Huge Disappointment - Houston, TX

Went for a consult for endoscopic brow lift and...

Went for a consult for endoscopic brow lift and how to 'fix' drooping left side of face and ended up going for rhytidectomy(face lift). endo brow lift, sub mental lipectomy and neck-lift, fat-transfer (bill says periorbital/temporal/nasolabial) and Buccal fat pads removed. Add to the total almost $300 for the Aqua cool system that stopped cooling during the 3rd night. At that time the swelling started. It would have been better to save that expense and just use ice packs
Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon

Two weeks after surgery the brow lift was gone. Extremly strong '11'muscles due to 25 years of low vision. Thought doctor understood after explaining that it took 30-40 units of Botox to weaken that area. At my 6 month follow-up he suggested using botox in the outer area below the corners of my mouth to weaken the downward pull. Said he does that for his sister. This might return the upward youthfulness to my mouth. At my follow-up visits I kept hoping he would say he could do better but that never happened. When I kept mentioning the 11's he would say it was too soon for him to do anything. I felt that I needed to stop being so nice and tell him how unhappy I was at my 2 yr follow-up and his remark was that these lifts don't last forever! He asked what would make me happy. He told me he would work up a list and it came to almost $11,000. Since I wiped out my savings with the original procedure I am out of luck. I think my mistake was thinking that Dr. Mentz 'got it' on how strong those muscles were and that I was not a 'standard' case regarding a brow lift. I also brought my mom to my 2nd consult (1st in 2008 was just to discuss a brow-lift) to show the direction my face droop was heading. Sadly after today's pic (11/14/13) I am showing sagging under my jawline on the right side. My suggestion is that anyone considering a procedure take notes and review them with the doctor. Honestly I think he forgets discussions we have had but he seems so personable that you don't realize it until it is too late. Not a perfectionist as his beautiful assistants tell you.

2 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (7)

read the reviews of ultherapy which is a procedure whose results are a long time coming and most aren't that noticeably impressive. Ultrasound is known to reduce facial volume and so would it be a good idea given your facial structure to lose volume even if the ultherapy tightened skin as well ..or do you need volume? I would seek as many free consults from driving-area PS as you can for recommendations on how best to "fix" your issues. Another brow lift, another neck lift, more fat transfer whatever just to see if there is any consensus among PS on what additional needs to be done. Ever heard of Dr Kridel in Houston? He seems to have a good rep and seems fairly low-key but competent. And the brow lift...are you sure it was endoscopic b.c that timeline sure doesn't seem to fit the description of anything but a fairly superficial "lateral brow lift". In addition to Dr harley's site pls do read the entire "journey" of renaissancelady46 . and the price is the whole procedure cost not just the surgeon's fee. grace60
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I don't see how anyone could do an endoscopic brow lift in 15 OR 17 minutes. It would take that long just to make the 5 incisions, stop the bleeding, and get the endoscope ready. Are you numb from the procedure at this point? And you had fat transfer...still there? So, you spent 19K and, to get the result you thought you were purchasing, you now need to spend 11K more? I know he must have taken post op pictures at about 4 months so was there the improvement you wanted at that point or not at all? Just for comparison at the 3/4 month mark go to a RS profile called Renaissancelady46 and see what 6,200K buys in Ashville, NC. No one knows what result she will have at 2 yrs post but it might do well to see what those $'s can buy. Her doc is Dr David Harley and you could also visit a dr review site called Vitals to see what 80 other patients have to say. Comparisons are always good. grace60
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That is what he told me in conversation.. There is still mild numbness around my ears. Odd thing is that my lower ear lobes were also reduced in size. The only real good thing is that the scars from the lift are practically nonexistent. When I was there last week and telling the intake tech about all the issues I said that I wasn't even really sure the transfer was done. I am sure they are trained not to make any comment but she said yes it looks like it didn't "take". I have requested the photos so we will see how if I will have to do more then just 'request' them. I thought I would check into what Ultherapy cost and results since a reply from Lupe/Dr. Mentz said that would be what I would see Renee a RN for but she was the one who did the Botox which left me with the lid droop when she put it where I told her not to. OMG after reading the Ultherapy review I feel even worse. I don't know anyone who really has had a facelift to tell me all the things I guess I should have picked up through osmosis (that revisions have a 1 year limit, still not sure if the Botox Dr. Mentz kept talking about using with-in that time frame was also covered. I was having problems with the neck lift at 4-6 months. I told them that when I vacuumed the stairs that my neck loud terrible for at least a day after and started to wear the chin strap from post-op. You know what he said? Well the solution is don't vacuum the stairs. We did converse as friends with a lot of similar interests but he just kept telling me to wait. Little did I realize how naive I am. I have seen the city cost comparisons. Oddly enough I just finished telling my mom that I would love to live in NC! Thanks I will look at doc.
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I probably did everything wrong that could be done regarding picking the doctor. It was just recently that I thought to 'google' Dr. Mentz. Also read an article that said if you go in for something specific that you want corrected leave if they start selling you 'extras'. As my mom says I went to buy milk and ended up buying the farm. And no to the question did I have anyone recommend him for a face lift. Honestly I only know 2 women who had a face lift years ago. One said she was in need of one again but it had been 10 years and the other woman said she had consulted with Dr. Mentz but she chose Dr. Ceicil Yeung. He does the entire endoscopic lift and it takes 10-11 hours. Two reasons I decided not to use him was 1) he does not remove excess skin which I definitely had (actually still have some) and 2) I was not comfortable with the staff. My friend is still happy with him and plans on having more done. Dr. Mentz is charming and his staff are really nice. I still am in disbelief that what I thought I was getting is so far from reality that it has been difficult to even respond to the comments. Trust me I am not someone who is never satisfied. I take great care of my health and walk 3 miles 5-7x/week and stay trim and fit. I wanted to have my face reflect my youthful attitude and body. Gosh I am so dumb I even bought the vitamin regime they wanted me to do prior to and after the surgery ($85). I don't know if I had a honeymoon stage other then the week after the swelling had resolved and my eyes were open because those '11' muscles were probably still numb. Essentially the same effect I would get with Botox. The 3rd week post-op the 11's were back almost as strong. We talked about it then and he said that the standard brow lift takes him about 15 minutes. I said that he should have done the 17 minute on me. Did he not believe me when I told them how many units I had to have to relax those muscles? Part of the cost is 10 units of Botox anywhere you want it. I have a few tiny lines but they don't bother me. When I went for my appt. I saw his nurse practitioner and told her absolutely do not go outside of the center area of skin between my brows. No area above the brow is safe because I get lid droop. I had it before and it took almost a year for it to go back. So right after I finish saying that she pops me right above the brow! Every morning when I get up for the first 2-3 hours inner half of my lid hangs at an angle. Yesterday Dr. Mentz insisted Botox side effects are never permanent. So maybe I can figure a way to strengthen that lid. Another part of the cost (which I did not know until after I received my info packet was to have fraxel after the surgery. Guess I better write about that experience too. Was really painful and I have great pain tolerance. Didn't see any real change in my skin texture but she said she was not going deep. The Fraxel was in Januarry about 2.5 months after surgery. This is when I wish I had thought to take a picture of the effect of the Lidocaine gel they slather all over your face for an hour prior to the procedure. It completely opened my eye area by relaxing the 11's. It was shocking. I pointed it out to the aesthetician but she is no longer working with Dr. Mentz to back me up, During my follow-up visits I would report I was unhappy with the lack of brow-lift. He said it was too soon for him to do anything. Now I wish I had known to ask him WHEN he would consider it. I know they wrote it in my chart because I had to request a copy of the op report. I had had other surgeries on bone fractures and eye surgeries and hd never thrown up before. Turns out they use a lot of epinephrine. If I had know that I could of told them that my dentist knows that I cannot tolerate that drug because I have emesis and major hypertension. Later heard on one of those health segments on TV that this reduces the bruising in cosmetic surgery. Yesterday Dr. Mentz kept saying he wanted to know what I wanted. I pointed out that the curved lines over one eye had not changed, it was still very evident that the area between my eyes still had deep creases and that the corners ov my mouth were no longer turned up and there was pouching at the sides of my lower face. To make it worse I did not realize until seeing the pics that under my jawline was already saggy (he pointed that out) He kept saying he was confused as to what I wanted?? What ended up happening was that he made me feel like I would look really bazar if he raised my eyebrows. He said he did think that my lips had filled out a little and that he was happy with my check area. I tried to show that by my recent tweezing of my brows it appeared that the brow had gone up but it was really more of the way I did them. I saw this on Dr O (not sure if I am allowed to use his full name). My lips do plump when I use the Sally Hansen lip inflationxtreme. The fat transfer made no noticeable difference. It did leave a rather strange crease above my belly button when he took the fat from below (200 cc which is about a tablespoon and a third). The first time I went for a consult in 2008 I was only asking about getting surgery for the 11's. I only met with Lupe as Dr. Mentz only does consults on Mondays and Wednesdays. She started going much farther with the computer imaging and I left thinking wow that is major money for something I didn't realize I needed.I did not meet Dr. Mentz at that point. How it is that I went to dr. Mentz the second time was after having sculptra (4 vials) not work the nurse with Dr. Bruce said that dr. Mentz did do partial lifts. I previously had been told that Dr. Stephen Hamilton was one of the best and hew did a lot of the surgeries my friends clients had. I called and he only would do a full face lift but the starting cost (30K) was even more cost prohibitive as well as a 2 night minimum hospital stay. I have seen a lot of these women and they do look great. As a matter of fact I later found out that a neighbor had used him and it is hard to actually tell her age. Wish I had known that 2 yeas ago. For some reason things like sculptra and juvederm either don't work on me or are gone in 3 months or less. At my follow-ups Dr. Mentz kept telling me I needed to wait. In April of this year he told me to contact him after my eye surgery (I had a 12% drift outward in the eye with the lowest vision which occurred when I got tired). I believed that he was such a perfectionist that how he interacted with me he would notice things that he could do better. In April I even said that my lift was not one of his better ones. He just looked at me. I got the PR email a couple of weeks ago showing Dr. Mentz receiving an award in Paris for being the tops in facelift rejuvenation. I am curious how that vote occurs. He is triple board certified but I also am not sure the requirements for that either. As an RN I held a number of certifications that had different requirements so this is really just a professional question. He is very nice and all the staff do put you at ease. I just wish I had done more research and had been more demanding for something to be done. When I really let it out this week on everything he became a different person. Today I asked Lupe (via email) if Dr. Mentz thought any of the things on the spa side of the practice would help and the reply was that since it was longer then a year I did not fall under the "touch-ups as needed" and that I needed to contact his nurse practitioner and it would be full charge. I replied that he was the one that kept telling me to wait! It is what it is so I guess by posting these comments I have burned that bridge which is not really my style. I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt and a second chance to make it right but I was wrong to think that with Dr. Mentz. For RS readers do you advise that I post this on other sites? I have requested all the pics so that maybe I can see what Dr. Mentz sees. He did measures with a caliper to show that there was about 2mm lift in the downward turn of the lip area. This morning I took a picture of myself and it was just too upsetting to post. If they send me the pics I will try to get over it and put them up. I can make myself look great and I have ways to make eyes stand out as they always have been quite striking. As far as the surgery technique it was SMAS. I am now trying to look at natural ways to 'lift' and I know this may sound strange but on youtube there was a masseuse showing stars that she works on doing a facial massage from the inside. I thought that I should feel what the area is like which is drooping around my mouth where the buccal fat pads were removed and it does seem strange with one side having a harder area about the size of a kidney bean with a gap(?) above and the other side has just the gap. I don't know maybe I have gone into desperation mode but it is worth a try. I exercise all the other parts of my body! I just did another search on Dr. Mentz and there were complaints posted on other sites.
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Your story is one that doesn't get told enough on RS....few posters to this site are more than 1 yr out and almost any procedure has a shelf life of that long! Your PS has a real media presence and a slick website with beautiful photos but all of these patients are in the "honeymoon" stage of post op at less than 1yr . And of course he doesn't remember; it's YOUR face not his. And he really said at 2 yrs that facelifts don't last forever... Do you have any idea what type of facelift he did? SMAS, deep plane ??? tks grace60
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Wow, what a disappointment for you! How did you find the surgeon? Did you have good references and actually see his work? It seems that many PS will revise their work free except for the anesthesia and operating room. It's important that you vent and you will get great support here. :o)
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Thank you for sharing your experience on RealSelf!

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