Please Help - Horrible Brachioplasty - Laguna Niguel, CA

Hello; I am very depressed and in despair.......


I am very depressed and in despair.... I had what was supposed to be a limited incision brachioplasty. I have never been heavy, but had large upper arms. At any rate, this doctor took too much skin to the extent I now have webbing and restriction of arm movement due to the fact he took so much skin. He then did 4 revisions to attempt to correct what he did, which made things worse.

I have seen 2 other Drs that have told me I need a skin graft, or z plastly (both I hear leave large, horrible scars). So in addition to having restricted arm movement, I have thick, ugly, visible scars. I am really depressed and in despair, so in addition to not being able to wear short sleeve tops, let alone a sleeveless top, I have horrible, thick, visible, ugly scars, webbing and restricted arm movement. This has such an extreme effect on my self esteem to the point I don’t want to go out. Is there anything that can be done to fix this aside from the extreme options above which will restore functionality, but leave worst scaring? I am really desperate for help.

Update: I am still in a lot of pain which is...

Update: I am still in a lot of pain which is getting worse because of the contracture, which continues to crack open if I try and raise my arm too high. I have had to see an Orthopedic Surgeon and Physical Therapist because of the pain and limited range of motion.
Orange County Plastic Surgeon

Please see photos, which are I believe self explanitory. Seemingly decent until money (very expensive) is taken (1st surgery). Afterwards and with the 4 revisions is Very uncompassionate, uncaring, accusitory (blamed poor results on me and everything except his poor surgeries) angry, intimidating, flippant... Although I experienced severe pain after all surgeies, especially the 1st one which was the worst, he denied me stronger pain meds and allowed me to suffer. He also did a revision to a previous poor thigh/buttocks lift.. the results are no better and now I am left with thick, visible scars under my buttocks and what lools like a very long rear end under pants. I can never wear a bathing suit or sleeveless tops again and have been told I need skin grafts or a "Z" plasty to correct damage to under arms (leaves worse larger scars) After already being depressed having bad previous surgeries, he gave false promises, took my money (life savings) and left me with horrible, painful results requiring extensive repair surgery to restore mobility. This man has caused me so much pain, both physically and emotionally. The impact is devistating and so negatively has effected my self worth.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
2 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 8 others found this helpful

Comments (16)

Sort by

My scar is worse from my botched surgery. I know what you're going through. Hope you can get it haven't been able to afford to and mine was done over 10 yes ago.
  • Reply
I feel for you. Would you consider revision?
  • Reply
-:- Message from RealSelf staff -:-

This comment does not follow our Community Guidelines and/or Terms of Service. We reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.
  • Reply
I am sorry for your pain and suffering as result of your surgery. The photos are shocking. I see that Dr. Agha has "distinguished status" on this website. How is that possible with the documented issue you and another poster have had? Has this site acknowledged your complaint? I cannot trust any information here if there are no checks and balances.
  • Reply
I agree.  How could he possibly have "distinquished status" with results like this.  These photos say it all.  Don't understand that why that is not indicated.
  • Reply
I agree with you. This "doctor" should not have distinguished status. He only wanted the quick easy payer with no complications and couldn't handle the "what if" scenario. This girl has suffered and he took all of her money. The attorney she trusted was absolutely no better. At the very least I think she should go to the state medical board and lodge a complaint and they will investigate. In all it is tragic and now I hesitate to have arm lift surgery because of this.
  • Reply
Hello again. You might consider going to the local medical board with this. I think someone should know what this guy has done to you and they may be able to help you with low cost or no cost surgeons who can either write off their services as a charitable deduction or write it off as a loss. Also, is there a free legal clinic in your area? Even if you can't get your jerk attorney to help you and he apparently feels he can't get experts for your lawsuit, another attorney may be able to file a civil lawsuit. I got this from Wikipedia: Lawsuit: civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint. If the plaintiff is successful, judgment will be given in the plaintiff's favor, and a variety of court orders may be issued to enforce a right, award damages, or impose a temporary or permanent injunction to prevent an act or compel an act. A declaratory judgment may be issued to prevent future legal disputes. Although not as common, lawsuit may also refer to a criminal action, criminal proceeding, or criminal claim. So, I am thinking that you obviously have incurred extraordinary loss financially, physically and emotionally. Please try to find someone that can go after this guy. He has malpractice insurance AND liability or business insurance. Considering that he has ruined your good mental health, I would also seek the advice of a psychologist. Firstly I think it would help with some of the despair caused by Dr. Agha and it would bolster your case for damages. As always, hoping for your best outcome.
  • Reply
Dear Friend,
I am so horribly sorry to see this. You need to see a malpractice attorney immediately. He or she will separate you from this despicable "doctor" immediately and get all of your medical records. Don't sound the alarm by telling them in advance of your plans, or giving them an opportunity to alter your records if they haven't already. With your settlement you can get the treatment you need. Most attorneys will only get their fee from the settlement. My friend had liposuction by an unscrupulous doctor here in Vegas and almost died. She didn't collect any money because of the numerous lawsuits against this guy, but he is in jail as we speak. Oh, so is his wife. My prayers are with you, sweetie.
  • Reply
How are you doing?
  • Reply
Who are you?
  • Reply
Oh my lands I am SO sorry~
  • Reply

You definitely have good reason for a lawsuit. It is my understanding that those releases can be overcome. His fee is also outrageous and a reputable doctor would refund you money (at the very least) and refer you to a different doctor who specializes in reconstruction. You might try to find a lawyer who will take your case on a contingency basis since the doctor's fee has wiped out your savings. Your first doctor should lose his license so it doesn't do this to any one else. I am so sorry this happened to you and wish you good luck in finding a solution. Have you tried seeing Dr. Brent Moellekn in Beverly Hills CA? He has been a contributing doctor here at He has excellent credentials and reputation. It might be worth your while to have at least a consult with him.

  • Reply
Thank you very much for taking the time to read and respond to my post. My apologies, I would have responded sooner but I did not get post notifications. I truly appreciate your empathy and compassion. This "Dr." is a cold, heartless, butcher. I feel so horrible and ashamed of myself, this plays on my self-esteem and well being every day. What makes things worse; and in my opinion why there are Dr's like these out there, is because they can and it is very difficult to find an attorney. I literally called and consulted with 10 different attorneys, pretty much all the same... Most of these attorneys are shocked when they see the damage, but none them will take my case because none of the Dr's I saw afterwards were willing to serve as an expert witness stating that what this "Dr" did "was below the standard of care". None of them want to because it is a very small circle and they all know each other. I did finally get 1 to (barely) take the case, but he is more of an independent attorney, which is fine, except for the fact that he has not kept me updated, says he'll call me back and doesn’t, etc. It’s been since November 2011 and there has not been anything done! I am very afraid to push him too much for fear that he will drop me, which if he does, I will have nothing and will not be able to get the money I need to correct the damage. It is getting more painful and my shoulder aches because I am unable to raise my arms past a certain level. I am so depressed and need help, but I have not been able to get it and don’t know where and how to. This "Dr" is still practicing and I found out that there is someone else who has a malpractice suit against him! Yet he continues to practice! I will try contacting Dr. Moellekn, however it is currently pointless because if I do not win my money back, I will not have the money to correct the damage. Like I said, I am depressed every day, he butchered me and I paid him to do it. The reason there are Dr's like him is because this system allows it. Malpractice suits are very difficult to win. I am so embarrassed that I don’t talk about this to anyone so am dealing with it alone and no one I can talk to that will understand. Anyway, I'd love to talk more and any suggestions, contacts or ideas you have would be greatly appreciated.
  • Reply
So sorry to hear that the bad result has not been resolved. For starters, I would send a certified letter (with a signed receipt requested) to your surgeon and ask for copies of your complete medical file. You are entitled to this by law and I believe in California they have 30 days to comply. Then I would find out what board he is certified by (ie American Board of Plastic Surgery or whatever) and call them to find out how to file a written complaint. You might also contact the California Medical Board (search online) and ask them how to proceed with a complaint against your surgeon. Then I would get your attorney to write a letter to your doctor on his letterhead asking for a refund or settlement in lieu of a full blown lawsuit. If you can't get any action from your attorney, try the mediation route. I am sure you signed a "medication agreement" when you first saw your surgeon and set up the surgery. So another option might be to pursue getting a least some of your money back using the mediator instead. I'd pursue both at the same time with the hope that one would get some results. Given the photos, it seems reasonable that you are entitled to some sort of compensation. In California, it is my understanding that you have only one year from the surgery to file a time is critical. I know this is devastating and you are likely feeling paralyzed from depression right now, but perhaps pursuing a legal resolution will help you mentally deal with the trauma as well. Anger can sometimes be a helpful ally and motivator. Remind yourself as often as you can, that depression will only waste valuable time and energy that you will need to move forward on this. It's time to start speaking out and asking for help with this situation from your friends and family. If some don't understand or try to hinder your progress, forget them and move on to someone who will. You might be surprised at how helpful some might be. I found that out in my situation. Perhaps they know someone who has been thru this or know of a good source of information or will at least assist you with the process of finding out where you can get help. You have no reason to be ashamed...your doctor should be the one who is ashamed. Unethical and incompetent doctors count on you being embarrassed enough or depressed enough to do nothing. Don't let him get away with it. Reach out to people around you, gather your strength, and fight back. If I think of anything else, I'll write back. I sincerely wish you the best of luck. Regards, Sj
  • Reply
Hello, I had a brachioplasty done in March, 2013. I did not completely heal until now, and it is mid August. My scars are horrendous and my arms are still too big. I also have swelling, numbness and pain in both upper arms and forearms which radiates to hands. Add to this, my arms do not look much better than before this terrible thing I paid to have done. I don't even know where to start in order to correct this terrible mistake.
  • Reply
Not only was you care unprofessional, your doctor cruel, but now, to remedey the problem, you have to pay another doctor's fee. Look into suing the first
doctor. I know you had to sign a disclosure, but poor practice is poor practice. Good luck to you, and sorry this was done to you. Nancy
  • Reply