Buyer Beware!!! Very Poor Communication on Procedure Costs!!! - Santa Barbara, CA

Very poor communication between doctor, staff and...

Very poor communication between doctor, staff and patient. After my consultation (there was only the doctor and myself...no nurse) I we decided on the major treatment areas and I was discouraged on treating one particular area (abdomen) since there wasn't enough fat. Turns out all the major areas weren't included in my medical write-up and even though the Dr. spent time discouraging doing the abdomen, he included that in the treatment work-up! I also was under the impression that the "8 pack" package would include ALL of my concern areas. I had 7 hours of treatment yet when I was told my "8 pack" package was completed, I informed the receptionist I only had 7 areas done. It was at this time (and not earlier) that I was told the abdomen makes up for 2 treatments areas due to the larger suction head being used. Well. if I had known the abdomen counted for 2 treatments even though it is ONE area...I would of NOT treated my abdomen as the Dr. suggested but done the 2 smaller hip areas instead. Now I have to shell out another $1200 in order for my treatment to look esthetically pleasing.

Hi there, Welcome and thanks so much for sharing your experience with us! I'm sorry you don't seem to have gotten the results you were looking for.

It would be great if you could give us a little more detail about your experience - such as why you had the surgery, tips for getting good results, pros/cons, information on the recovery/pain/downtime and before & after photos.

As the community manager, I'm asked all the time to keep encouraging people to share more details, which is so helpful for others considering these procedures. So please accept this as a well-intentioned request from thousands. :-)

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I am not comfortable in sending photos but my results, I'm afraid, are going to be subtle. I sought a solution to my post-menopausal "spread" that working out and dieting wasn't addressing. I looked into liposuction and abdominoplasty but was told I do not have enough fat but I would be the perfect candidate for coolsculpting. I am 3 weeks into it and so far no results. I had very minimal discomfort...worked out the same day as my procedure. The numbing and tingling is slowly fading and there's the occasional sharp pain but nothing debilitating. I canceled my follow-up appointment in Feb. for I was upset with the way Dr. Lowenstein's office handled the situation. They basically implied I was a "liar". I took measurements (which they never did) and will see for myself if this procedure has worked. I will keep you and the community informed of my progress. I will be looking for another Dr. to go to...most likely in Washington for more follow up. I just really wanted to get the word out regarding procedure costs and what these coolsculpting offices are charging. I was livid to learn that they charge more for what they call a "large area" yet all that changes is the size of the treatment head and not the time, materials ect. This to me is a rip off. The large head also doesn't fit small frames such as mine and my abdominal area was small so I could have gotten away with a small head. Now that I know what's up...I wanted to share my story. Anyone is free to ask me questions if they can't get straight answers from their doctor.
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Thanks for the extra information! Hopefully, over time you'll see some results, but please do keep us updated with your progress and with how your other consultations go!

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I am not comfortable in sending photos but...

I am not comfortable in sending photos but my results, I'm afraid, are going to be subtle. I sought a solution to my post-menopausal "spread" that working out and dieting wasn't addressing. I looked into liposuction and abdominoplasty but was told I do not have enough fat but I would be the perfect candidate for coolsculpting. 

 am 3 weeks into it and so far no results. I had very minimal discomfort...worked out the same day as my procedure. The numbing and tingling is slowly fading and there's the occasional sharp pain but nothing debilitating. I canceled my follow-up appointment in Feb. for I was upset with the way Dr. Lowenstein's office handled the situation. They basically implied I was a "liar".

I took measurements (which they never did) and will see for myself if this procedure has worked. I will keep you and the community informed of my progress. I will be looking for another Dr. to go to...most likely in Washington for more follow up.

I just really wanted to get the word out regarding procedure costs and what these coolsculpting offices are charging. I was livid to learn that they charge more for what they call a "large area" yet all that changes is the size of the treatment head and not the time, materials ect. This to me is a rip off. The large head also doesn't fit small frames such as mine and my abdominal area was small so I could have gotten away with a small head. Now that I know what's up...I wanted to share my story.

Anyone is free to ask me questions if they can't get straight answers from their doctor.

Coolsculpting results...6 weeks out

Coolsculpting appears to be working on most areas, some better than others. I lost around 1/2 inch on my inner thighs and over 1 inch on my waist line. I have not seen a drop in my weight (pound wise)...if anything, I have gained weight. I have been working out a lot more and I am hoping the weight gain is muscle (will see for I will be having a body fat analysis done next week). The flanks are noticeably smaller and my abdomen seems firmer but the result so far isn't as dramatic as I would like. The inner thigh on my right leg has this depression where the applicator was placed so it treated the fat there but now there is a significant "bulge" below the treated area. So I was right and the Dr. was wrong...I was told the results would be even and my skin would compensate for the loss of fat...not true. I am looking into having now my lower inner thighs treated so that the results are more even .
Petdoc- I'm very sorry that you felt that our communication was less than ideal- clearly there was a miscommunication as I always discuss the fact that the larger applicator is charged at two times the smaller applicator. Certainly I did not make that clear enough in this case. You can always find an explanation of the pricing for CoolSculpting is on my website at http://www.sbplasticsurgeon.com/coolsculpting-costs/ so I hope that can help clarify things for patients with concerns about pricing. Please do ask the staff to make another appointment with me personally so we can re-evaluate your situation and your goals- particularly the issue with your inner thighs. This is the first I've heard of this issue and I would like to help get you the result you are hoping for. Best wishes, Dr. L
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Dear Dr. Lowenstein, You were the one to tell me I would not get much results on my abdomen so I told you then let's focus on the hips. Apparently this was left out in my exam write up. I assumed the abdomen was excluded but when the nurse said we were going to do the abdomen, I thought it was part of the "package". I should of asked more questions but this should of been address by your staff...I should have been more informed (especially since I knew nothing of 'coolsculpting'). To make matters worse, your manager implied I was "lying" about not wanting to do my abdomen, claiming that my main focus of the appt. was an abdominoplasty (which it wasn't...I just had question regarding the procedure). It was at that time that I knew nothing I said mattered so I cancelled my follow-up appointment. As for another visit...I appreciate your offer but I have a more urgent matter I need to focus on. I was just dx with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma of my right breast so I am a bit overwhelmed at the moment and my energy, as well as funds now need to go towards fighting my cancer. So much for my investment in Coolsculpting...
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Future Coolsculpting on hold

Just got news I have breast cancer so I am having to put coolsculpting on hold...funds now need to go towards fighting for my life (instead of my looks). Now my coolsculpting experience seems so insignificant...wish I would have waited and saved some $$$$.
I am so sorry to hear about your new diagnosis but I'm hopeful that you have a great course to full recovery soon. So many recent advances in breast cancer can give you a world of reasons for an optimistic outlook. As for the CoolSculpting, I'm sorry for the misunderstanding- in the thousands of treatments that we have successfully performed, there have been remarkably few episodes of misunderstanding like this and an incredibly high level of patient satisfaction. I really hope to see you back in the office once your breast cancer treatment is over and that is all behind you. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you navigate your care and I wish you a very speedy recovery.
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Thanks for your understanding and support. My goal is to move on to a Graduate Program in Neuroanatomy at Washington State University so I will be moving hopefully this August (I was accepted as a Master's student). I will most likely follow-up my "makeover" treatments in WA.
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Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon

2 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 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
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
2 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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