You Can Ask and Do Your Research, but in the End - Nashville, TN

I was once very obese, and lost the weight. Body...

I was once very obese, and lost the weight. Body contouring after that much change was fairly new back then (2004, so my expectations were just to look passably normal, not 35 or even 40 again or as though I'd never been fat.) I was early in the "learning curve" of a "post massive weight loss body contouring" Nashville doctor who promised me way more than I expected (being sane and realistic), and delivered much less.

Later his nurse admitted he'd had very little experience in the type of patient I was (late 40's, lost >100 lbs, stable at ideal wt. > 1 yr. at the time of my surgery, (but only after it was 2 years later; prior to the surgery she lied, too. His main selling point other than outcome and alleged skill was that he could do most of the body in one long day, so it meant I could get it done without losing my job.

I really believe he was hopeful and excited about my prospects, as I have a naturally hour-glass shape and decently attractive face. (Whether it was hope for me or for how my dramatic "before and after" photos might boost his reputation for the challenging surgery, I'll never know...but the coldness he showed me later, even while seeming embarrassed himself at his work, makes me think it was the more selfish motivation almost entirely. And sure enough, he has made such surgery a huge part of his practice, is doing very well, and probably IS much more skilled at it now.

My saline implants were misplaced from day one, 1 obviously and painfully so. He promised to fix them after a few months of healing, but refused later. Abdomen okay,very flat/ugly navel, but again I did not expect overmuch. But my legs were actually damaged, and need lifelong medical treatment for safety now. And at first he agreed some revision was needed, but denied permanent damage. He said we'd need to wait 6-12 months to see how things might turn out on their own.

I didn't add that he waited until the window for...

I didn't add that he waited until the window for malpractice lawsuits in Nashjville TN was past, and then let me drive 400 miles, be told he would do some revision of the other parts, but since my legs were still permanently swollen, "I'm not touchin' them!" (Yes, an exact quote, with his nurse looking on, leaning on the desk, arms folded across her chest like she was angry. She was 50 and obese; but remarked, "Your legs look as good as mine do! What are you complaining about!) Why were they almost as big as hers? (Though not, in fact, anywhere near as smooth or normally-shaped as hers.) The swelling was lymphedema; a permanent medical disfigurement. At the time he denied it was, but a vascular surgeon said it was so obvious any doctor would know. When I called back to set the surgery date (having nowhere else to go by then, since I'd have to pay full price...and by then he'd probably able to handle a simple implant revision--all he would do.) ), he had his nurse fire me instead, "You expect too much!" And so 9 years later I am still painfully disfigured, paying 300.00/month for compression for the legs, and am 35k (my life savings) poorer. Other doctors don't like revisions, and if I asked him for my records, he'd describe as too demanding/unrealistic. The patient loses. I call him Dr. G, and he is a very wealthy Nashville surgeon with a very glitzy office and a waitng room full of adoring stories forom happy customers, including celebrities. He just thought I would have an amazing result and put him at the forefront of new body lifts...and punished me for his disappointment.

Doctor D.G.

The worst part is that I DID my research on the procedure and the doctor, and asked all the right questions, and was quite simply lied to, before and for 2 years after. I am permanently damaged, in some daily pain, and the replaceable medical garment required to allow daily activities will cost over $100,000 if I live to be 75, and only if the price never goes up! Very few doctors will risk revision work, and it will cost at least 37k, which I will never have, as the financial damage (lost work time, etc.)from the first go-round set me back so far I almost lost all I had ever worked for. I am partially disabled from my former profession (hospital professional nursing) and he is getting more filthy rich all the time for his work, after practicing on me. It took a lot of counseling to work through the grief and fear, and I had PTSD from the emotional abuse he and his nurse laid on me in the last visit and phone call. For a few years just hearing a Nashville accent on the phone made me uneasy and brought it all back. I could never live there, knowing he was nearby and cared less if I lived or died after what he did to me. I don't dare name him, because ironically, he could sue ME easily. I couldn't sue because, as one attorney told me, it was an elective procedure many people would envy me being able to do, and that "people don't have sympathy for any who let herself get obese in the first place" (even though he was sympathetic and agreed I should under the circumstances). Therefore the attorney would want big money up front; no suing for a percent of the proceeds. The doctor also lied to me about doing a revision, stringing my along just long enough for the TN statute of limitation on malpractice (1 year) had to have passed. I learned later that 2 of his similar early patients were very unhappy, but dropped off the weight-loss-surgery-support web site where I found them, and refused to talk on the phone. Did they sue and he settle, with a gag order? I couldn't find out. By then, the site had gotten very commercial and allowed advertising by weight-loss and plastic surgeons, and they edited out my post and others with negative feedback about weight-loss or plastic surgery complaints. The surgery itself was about 34 k with breast lift/implants, but the hotel, post-op visits, etc., were a lot more...about 37 k in all. So, please, do your research on credentials and Board Certification, ask everything you can think of, yes. But naming names without being sued ourselves is our only real protection. I wish you better luck than mine.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
2 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 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
1 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 (1)

Hi Saint Louis, 

I'm so sorry that you've had such an awful experience. If you're able to share, can you tell us what actually happened to your legs?

Please keep us posted on how you're doing.

Kirsty

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