My Life Altering Mistake - Ontario, Canada

As I search through the pics and stories on this...

As I search through the pics and stories on this wonderfully informative website, I realize that my "before" picture was one I was proud of. I am am now painfully aware that I should have never gone through with a procedure that would result in my worst nightmare. Here's my story.

I am a 36 year old, active and physically fit mother of 2. Although I love my children dearly :) both of my pregnancies left their toll on my body. After gaining close to 80 lbs with each of them I was able to get back down to my ideal weight with proper diet and exercise. The loose skin on my abdomen was apparent, but I was still proud to wear a bikini bc of how hard I worked for it! Last summer I started having some bulging and pain above my bellybutton that was diagnosed as an umbilical hernia. I went to see a surgeon who specialized in umbilical hernias and he told me that he could also fix my little pouch of skin and saggy bellybutton. I had the surgery in Nov/2011. It was supposed to be an outpatient "day surgery" but when I woke up I was in excruciating pain, my blood pressure was very low and I ended up being admitted to the hospital for a week. When I got home I couldn't even lay in my bed so I slept in a chair in my living room. Little did I know that I'd be in that chair for months. My surgeon did not believe in the use of drains so I had bloody discharge running out of my incisions and navel constantly. A lot of it.

Weeks later at follow up appts, I was still having so much pain and discomfort that my husband had to pretty much carry me into the office. After making us wait for hours, (every time, regardless of scheduled appt), my surgeon kept on reassuring me that he did a great job and basically made me feel like I was bothering him. I was concerned with how high the incision was and why it was opening more and more each week. I was also getting concerned with how enormous my stomach continued to grow, especially since it was now turning green, purple and red under the skin. I was told it was just swelling. Eventually, I developed a high fever and my belly button started oozing litres of thick, green, foul smelling pus (sorry for the visual but it was so frightening!) They did an ultrasound and discovered that I had an infected seroma/clot that ran the entire length of my scar. Thats probably when my doctor realized that drains would have been a good idea, but being to late for me, he tried to aspirate some of the fluid by trying to jam long thick needles into my already sensitive and tender abdomen. He couldn't get the needles to penetrate the casing of this fluid which I now know is called a pseudobursa, thanks to a blog I found, written by a very informative and skilled PS.

I am in the process of finding out if a revision is possible with this PS but I would have to travel very far away and I am scared to death to go through this again. The thought of doing so without my husband and children around me is terrifying! It has almost been 9 months now and I am just so devastated. I still have pain in my stomach, far worse then the hernia ever was. Although my incision has finally closed and healed I am left with a very high scar that is not concealable in shorts, never mind a bikini, and also a giant bulge that hangs over it. I didn't have a "tummy tuck" in the traditional sense, I had no lipo or muscle repair done, but I am left with a tummy tuck scar, an "outie" belly button, as well as a very noticeable vertical running down my stomach that was once my old belly button. I am so ashamed that I hardly go outside anymore and while friends and family are out enjoying this beautiful summer, I am covered up and embarrassed. I also haven't been able to exercise properly during this ordeal, so weight gain has been another splendid perk. My advice to all moms on this site who may be looking into doing something to fix the sag and stretch marks; Maybe we should be more proud of our hard earned "mom stripes."

Name not provided

I was referred by my family doctor

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 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
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (34)

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I feel so bad for you. I too had complications after a tt so i know what ur going thru. Ue story broke my heart and i just want to wish you the best of luck. I know u dont know me but i will keep u in my prayers (((hugs))))
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What a sad story! But I'm trying to figure out three things. One, why is there no reference to credentials? You didn't let someone operate without first confirming their skills, did you? Two, why didn't you follow your own instincts and see another doctor? It's clear you had concerns, but it sounds like you let the doctor steamroll you. And three, if this is in fact a true story (I don't know you, so that isn't me saying your making it up), why don't you name the surgeon?
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So sorry you had this experience . I would look for a new PS , as I think this PS after care was terrible . Good luck with the revision . As scared as you must be with doing this again , I think you will be very happy with a new PS and his / Her results .
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I'm so sorry you had to experience this! If I were you I would seriously consider legal action, your surgeon was negligent in his failure to put in drains and recognize that you were developing complications and treat them appropriately. You could have developed septic shock and died. Hope things work out for you!!
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I agree wish I would kept my mom stripes!
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You in Toronto, Canada. Have you considered Dr.Anthony Youn here in South East Michigan? He is one of the worlds top Plastic Surgeons, he has been on the show Dr.90210, he has written best selling books, and has amazing reviews! The wait time for a consultation can be up to a year, but it's worth it for a good surgeon. I am so sorry you had to go through this. It's the reason why I am doing so much research before getting my mini tummy tuck and Brazilian butt lift. I am actually re-thinking the mini tummy tuck now. But I highly suggest Dr Youn! Research him, he seems great.
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Wow... Sorry to hear :( #TouchingStory
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That is such a cautionary story. I feel like there is no way my stomach could look worse so I am comfortable with proceding with the surgery. Why would you not provide the doctors name? That is really the only way you can prevent others from having the same experience as you.
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Yes you should let people know so they can avoid that ps they sound unskilled
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who did this to you?
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I had a very similar experience to yours, most likely with the same surgeon. I was in excellent shape prior to the surgery, a marathon runner in a size 4, but wanted to remove excess skin. I also was rushed to emerg when my blood pressure dropped significantly post-op. I also had issues with fluid buildup due to not having the drains. I also ended up looking worse after the procedure than before, with a large bump of flesh left at the bottom of my abdomen and terrible scarring on one side. There is also the emotional trauma of having all of my concerns brushed aside and being treated like a complete waste of time once the procedure turned out to be problematic. I also feel that he deliberately created confusion with the post-op problems to prevent me from considering small claims court until the statutory limit had elapsed. I hope that we can get over our fear of speaking publicly about our choice to have cosmetic surgery so that we can speak honestly about our experiences with such surgeons who can go on practicing without any regard for people who have to live with the repercussions of the surgeons lack of caring and errors.
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I've read through all the comments and discovered we didn't go to the same surgeon after all, but felt like I was reading my own story. I hope that we can help others by sharing our stories.
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OMG, God Bless you. This is so sad, brought tears to my eyes. Cant believe a PS would do such harm to your body . I am so sorry, he needs his license taken away and a malpractice suit brought against him.
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TLBH... I am feel sick for you! I know where your Dr practices and I am so sorry you are going thru what you are! I live 30 mins north on the 115! I however do know a TRULY amazing PS that works in Newmarket! Let me know! I also know a GREAT malpractice firm....I think if you haven't you NEED to speak to a lawyer!! Send me a message and I can provide you with info for both! I hope you are well aside of this mess this arsehole Dr created!
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Hi TLBH, I am sorry that you had such a bad experience.I went to a PS in Ottawa and I swear he's the best. See pics on my profile. It took me a year of research to decide and I have not regretted it.
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Interested in knowing who beautifulme (love the name btw) went to in Ottawa. I live in Ottawa. Thank you.
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I am so sorry about what you had to go through....I also like your comment I regards to being proud of our mommy marks, even though I am not proud because I have this pooch that I hate, but after reading your story I am kind of scarred. I pray everything works out for you!
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OMG... My before stomach looks almost identical to yours. I am scheduled for an umbilical hernia repair in a couple of weeks and my surgeon also mentioned I could be a "perfect candidate" for a tt while I'm at it. I have been seriously considering it and am so glad I read this first. I hope you get the revision with the full tt and can get back to feeling like yourself. Keep us posted!
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I am so sorry that anybody had to go through this and that too in Canada. I live in India and I thought so gross negligence only happens in third world countries. Can't you sue the doctor? The stitches are so untidily done as if done by a complete amateur. The scars are not even in a straight line which shows how little care the doctor took while doing the op. Please sue him, or mention his name in as many websites as possible so that others are warned and do not have to go through the same nightmarish experience that you had to go through. God bless and hope your revision surgery is successful.
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TLBH: Come to Phnom Penh, Cambodia and I'll fix it for you. We have people coming in from all over the world now but I'll fit you in. I may also be opening a clinic in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida within the year, if you can stand to wait. Dr. Sheftall
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OMG I'm so sorry you are going through this. We are all here for you, look at the positive side, everything and anything can be fixed!!! You are in my prayers.
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TLBH- omg I am sooooo sorry you are going though this hell !!!!!!!
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Amanda, I think the drain or no drain depends on the doctor, I had a Full TT with lipo of the belly, flanks and thighs....... yesterday at one of my post ops, my doctor let me know that if I had not had lipo then I would not have had drains. I have also talked to a few other Full tt ers that did not have drains, so I really think that some use them and some don't.
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My doctor did not use drains on me. All was well :)
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Hi- sorry you've had this terrible experience. I am also consulting for a mini tummy tuck and am in the Toronto area. I'm also a bit weary of the no drains approach and consulted with 2 surgeons -dr Weinberg and dr lists who use this approach. Can I ask who performed your procedure? Thanks
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