3 Sep 2013
11 months post
I thought I did my research on this doctor and he seemed to have all the right qualifications and experience to carefully excise along a previous scar line and revise by removing depressions and lumps along previous incision. The attached photo shows all he did was add more scar tissue on top of a subcutaneous lump that should have been flattened. Remarkably, he led me into a s procedure that lasted only five minutes under the pretense of something costly, $2,500. His five minute pinch accomplished absolutely nothing I requested in a photoshop visualizations, showing the skin leveled, bumps and depressions gone, stitched back near the previous scar line and hidden nicely in the natural chin crease. Isn't that what good plastic surgery can do? I went to someone else 4 months later and he accomplished what I wanted for the same price. This doctor's result was so incomprehensible, I should warn other consumers of his potential to short cut work and make you a very unsatisfied customer, leaving you out a big chunk of money, because he can; he has demonstrated absolutely no interest in acknowledging he didn't do what I requested and return the money. He knows how to omit documentation in the medical record and claim innocence. All this would be unthinkable for most if not all other board certified plastic surgeons, so you would do well to shop around, get incision plans documented, reviewed, initialed, in the consultation, and get at least a couple more consultations and estimates, because a five minute procedure whether requested or not should never cost $2,500! The surgeon who did what I requested spent 30 minutes doing careful work and kept the hand held mirror close by so he could ask me to check everything before covering work with a bandage, and he did not drug me up with Valium. Never assume because some one is board certified that you can blindly trust. In fact, there's someone else on Real Self with over 70 positive reviews and when I checked the State Medical Board website he has had three disciplinary actions, most recently ordered to get a psychiatric evaluation. I'm working on an appeal to the State Medical Board and once I have the inert object removed that this doctor added to my scar to make it stick out even more, I'll be ready to present my case to the board in person, and the presentation is scheduled. Word to the wise...an ethical surgeon will make you a co-partner every step of the way and will never short cut a consultation or a procedure because they were overbooked that day or whatever their excuse. I'm going through a root canal treatment right now in two sessions, two hours each, and the medical practioner is saving me from systemic infection, responding to phone calls about unusual pain, swelling, lumps, etc for $1,500. No plastic surgeon no matter how special or great they think they are should be allowed to charge $2,500 for a 5 minute pinch procedure, then later come up with a bunch of alibis. There are a lot of plastic surgeons who will treat you as a real medical case, not just a consumer who wants to spend expendable cash on a luxury treatment and should therefore be tricked and misled. No one deserves to be intentionally botched and have their money stolen.
my update is just an edited version of the first post..
3 Sep 2013
11 months post
It seems once you post something it can't be edited or removed, unless someone can tell me how. Please share!
Pre-Procedure Photo for comparison and clarification...
I should be as real as possible here on "Real Self" with this consumer advisory. I'm adding a "pre-procedure" photo brought to my consultation with Dr. Boutros, along with a photoshopped version of the same showing improvement to the scarline, to which Dr. Boutros nodded and said "yes, except the left lesion." Comparing this photo to the 4-month post procedure photo one can see the lesion is still there and in fact incised into and elevated with too much suture material, while the original scarline left untouched. So the patient/consumer can infer that Dr. Boutros does not even know how to excise a small dermal lesion correctly, much less admit to it and return money. So should he gain your confidence and you find yourself already in his chair drowsy with Valium and no plan on paper or photos of the treatment area in your medical record, you should muster the courage to run out and call your credit card company to let them know you are about to get scammed. Of course, most patients would find it really hard to do this but I'm letting you know because I regret my decision to trust him once the scapel was out. In fact, I think statements like, "Trust your face to a plastic surgeon," should be struck from advertisements, and I might end up being the poster child for that consumer advocacy cause. It's sad the whole industry gets tainted by doctors like this but unless they self-polic and self-monitor, doctors like him will continue to under perform and get away with it. Fortunately,"Real Self" does it's part to help consumers find the doctors who do perform well. Soon I'll be posting my final result after the excision of the left lesion is finally healed, and it will be obvious I got the help I needed only after getting away from Dr. Boutros' "care." It also took an extra excision and four kenalog injections to erase the last of the bulk he created; although there's still a visible scar outside the original scar line that hopefully time will erase. But anyway, thanks to "Real Self," and patient testimonies, I found two surgeons who delivered the best the industry has to offer and didn't charge me an arm and a leg. So if you're still looking for help don't give up. Help is available, one Doctor at a time if necessary.
2 "Real Self" Doctors who deserve to be mentioned...
It actually took three doctors after Dr. Boutros to help me get what I wanted in this photoshop realization brought to Dr. Boutros in August 2012. The doctor right after Boutros only did the midline and wanted to keep hitting the lesion(s) with Kenalog but I went for other opinions. Dr. Craig Rock who I found on "Real Self" decided to take out the right nodule, afterall it was an unknown and a pathology lab report would put my mind at ease. He was unsure about the larger left lesion so I kept searching for someone secure with "anomalous" subcutaneous excisions and found Dr. Young Cho, also on "Real Self," and Eureka! He was the my long-awaited help and I will use him for everything now. Both these doctors are wonderful, the consultations were very thorough, detailed, well-documented with photos, repeated palpations of the lesions, and drawings on photos, etc. They're among the few doctors in my history of cosmetic repair consultations that kept their ego out of the discussion and the focus was on making me better in the safest and most cost-effective manner possible. Their incisions are unnoticeable, flat, lovely, and they didn't swipe the credit card until after the work. I would highly recommend either one.
Soon I will post my final result photo....
Stay tuned and I will show you my final result photo which is very close to my photoshop visualization that I just posted. The moral of this story is don't give up. Both time and finding the right help will eventually yield scar improvement but make sure the doctor has clinical interest and expertise in scar improvements, otherwise you'll get burned, gouged and pinched along the way, like I did.
Year and half later and it's still an elevated scar....
This is the first anniversary of the procedure I received four months after Dr. Boutros cut me on the right lateral chin and bulked up a dermal lump he was suppose to flatten, and as well as excise damaged tissue near a previous incision line. You can see from the photo he created a bulge that the next surgeon couldn't really deal with, and he did it by performing a double closure on my thin skin and 4-0 monocryl sutures, large sutures normally used in abdominoplasty I was told. What kind of plastic surgeon who knows about suture sizes, appropriate closures and flattening lumps, would do this to a woman? As far as I'm concerned, he's no better than the thugs on the street who will knock down a vulnerable women to grab her purse or jewelry. So not a day goes by since he created this lump on the side of my jawline that I don't try to abrade and/or flatten it but it is impossible; he intended me to have a bump on the lateral chin forever, to match the lump on the lateral left, that he told me in my consultation he didn't want to remove. For him, the procedure was a no brainer and very lucrative, a five minute pinch for $2,500....good work when you can get it he was probably thinking. He knows the law in Texas very well because he has a link to his brother's personal injury law firm on his website. He knows giving a cosmetic patient another scar is not a medical injury and would be considered business as usual. He knew full well the cards were stacked in his favor. Word to the wise to those who do their research, don't trust this man to any highly visible area on your face, and I've read similar bad reviews about him on other websites regarding poor results on the breast. The only positive reviews are brief and sound like he wrote them. This photo I'm posting today says it all, even though it was from a year ago; and when the swelling went down I looked like I had a very bizarre drooping chin because the surgeon who did the repair on the midline told me he had to start his incision where Dr. Boutros' incision left off, which was too far below and to the side of the natural chin crease. The two doctors who eventually helped to remove lingering subcutaneous bulk this summer could not deal with what Dr. Boutros created either, conservatively working at the midline, and kenalog won't completely flatten what Boutros did either. So I continue to work on the strange little lump with my finger nail because that's my only option. So maybe I'll eventually post the final result which sometimes I'm optomistic about, until I take a photo from the same angle as this one and see that the bump is still there. So although this story is more probably more related to chin surgery than scar removal, I hope as many people as possible will read it and take heed. Think twice before trusting your face to a doctor who could do this to anyone, regardless of who she is and that the doctor just considered her a throw away cosmetic patient he'd could ignore later on and never be responsible to. Even if you are a young beauty queen, don't go into your consultation alone with this doctor, you will need a second pair of eyes and ears every step of the way!
6 month post 2nd submental/scar revision...
These are photos approximately one year post Dr. Boutros' lateral left skin pinch showing the impact his little trick procedure had overall on the chin contour. The second surgeon didn't know what else he could do so I looked for help getting the subcutaneous nodule on the right removed and then the left. I finally get it that the lateral left lump is impossible so I have to move on. I'm sure Dr. Boutros would be happy to know I didn't succeed in getting rid of his signature bump because he intended to make me go away feeling terrible, probably to vindicate previous surgeons whose work I critiqued. Yes I critiqued a previous surgeon's work stating he gave me a bump and so Dr. Boutros planned to give me a bump too, while along smiling and saying yes to my visualized repair in the consultation. "Buyer Beware" is really an understatement; this man deviates from the norm on many standards.
revision to last post...
I meant lateral right skin pinch in the above post....Dr. Boutros only worked on the lateral right lump and turned it into a lateral right bump that will last for as long as I do. I highly recommend him for creating permanent bumps!
For $2,500, you should ask for a diamond stud to go with your permanent bump.
Well, I think it should be clear to the untrained eye by now that Dr. Boutros merely underscored a subcutaenous lump to make it stand out even more because he saw an opportunity to make quick money from a throwaway cosmetic victim who he felt sure the next doctor would dismiss as a chronic complainer. Real Self gave me the opportunity to find doctors who did care enough to help me out of the horrible dilemma of carrying around a drooping chin that made me look like a complete fool and cosmetic loser. And the last doctor cared enough to help start turning around the toll this took on the rest of my face and get me on the on the road feeling proud of my natural God-given youthful skin, so I could forget I had ever been gouged, burned, pinched, and tossed away for hopeless. There are good plastic surgeons out there and there is hope.
Last word of caution....
I should mention how good this doctor and his staff are at inducing you to believe you're getting a real surgery when in fact you're getting a total sham service. They tell you Valium is required and someone must drive you home, they take your credit card payment first thing with a statement on it that says, "...I acknowledge goods and services were received..." then he works his magic explaining things while you're drowsy with Valium and charts it as informed consent while he slaps a bandage on the presto-chango quick fix with staff whisking you down the elevator in a wheelchair saying..."Oh it looks wonderful!" eventhough it has a bandage on it. Then, he lets his nurse take the stitches out at the follow up which she quickly covers with another bandage, again saying it look great! In the interim if you're lucky to have a level headed person in your life they'll tell you...that doctor stole your money and f-d you up!....at which point you go into shock and denial knowing the money is already taken. He still doesn't want to see you at the next follow up sending his nurse ahead of him to see if you're angry or if you brought a witness, then he rushes in and says in no uncertain terms that he did exactly what you wanted, nothing more nothing less, without batting an eyelash. Ladies, don't go into your consultation, procedure or follow-up without some muscle with you because doubtful he would run this kind of game with a man on your arm, because that's just how this doctor rolls.
an update was requested....
Unfortunately, this poor result from Dr. Boutros' pinch incision will sit on the side of my face for a long time to come or possibly forever. I could have gotten a better scar being robbed at knife point at an ATM machine; that scar would have been superficial and faded easily and the offender would have gotten only $500 because my ATM limits the amount of withdrawal in a 24 hour period. Obviously, this doctor wanted the bump he gave me to last a good long time and if someone did this to him or his own family member he would see it as wrong. Anyone can see the wrong. The problem is how a consumer can right a wrong like this with all the cards seemingly stacked in the offending doctor's favor. Cosmetic surgery is not regulated the same as other medical fields but I still have not exhausted all my options for remedy so stay tuned.
most recent photo...
This was taken January 2013, a year and a half after I got away from Dr. Boutros for a real submental repair, plus exra work to debulk the "element of puffiness" (his words from the chart record) that he added to the right dermal lump. Of course my presentation to the Texas Medical Board was thoughtfully reviewed and considered but what could they do; clearly, his aesthetic judgment was impaired but there are no rules in the medical practice act regulating physician's aesthetic incompetence, or even how much they can overcharge you. Instead, they sent him a "custom letter" about his charting methods, which in my opinion were downright silly and unbecoming of a 40-something board certified surgeon. I decided to post this saga because why should the 19 or so members and their staff of the Texas Medical Board be the only ones to know who not to go to if they need submental chin work? By the way, Dr. Boutros advertises he is a craniofacial expert but it wasn't until I got away from him that I was educated on the best current treatment option for correcting congenital craniofacial asymmetry that does not involve high-risk surgery. So this result also shows the effects of six vials of Sculptra that filled out the smaller left jaw and cheek area, beautifully I might add. Marred only by the blight on the right lateral chin that Dr. Boutros intended me to have forever.
Dr. Boutros will set you back!!
I want everyone who reads this to know that the cosmetic surgeons who will set you back are rare, but protect yourself anyway. Times are tough and doctors are also looking to pay bills. During my lengthy repair to a submental hollow every doctor who treated me provided some relief, even if a minor defect was inadvertently created in the process; and they were upfront with the risk as well as exactly what they intended to do, with the cost of the procedure being an assurance they planned to do exactly what I requested and described. In my history of repairs, Dr. Boutros was singular and audacious in consciously creating a new defect with absolutely no benefit that he intended for me not to know about until his scalpel was out and then it was too late. It took weeks for me to realize the scam because of bandage coverings, swelling that needed to subside, and a naive belief in his goodness which he goes overboard in trying to convince you of in his website...methinks he self-promotes too much! Explaining a deviation from the original treatment request while a patient is under sedation is obviously sneaky and unconscionable and no one in the industry does that unless they haven't got the skills to do what you want in the first place and they're just looking for quick income. It's customary for a surgeon who doesn't have the skill to do what you request to refer you to someone else or simply turn down the work. There is nothing I've written here that isn't true and not obvious from photos. There is nothing here the doctor can deny. Which is why he'll keep trying to add new positive reviews he solicits or writes himself on this and other websites to help redeem himself. One thing for sure, returning money he didn't earn is something this doctor will never do because he doesn't see anything wrong with inducing a patient to choose his services and then performing the least corrective procedure and overcharging. With him, your surgery is just a means to an end, and not the end itself. As I originally stated, "buyer beware!"
correction to above: last photo was taken January 2014, not 2013
So many details ... The post above the last one stated "This was taken Jauary 2013" when I meant 2014. Time flies when you must look at the biggest mistake of your recent history in the mirror every day, and gradually realize nothing will erase it.
Dr. Boutros' positive reviews keep rolling in....
...and what would you expect? They don't roll in on all the other surgeons who treated me, and 99% of the other cosmetic surgeons on RealSelf, because they're too busy performing top aesthetic surgery and not playing games. Dr. Boutros has a new one on Vitals claiming he donates money to charity and he's "Christian." Perfect antidote to this post which clearly spells out he took a large sum of money from me through deceit. Be sure to ask for records of those charitable contributions before you rush in to help the needy by getting your surgery performed by Dr. Boutros, aka Dr. Robin Hood in my book. Things just don't jibe with the whole saintly persona thing he's trying to create and what doctor does that in their ads? I think if he's overcharging in order to give our money to charity he needs to state that in the consultation so at least we might be able to claim the overcharging as a charitable contribution on our tax return, as I'm sure he takes advantage of himself. So I'm expecting a new reviewer any day now claiming they got the perfect chin surgery from Dr. Boutros and I can't wait to see the pictures.
another update requested...another depressing photo
I thought my own work to flatten the little lobe on the right jawline from Dr. Boutros' pinch procedure was yielding improvement until I took this photo and now I'm depressed. This was a week ago and then "my work" started getting more aggressive so it will take more time before the next photo and I don't really want to take another photo just to get more depressed that more of my own work didn't work either. I really just need a cosmetic surgeon who knows how to get rid of this lobe and I'll probably have to search outside of Texas because everyone else in Houston is at a loss for words. So much time and money spent to improve a lifetime of craniofacial deformity and I have to live with this totally unnecessary lobe because some "so and so" doctor couldn't pass up the oportunity to take $2,500 from a desperate cosmetic victim who he was sure other surgeons in the community would agree deserved to have her money taken and further deformed because she complained about their colleague's work. Well, besides greed, that's my best guess as to why a surgeon would do this to someone.
Dr. Boutros will play semantic games and leave you looking ridiculous....
As evidenced by all my photos, it's clear Dr. Boutros was just playing a joke on a cosmetic victim who was unhappy with what previous surgeons did to her and he thought it was "pay back time" for her. No one knows how many others have left his "care" with similar problems who just shrugged it off to the nature of the industry and the "risks" of cosmetic surgery. Dr. Boutros counts on that kind of passive naivete so if you're not passive and not naive you might want to shop around.
Also Beware of recent Positive Reviews posted...
I've read industry articles advising doctors to counteract bad reviews by adding their own positive reviews to skew rating totals. It really damages the integrity of reviewing websites and defeats their purpose but be a smart consumer and become knowledgeable of these trolling tactics. It's just conjecture, but I wouldn't put it past plastic surgery marketing agents to start coming up cosmetic patients for hire who will post their positive experience photos on websites like this in order to appear as authentic patients of the doctor. Seriously, if some docs will mislead consumers with stock photos that aren't their own work why not this too; and since I've been through this remarkable scam, and read about other patient's bad experiences, I feel like cosmetic surgery may turn into a "no holds bar" industry. There's little remedy for patients who lose hundreds or thousands of dollars on "work" that really isn't work, so tread carefully!
A friendly well-repsected dermatologist down the street who treated me for something else recently just looked at my submental work and said, "You really need a whole new revision and a nice pink scar!" and recommended two top plastic surgeons in Houston. I called one and their staff said because I had lesion removals on the same scarline I had to wait six more months, a whole year out from previous incisions before the surgeon will work on it. Two years ago I set out to improve a clumsy looking repair job beneath my chin and about $7000 later it still looks bad enough for a dermatologist to advise it needs another repair, and a really good one next time around. In the meantime my social life is shot to hell, people are calling, emailing, wondering what's wrong and I'm not willing to explain I'm totally embarassed and humiliated at having paid about ten grand the past few years for "cosmetic treatments" to a submental scar, including juvederm to fill the submental hollow, and it still looks like bad Houston road work. I had to attend a funeral a few years ago and when I told my sister about some dental work that went wrong she remarked, "You got screwed by a medical professional again?" So I declined a visit the past two Thanksgivings because I didn't want to her to see that I had been dealt bad medical treatment again, and yet again....thanks to Dr. Boutros who made my submental scar line virtually impossible to restore to something more natural looking. Sadly, there are medical professionals who are just too self-centered and narcissistic to allow someone other than themselves to come out looking good; that's what happened here and the photos tell the whole story.
a review Dr. Boutros removed from Google...
FYI -- Dr. Boutros must pay to get rid of negative reviews on other websites. I have personally seen three removed. He's the only surgeon out there I know who does this. I had saved the text for two because they were similar to my experience and here's an excerpt of one just removed from Google....."Unethical approach to breast reconstruction patients. He pushes the most invasive (and highest reimbursement) surgeries, regardless of whether they are correct for the patient......Once I went to another surgeon I realized how Boutrous minimizes how horribly invasive the flap surgeries are. I now know that breast reconstruction is a long process, so you had better have someone really attentive to detail before going into surgery."
Truer words were never spoken about reconstruction and revision, and scar treatments are a long process as well. However, no one deserves to have unnecessary scar tissue or more problems added in the process like Boutros added to mine and to this persons. Next week I'm seeing a real facial plastic reconstruction surgeon who was trained to work exclusively with damage to skin on the head and neck and his cosmetic "before and afters," which are clearly labeled as his own patients, are all amazing. He's one of the few surgeons who posts "afters" just three weeks post surgery so patients get a realistic understanding of post surgery scars and healing. I have spent hours, days and even weeks scouring Real Self for a local Houston surgeon with an interest in scar treatments and I think I've found the one now and my consultation is next week. I've read almost all of his expert answers (over a 100), poured over his before and afters on his website and other sites, which there are many, listened to his patient testimonials on YouTube, and watched some of his videotaped surgeries. He actually demonstrated how to excise before closure to make sure lumps are not left behind! It doesn't get any more transparent than that! And eventhough he had one or two negative reviews, the reviewer wrote later on he followed up and corrected the problem. So if he can treat my scar to get it closer to a normal, natural appearance I'll be sure to post the results and share his name for anyone who needs a surgeon highly skilled in facial refinements. Wish me luck!
Going into revision surgery next week.
So far my consultation with a true facial revisionist has passed the test. The consultation was done in a well-lit room at a conference table with a free-standing mirror and both the doctor and his patient coordinator in front of laptops ready to listen, observe, photograph and advise; also,the surgeon's own before and after results book was readily available on a table in the waiting room. So in my case, the surgeon made it perfectly clear that a complete necklift revision was required including general anesthesia and ample surgery time. After so many incisions/excisions/alterations, original tissue is scarred and displaced to the point that surgery risks increase and cosmetic outcomes much more challenging. Of course, there was no guarantee Dr. Boutros' pinch on the jawline could be addressed because surgeons just don't choose to create new scars that far outside the natural chin crease. Oh well. So if you need a scar revision or refinement, trust your face to a double board certified ENT Facial Plastic Surgeon with picture evidence and years experience with hundreds of actual face and neck lifts, and recontruction/revisions to deformed skin and underlying tissues. By the way, the slogan is "Trust your face to a facial plastic surgeon" not "Trust your face to a plastic surgeon." Also, "craniofacial" doesn't count as an "elite credential" for facial cosmetic refinement surgery, especially when the surgeon is not even board certified in it as is the case with Dr. Boutros. Let me repeat...."Buyer Beware!" Understanding differences between specialities is very important and reading expert answers on RealSelf helped me figure this all out and I summed it up for anyone else out there who needs guidance.
Recap of history of problem.
I stated in the last post, "...surgeons just don't choose to create news scars that far outside the natural chin crease." I meant surgeons except for Dr. Boutros. As my "recap" photos show, he went ahead and incised one inch diagonally downward and away from the natural chin crease and then told me in the follow up, the only one I had because I couldn't stand to look at his face and hear him talk nonsense again, "I created a cone shape....I did only a little just like you asked." The he charted I told him to make the diagonal incision but said he cautioned me it wouldn't look good. Such childish excuse making. But board certified plastic surgeons protect one another so tread carefully out there and remember to only trust your face to a board certified "Facial Plastic Surgeon."
Victory at last! Peace Out!
This is my final post under "Buyer Beware." If anyone wants the name of the surgeon who performed this revision surgery just three days ago private message me. The first photo is pre-op and the rest are 3 days post-op: revision neck lift and debulking of submental filler (alloderm). All the bad stuff was sent to a pathology lab and the surgeon left me with a cosmetic result that we are both calling "a grand slam home run!"
One last piece of advice from "those in the know"
Someone brought to my attention that a surgeon who has "no complaints or lawsuits on record" doesn't guarantee their actual skill or integrity. As I found out, State Medical Boards give low priority and sympathy to victims of "botched" cosmetic procedures; they're more interested in going after surgeons advertising their "snake oil" cures cancer than those claiming it will improve your skin. Bottom line, you end up signing a statement before treatment acknowledging things can go wrong, leaving lots of latitude for a surgeon to perform along the path of least effort. There's enormous variation in surgeon experience with the whole array of cosmetic procedures, and in their manner of doing business. Educate yourself on your surgeon's actual experience before allowing them to touch your face, neck or body with an instrument that will permanently alter you.
Well, it appears the right jawline is not entirely "lobe-free"...
...because the skin remains puckered. My last surgeon gave it his best shot but it appears the epidermis won't contract and flatten normally, for all the reasons described in my previous posts, the pinch, the bulk added, yada yada ad nauseum. It's just not normal tissue underneath the skin anymore and will remain a pucker. So Dr. Boutros' signature cannot be erased. I've learned there are other kinds of legal remedies besides "malpractice," which by the way I wouldn't wish on anyone. It's one thing to have a surgeon's signature added to the side of your face and another to have been tricked into paying out the nose for it. Enough said!