Killing a Fly with an Elephant Gun: Unnecessary Body Lift and Redo - Chicago, IL

I am in Chicago and I hope that I will hear from...

I am in Chicago and I hope that I will hear from people.
5 years ago, after a terrible divorce, I wanted a fresh start with something positive. I lifted weights for over 20 years and decided I would do a bodybuilding competition. I am (was) in excellent shape. Because I had a baby at 43, I developed a split in my abdominal muscle. I needed to fix that if I wanted to do the competition.
That's how it all started.
I went to my trusted plastic surgeon for a consult, who did a nice job on my breasts, which had shockingly pancaked out after I finished breastfeeding (1st plastic surgery I ever had at the age of 45).
This man grabbed skin around my abdomen like a clamp and everywhere else, pulled out on it, and insisted I needed a complete body lift and thigh lift. I did not. I had some MILD skin laxity at the age of 45, but nothing near that warranted what he insisted. Because I was a novice in this game, I was very intimidated, and although I was stunned at this 'assessment', I succumbed to his powerfully manipulated 'diagnosis' and allowed him to do the procedure, which was traumatic. I awoke in seizures and spent 3 days in a rehabilitation home. After that, the results were mortifying. I had no idea I could pursue anything legally and went to Northwestern Hospital, seeking another specialist to correct the major deformities created by the horrible bodylift (Northwestern Hospital touts itself to be the best hospital in Chicago with top doctors. It is self-proclaimed). There I encountered another slew of practitioners (whom at the time, I believed were top in world because when I called the physician's referral line, I was told that patients fly in from all over the world to see this physician for these types of surgeries). From day one I had a series of complications from the redo that this surgeon did. I developed seromas, open wounds that did not heal, severe scarring, more deformities (my buttocks had unnatural bulges that were imbalanced), and pain. For almost 3-4 years I kept going back to this surgeon to put out fire after fire of issues. His 'treatments' of the issues created more issues. My left hip has caved in and he was liposuctioning me repeatedly in an attempt to fill it in with fat. After doing this about 4-5 times, painfully, he hit my hip joint with the cannula where I developed such huge swelling that I couldn't walk, and my legs began to have irregular divots and lumps from the repeated liposuction to get fat to fill my left hip. It interfered with my profession of being a personal trainer. I spent the last year icing and doing physical therapy to just walk normally.
I finally stopped going to him because my life had become an endless loop of incessant visits to Northwestern that were costly and exhausting, with worsening results after each attempt. He also induced me into a different procedure that has debilitated me, and cost me more. The money loss and physical drain that this has taken on my life and effects on my family are a sin.
After almost 2 years, and some healing from the repeated liposuction traumas, my left hip is still caved in, my musculoskeletal system is misaligned, I have severe scars and impingements, and I have discomfort from the redo (the unnatural lumps in my buttocks cause pain and interfere with natural movement).
Because the symptoms have been worsening I sought a consultation with a new surgeon to see if there was anything minimally invasive that could possible improve my quality of life. I found a plastic surgeon who had superb reviews and I went for a consultation to see if there was a minimally invasive procedure where he could possibly remove the abnormal fat lumps placed on the sides of my buttocks, and possibly fill my left hip, which is down to the bone, and pulls my body unnaturally. This surgeon appears to be ethical, has an extraordinary resume. He took his time to review ALL medical records of what was done to me. He showed me serious abnormalities that are present in my body as a result of the specific 'technique' (if you could call it that), that this surgeon did. What I saw on my MRI's from this Northwestern surgeon nauseated and stunned me. I am currently in the process of working with this new surgeon to find a way to relieve my pain, and improve my functionality, without causing me anymore damage because of the severe scarring that I have, as well as the misplaced and compromised condition that the prior surgeon has left my body in. The discovery for me is 5 years after the fact now, and the new surgeon himself aroused this revisit because he stated (which is unusual for a doctor to speak against another doctor in Chicago) that he was pretty bad with what this other doctor did, that his 'technique' was poor at best, and that the procedure that he did was common knowledge to just not be effective or proper. Unfortunately, I am past any statute for any restitution.
As I read these forums of story after story of repeated pain, suffering, financial drain, and life changing consequences from plastic surgeons, I reach out to people to relay that action has to begin with changes in the law, and if enough of us are willing to act, a law firm might get aroused for interest.
There are a few good doctors left, but this field has become severely predatory, and the greed and destruction is rampant because there is no accountability. If people can get away with something, they will continue to do so until a law change makes them pay. There is no greater lesson than one learned from severe loss.
I hope to hear from people.

4 Comments

I am very sorry to hear ...Wishing you the best with this last PR
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Do you mind saying what hospital the first Dr. was affiliated with? I'm looking for a Dr. in Chicago and need a lower body lift from severe weight loss and repeat life threatening infections in the excess areas. I've had 2 emergency surgeries from abscesses that were extremely dangerous and almost loss of my life. Your article was very helpful to me and I appreciate you sharing your story. Best of luck to you and I hope you are doing much better. Thank you ~
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I'm sorry you've had such a rough time! I had a breast reduction 20 years ago that was disasterous, although nothing like what you describe. Why don't you post pictures and the names of the doctors? If it helps one person, wouldn't it be worth it? Thanks for sharing and best of luck to you!
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