After having a nurse injector try some juvederm in...
After having a nurse injector try some juvederm in nasal folds and seeing the results disappear before long another plastic surgeon told me about Sculptra. He recommended it to fill out loss of tissue on one side of the face and sent me home with a DVD demonstration that was very factual and realistic. The first series of injections cost $800 (vs. $600 spent on a juvederm treatment) and involved several syringes of the product. I didn't count but it looked like at least ten, so one vial of Sculptra is significantly more than a syringe of Juvederm. They applied face numbing cream and let it work for an hour before starting, then the doctor marked my face where he planned to inject and gave me a mirror to check. This is a very important step so don't let someone skip it! Before they started I warned I was apprehensive about pain so they gave me a stress ball, and it really helped! I have to admit the treatment was not completely painless but I could tell the doctor was being very thorough and that it would be worth it. I asked about bruising and pain later and they said I won't have much. I had a hard time believing it since juvederm injections had left me terribly bruised, when I had a different part of my face treated for another problem. That evening my face looked great from the liquid, nothing distorted or overdone and thought if that is my final result after two more treatments and the full effect of collagen building I'll be a very happy customer. After the first day, I couldn't believe I didn't have one red mark or bruising. Maybe it was the injector, but I had a great experience first time around and despite the moderate discomfort during the injection I'm looking forward to treatment #2.
New and Improved Sculptra Inector
27 Nov 2013
3 months post
Thanks to Real Self, I found a new aesthetic surgeon to take care of unfinished business from my scar revision under the chin and give me the best advice yet for correcting facial asymmetry with fillers. Dr. Young Cho in Spring, Texas is now the only aesthetic surgeon I will ever let touch my face again. Dr. Fortes did help me but only half-way, he just didn't have the desire to help me become my best. He has a really lovely staff but he started getting snippity and refusing to help me. I guess I can thank him for pushing me out the door so I could find Integrated Plastic Surgery in Spring, Texas, a reasonable drive from Houston. Now, read my review of Dr. Cho and eventually I will post pictures of my new and improved chin scar repair.
improvement after leaving Dr. Fortes...
24 Jan 2014
5 months post
Well, I'm not really one to go plastic surgeon hopping and no one should ever accuse me of it. I am however very determined to take care of myself first as well I should be. Some plastic surgeon's, and sadly I think it's a very large number, prejudge patients based on many factors and won't give you definite reasons why they will give you only a little help. Sometimes it's your age or maybe it's your socioeconomic circumstances, or they want to protect the surgeon who previously botched you up. Frankly, I think most of them are just waiting for the 20 to 30 year olds to walk in because they're so much easier to "rejuvenate." So never give a plastic surgeon the benefit of the doubt if you feel they are not really helping you. Take your own photos and trust your own gut. There are hundreds of plastic surgeons out there and someone somewhere else will help you. Here's a photo of when I left Dr. Fortes and began looking for help elsewhere, and you can see the positive transformation I received elsewhere on one of my other posts.
As previously explained, I received the remainder of my Sculptra injections to correct congenital assymmetry on the left somewhere other than Dr. Fortes' practice, because he would not address the ridiculous lobe on my lower right jawline during his "contour correction" procedure. This photo is an update showing the contour a year later. I remember breaking down crying in Dr. Fortes' office a month after his "contour" procedure seeing this lobe pushed even further up the jawline, and he told me I was making a "mountain out of a molehill." He knew kenalog wasn't going to fix this nor would it fix the lump on the left chin, and you can see the dent on my mid chin where he injected kenalog over there. I find it hard to believe this lobe on the right jawline cannot be surgically addressed with a very slight excisional flattening and stitching, it's just subcutaneous fat, and any slight scar will fade which is better than having a ridiculous lobe. The lobe obviously mars the lower contour but Dr. Fortes decided not to get involved with my complaint against the surgeon before me who pinched my skin and took 25 grand from me, grand theft in my book! You have to wonder if these surgeons get trained to lie in cosmetic school or if it's just something they learn as part of the political culture in their communities. Whatever the case, this lobe is going to have to go whatever it takes, a trip out of state, whatever it takes. I refuse to be silent about the truth of this industry, the lies and the abuse of surgeons who will take hundreds of dollars and still let you go around looking blighted just to protect a colleague.
"Assymmetry" has one "s" but I type too fast and this doesn't have spell check however I was probably thinking of the previous surgeon when I typed two "s's" instead of one. Also, I wrote "the surgeon before me"...I meant "the surgeon before him" (Dr. Fortes). Again, maybe it was another "Freudian slip" because I am the only one who is trying to flatten the lobe, non-surgically so far, but there are times I feel like cutting and stitching it myself although I'd never do that! Unfortunately, I'll have to keep searching for a surgeon who will.
would I recommend Dr. Fortes?
In all honesty, I would not recommend Dr. Fortes, and depending on how much weight you give to patient testimonies that decision is totally yours. However, I wouldn't mind recommending Dr. Fortes to the surgeon I went to before him should he ever need chin surgery...since he didn't see any problem with that surgeon's work. Truth is he probably wouldn't because I don't think he'd like a "molehill" created on his lower jawline either, but I may be wrong. I'm told, "it's all just opinion." As one plastic surgeon stated, "20 plastic surgeons, 20 different opinions." Evidently some believe the industry is just a "craps shoot"? If that's true, you can read all about my unhappiness with the "craps shoot" before Dr. Fortes in my post titled "Scam Warning", then you will learn how I finally got smarter and realized it doesn't have to be a "craps shoot".... you can find out who is performing well by researching as much as possible on RealSelf. Good luck whoever you choose!
Oops, I meant the previous surgeon took 2 1/2 grand....
not "25 grand." Yes, typing too fast while trying to smash the heck out of that skin lobe at the same time is bound to produce errors. Two 1/2 grand there, 2 1/2 grand here and I still have the freakin' skin lobe....wtf?
Oops, I did it again...
I meant 2.5 grand there, 2.75 grand here....almost six grand paid and I still have the skin lobe I wanted flattened, "wtf?" indeed!
make no mistake...
I have this skin lobe on my right jawline because of plastic surgeon politics and not because it's too hard to flatten. And once I'm good and tired of pressing it to no avail I'll probably resort to lancing it myself and I'm sure to do a nice job.
P.S. I regret letting Dr. Fortes do a Sculptra treatment...
From my experince in the cosmetic school of hard knocks, I can also honestly report I would not recommend Dr. Fortes' for Sculptra injections either. But if you want to try him out go ahead it's a free market and free country. However, I was told by the next Sculptra injector when I described Fortes' injections that he must have used the injection "fan technique," which does hurt more. Also, Fortes charged more than both of my Sculptra surgeons who followed him. The 3rd Sculptra surgeon's Sculptra cost $100 less and he's the one whose injections were virtually painless and he worked dilligently to deliver true correction of my congenital asymmetry, which when I first discussed the asymmetry with Dr. Fortes he tried to downplay it. Why downplay someone's congenital asymmetry, just like he downplayed the chin lumps, I had to wonder? So here's what I learned...if you feel an "aesthetic" or "cosmetic" surgeon is fudging on aesthetics, being half-hearted, however you describe it, then stop giving them the benefit of the doubt! If they've already taken enough money from you, as Dr. Fortes did from me ($2,750 for "contour correction" and $800 for Sculptra) and acting like your requests are nit-picky not necessary then take a hard look at your own thought processes! I regret I felt "dedication" to him for helping me a little bit under the chin and then shelling out $800 more for Sculptra, when I should have been out the door sooner than he pushed me out. RealSelf helped me do the hard thinking by describing my cosmetic journey, surgeon by surgeon, and finally realizing I'm the cause of my own poor choices. Guess I had to go around the cosmetic inustry block enough times to finally realize it gets political in nature once your issues are "surgeon-created"; it's no longer about your skin but about offending surgeons' skins who previously botched you. Please, learn from my mistakes! It be nice if cosmetic surgeons also learned, and started respecting skin like dermatologists do; not being cavalier and leaving dermal and subdermal tissue uduly scarred and debrided after lipo, fillers, excisions. I'm beginning to think most cosmetic surgeons get the bulk of their revenue from breast and abdominal work and get out of practice with thinner skin and more visible parts of the body, belieing Kenalog is the cure all when it may not be for face and neck. It seems cosmetic surgeons just want to get rid of you, opting for the quick fix instead, to make more consultation and appointment space for their breast and body patients. At least Real Self gives cosmetic victims the ability to express their opinions so other patents can research and consider because some still stubbornly insist on Kenalog when it should only be administered by skilled dermatological/plastic surgeons. I let Dr. Fortes try one Kenalog injection to my left subdermal lesion that he too (like the surgeon before him) did not want to excise and the Kenalog ended up depressing the skin which now that the left lup was excised is obvious and can be seen as a shadow on the lower left chin in my last photo. Bottom line, keep looking for opinions that resonate with your own research, and experience, and believe your own photos instead of the words that emanating from your plastic surgeons lips. Learn to stand up to your current surgeon and then be happy if he tells you "get out" like Dr. Fortes eventually did to me. I was mildly saddened by his brusqueness on that day but let's face it, from all I've been through I've developed "thick skin" emotionally. I even stood up to panel of 19 physicians, lawyers and staff of the Texas Medical Board and stated in so many words that photos don't lie but obviously surgeons do. They could have told me before I drove up to present my case that my testimony didn't matter because they were going to listen to "cosmetic" experts anyway, because they have to! The Texas Medical Practice Act neither prohibits nor regulates the degree of myopic vision they will allow in cosmetic surgeons before they will discipline them. But Board Members did sympathize and one member even complimented me on my well-argued presentation. That too was therapeutic in my emotional healing journey. So now I can honestly say about my experience with Dr. Fortes, "good riddance!" Before Real Self there were no feedback forums for cosmetic patients and surgeons to learn from errors and make amends with patients who've they taken money from and given poor results in return, if they care to make amends. Obviously, Dr. Fortes and the surgeon before him don't care. They took a total of $5,250, almost six grand! for flattening a small dermal lump on my lateral chin as part of the deal and neither one honored that request! Of course, I'm still upset and who wouldn't be but I'll eventually get over it....although not until I get the vestigal lump flattened!
typos..."vestigial" not "vestigal"
Oh my, I was on a roll and there are far too many typos in the above to correct. Just read for content because it's darn good testimony and advices to all cosmetic victims out there and I feel much better for having finally told the whole truth!
Shorter version of Above!
1) Turn down Kenalog if a lump can be easily excised!
2) Trust your own photos.
3) Don't stop searching until you find a surgeon whose words jibe with your own photo.
4) Good luck because cosmetic surgery is a poorly regulated industry.
I never had a chin cleft but I do now because of Kenalog.
Live and Learn!!!!
21 Apr 2014
8 months post
So if you need a facial refinement and repair don't go to a general plastic surgeon!!! Next week I have a consultation with a surgeon trained extensively in reconstruction and aesthetics of the head and neck. True, not all head and neck surgeons are created equal but I've done hours of research on this person on Real Self and read almost all of his 160 expert answers and he repeatedly recommends "tried and true" treatment options that are "efficacious" and do not "waste money" (all of those are his words!) I also found a video in which he demonstrates how to excise lingering muscle fragments before closure to ensure no lumps. He's exactly who I need to work on me next, someone who seems to have as much dislike for lumps as I do and knows how to get rid of them. Before the days of Real Self I would just open the yellow pages and let my fingers do the walking but thank goodness for Real Self because now I can busy my fingers for as many hours as I want to make sure my next choice in surgeons won't be another personal fail. No excuse any more to waste time on surgeons who just don't have the interest in striving for perfections while treating difficult facial refinements. If I get my submental scar closer to a more normal appearance I'll be sure to post the result in another scar category on Real Self and share the surgeon's name. Wish me luck!
Dr. Fortes understood how to remove damaged submental skin I was trying to get rid of for a long time from another surgeon's overuse of Kenalog and he did succeed in that effort, however he wanted to treat adjacent iatrogenic lumps on either side of the scar with Kenalog. It was obvious to me, and others, that a true aesthetic result was still not achieved but he couldn't see it. I've yet to understand cosmetic surgeons who hold back on providing the best possible result when they're treating you after someone else's poor work. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and let him try my first Sculptra treatment to build up the left side of my jawline and face but what I really wanted was my lumpy chin scar corrected! So other than Dr. Fortes' unwarranted belief in Kenalog, to treat iatrogenic subcutanous lumps, I would say he's an excellent surgeon. But HE ended up pushing me out of his practice because of disagreement over lump removals! Fortunately, with the help of reviews from Real Self, I found the subcutaneous excisional work I needed and my next Sculptra treatments were received elsewhere; I ended up getting rid of two granulomas under the chin and beautifully symmetrical in the face which you can find out how in my other posts.
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