at home a few times to make sure I didn't have any follow up questions (she, and all of his staff are amazing).  She answered what she could and consulted with him for answers on what she couldn't and I always felt like I was their ONLY patient.

Surgery day was exciting more than scary for me.  I'm not an easily frightened person (other than that whole "foreign surgery thing").  Staff was, as always, amazing.  Wish I could remember the surgical assistant's name (Quay? Ki?)...anyway, I wanted to bring him home with me, he was SO sweet.  I remember the anesthesiologist warning me that the anesthesia might sting as she injected it into the IV and then it was lights out.

Woke up in recovery, surrounded by his amazing staff.  First thing I did was look down and the cutest perky boobs I'd seen since I was about 14 (they hadn't had time to bruise and swell yet, so they looked awesome to me).  After recovering for a while and being wrapped in my ever-so-lovely compression garments, I went home.

So now I'm on day four.  Had my first follow up yesterday.  The waiting room was packed and no one was willing to move to accommodate the obviously recuperating crazy-looking woman in flannel PJ's leaning against the wall (admittedly I'm sure I smelled like a gutter snipe after three days sans bath), Dr. Khalifeh noticed and took me immediately into an exam room.

He looked me over, deemed me healing well (I agree), removed a few of the external stitches around my aureoles and said to tell him, notwithstanding the bruising, pain and swelling, was I happy with the size.  I said I was ticked pink.

I will do a follow-up as I heal, or I will post somewhere on here my progress.  But so far, I can absolutely say that I wouldn't change one thing.  Not one.  Dr. Khalifeh is an artist.  It is very easy for a surgeon as talented and successful as he is to become arrogant and jaded, but he truly seems like a good person as well.  That is one of the most important aspects of why I recommend him.

2 Comments

Bravo for taking control of your life and yourself too! I' glad you are pleased with your doctor and your surgery results. I't nice that you gave your doctors name and location along with a rave review because people here ask alot of times if anyone knows of someone in their area. Thank you for sharing with us :)
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I love your question about him being a good boss. That's an important consideration for a lot of people, as it sounds like it was to you. I'm glad your lift is everything you'd hoped for and appreciate you sharing your story on RealSelf. You can update your review at any time to let us know how you're healing!

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Day 9: I'm just over a week post-surgery and...

Day 9:

I'm just over a week post-surgery and had my second check-up with Dr. Khalifeh yesterday. Everything is going well and he and his staff were wonderful as usual. Still very happy with the entire experience!

2 Comments

I found your review as I was researching your doctor specifically. Thank you for all the details and your perspective. I don't know if it's common (actually I wouldn't think so) but attitude makes a huge difference to me too. Since there can be no guarantees on exactly how one's body will react to surgery I like to know the integrity of the doctor is there to see things through to the patient's satisfaction (being reasonable on both sides, of course). I know this review is over a year old- I'd love to hear how your journey has been since. I hope you have continued to be pleased and all is well. Thank you for sharing your experience.
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i thought i found a great surgeon in atlanta, until it was time to pay....I drove 3 hours to see this doctor and for some reason the care credit center had not put me on my husbands account yet..well this is when his staff became rude, ridiculous, and just plan stupid...I'm serious i thought when the lady called me the next day i was going to have to call the police she was so angry..Well honestly i thank god it happened...I found a fabulous place with a great staff...If a doctor has a rude staff it will not make you feel comfortable about your surgery...I believe the staff is a reflection of the doctor!!!!!!!
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Well, it's been about 14 months now since my...

Well, it's been about 14 months now since my surgery. My scars are healing very nicely and I have to say, my breasts look fabulous! Like they did when I was 25! No more neck or shoulder pain either...YAY!

I still have very little sensation in my left breast and almost none in my right. This is not a huge deal to me, but I know that to some women it is. There is no way to guarantee that you'll keep sensation in your nipples, so to anyone to whom it's a big deal I'd say, "don't do it." But for me the benefits far outweigh that one minor issue.

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Chevy Chase Plastic Surgeon

I hate snobby people. I've been to several plastic surgeons over the years and almost all of them have Barbie doll staffs with their perfect noses high in the air. I don't know what that's all about, maybe they think that's what patients expect, but I certainly don't appreciate that. I'm not rich, I'm very comfortably upper middle class, but I'm also very humble and if you saw me you'd never guess my "worth" in dollars. It wasn't just Dr. Khalifeh's genuine friendly attitude that made me choose him, it was also his staff. They are real people, never one time made me feel looked down on, and seemed to really enjoy their job. So I did something sneaky...I came right out and asked a few of them what he was like as a boss. I promised that if he treated them badly or paid them badly or was a bad boss I would NEVER even hint to him that I knew it. But I won't ever go to a professional who treats his or her staff poorly (ask an orthodontist I once very vocally fired for chewing out an assistant within my hearing). Every one of his staff members I managed to corner told me the same thing: he's a perfectionist with his patients and he has high standards with his staff for the patients' sakes, but he is a very good man to work for. That means so much to me and was actually a huge part of why I chose Dr. Khalifeh over the others.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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