Waste of Money and Horrible Experience - Clearwater, FL

I have been meaning to write this review for a...

I have been meaning to write this review for a long time. I was seeking facial rejuvenation due to increasing prominence of nasolabial folds and was starting to shop around for a mini facelift. I met Dr. Drehsen at a promotional (self promotional) event. He said a face lift was not necessary (I was 45 at the time) and suggested that I get fat transfer to the cheeks to lift up the skin. Not knowing that this may not "take" (they assured me the results were permanent) and happy to try something that didn't involve scars and surgery, I booked my procedure just before a holiday week-end. On the morning of the procedure, not familiar with their building, I accidentally parked in back and came in through their operating room area. That was weird. As a result, no one ever did the usual pre-procedure photos. I again thought, this is strange. (I've had other cosmetic procedures.) Whilst I waited, I was upsold to spend another $500 on my lips. (I had already pre-paid $3000 for the facial fat transfer) but not before significant other upselling - ie surgery to my lips - had been made. Thankfully I went the cheaper (and it turns out "not permanent") route. I was given local anesthesia and my face and lips were "overfilled" with fat taken from my knees. This was not pleasant and at times downright painful. The doctor had absolutely no bedside manner whatsoever. No care, gentleness, nothing. I felt like a piece of meat instead of a patient. When it was all said and done, I drove home looking like The Elephant Man. I was supposed to return to work 4 days later however, there was no way this was possible after the "overfilling" which had been done as not all the transplanted fat was expected to survive. My lips looked like a ducks bill. Crazy. I was extremely swollen or "overfilled" for a few weeks and looked absolutely bizarre and by the time 3 months post rolled around, not a single, transplanted fat cell remained. I wish they had been candid that it might not be effective instead of assuring me that this was "permanent". I would not have gambled my $3500 had I known. When I expressed my disappointment about spending so much money - not to mention the downtime - for no gain, I was told that sometimes a fat transfer is not effective the first time around (I was hearing THIS for the first time) and if I wanted to undergo the procedure again, they would discount it for me. There is no way on God's green earth that I would ever trust this crook again.

8 Comments

Losing all of the fat is very unusual although not unheard of. I make patients aware that once in a great while a patient has poor "take". As I have gained more experience over the years, fewer patients have this problem. In general about 50% — 70% of the fat lives and remains long term. Unfortunately we don't know exactly how long "long term" is. We think it may be years but there are no studies that prove this. Fat grafting is still a great procedure which gives results in most patients that we could have never gotten in the past. Since you can add volume in many different areas it can be the most effective procedure we have for adding volume. I do let patients know the swelling can be intense for the first 3-4 days. I think it works best in conjunction with a lifting procedure but I also perform it alone when patients have mostly loss of volume I would consider Voluma or Sculptra to add volume since fat grafting did not work well. In addition, I believe most plastic surgeons would have offered to revise your surgery for a much reduced fee or no fee. I want patients first and foremost to be happy with their results. That way you send other patients by word-of-mouth. We always say a happy patient sends 3 more. An unhappy patient keeps 10 away.
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Sorry you didn't get your desired results are you having a revision
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It wasn't even offered. The only thing he mentioned upon hearing my disappointment was for me to spend MORE money and re-do the fat injections as it doesn't always "stay" the first time around. Well, that was the first time that anyone, including the doctor himself, had said that. Before that, all they kept saying was that it was permanent. At the end of the day, I wish they could have been candid with me about this procedure not being fool proof and what might work for one person, doesn't necessarily work for another so that I could have made a more informed decision on whether to gamble the $3500. I am right now trying to find a doctor with whom to have a mini face lift but it will definitely not be this money hungry doctor.
Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Drehsen was cold and calculating. His staff are nice but it is clear that first priority is the sale.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
3 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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