Bad Results - Upper Bleparoplasty, Will Need Revision Surgery - Scottsdale, AZ

I did lots of research and everything was positive...

I did lots of research and everything was positive. The consult went well and he was very nice and personable, spent a ton of time with me. The procedure was on a Saturday in his office. It seemed to go well. Pain and swelling we're pretty manageable. At home instructions were very clear and I followed them explicitly to the letter.

Dr. Holden - terrible Upper Blepharoplasty result

This is an excerpt from the Dr. that trained Paul K. Holden, regarding placement of incisions:

"Upper Lid Blepharoplasty
It behooves the surgeon to be meticulous in the surgical markings for upper lid blepharoplasty prior to surgery as a difference of 1 to 3 millimeters (mm) from one lid to the next may create noticeable asymmetries. Therefore, the surgical markings for both upper lids are made using a fine tip marker and small calipers. With the patient looking up, the supratarsal crease is identified and measured from the lid margin using small calipers; this denotes the location of the inferior limb of the surgical marking. This measurement ranges from 8-12 mm (10-11 mm in females; 8-9 mm in males). "

Had my incision scars measured today and the worst one measured at 16 mm - a good 4 mm higher than recommended by the person Dr. Holden himself considers brilliant. There was just no reason for Dr. Holden to place my incisions so high or to leave pockets of fat in the corners of my eyes.
Dr. Holden is once again practicing. I would NOT recommend him to my worst enemy.
Phoenix Facial Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Holden told me that my procedure was "textbook" and very typical and easy for him. He's very charming and pleasant. I researched him thoroughly, everything checked out positively. I knew something was wrong within a few weeks because my scars were so high up. He told me that it just appeared that way due to swelling and as it subsided, the incisions would relax and fall into the crease. Two months after my procedure Dr. Holden was arrested on a drug charge and his practice shut down - I never heard from him again. He had a previous arrest and his license had been suspended but the state of AZ did not make this known to the public. You can google him and see all the details of his arrest history. I NEVER would've chosen him to preform surgery on me had I known his history. I will need revisions to correct my scars. I'm out $7500.00, my confidence and self esteem have been hit hard and I can now look forward to going thru the whole process again. The first PS I consulted about a revisions said that "lowering" scars is very difficult and many PS won't even do it or make promises for improvement because it's hard to improve it. He suggested I see someone who does Revision of "botched" procedures and/or an Oculoplastic Surgeon. I will have to go to many, many consults to find someone I can trust again. This will take $$, time and anxiety and I wish I'd never had the surgery with Dr. Holden. I started out with saggy eyelids, but now I have nasty scarred eyelids. I went backwards. I don't know if he'll get to practice again, but if he does, I would not go to him. I feel bad for him and his addiction and problems, but bottom line, he should not do surgery on someone without them knowing he's got an addiction problem and being able to make an informed decision.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 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
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Ok let me get this straight-- at 6 months post surgery you posted that you were extremely happy with your surgery with Dr. Holden. Then, not even a month later, you wrote your bad review saying how much you believe he screwed up. It's interesting that your opinion changed so dramatically and so quickly. What could be the reason for that? Hmm, does it have something to do with the fact that you found out the doctor was arrested? I smell a case of lawsuit greed. There's always one, isn't there? Speaking of one, where are all these "patients" that you claim have complained to you or to another doctor about this plastic surgeon? Do you realize your review is the only negative review regarding his surgeries? (The only other review was claiming that he did not have any staff when that was not the case at all. The staff was busy due to a busy office filled with patients wanting surgery from the facial plastic surgeon who won the Patient's Choice Award. And that person who complained got a discount!). Furthermore, in my research, I have not found a single PATIENT, besides you, who has had one negative thing to say about this amazingly talented plastic surgeon. (I wrote 'patient' in all caps due to the other doctor's comment on what he sees from your pics. Please note: It's quite easy for a doctor to talk down about the work of another doctor. Please consider motive and marketing strategies, etc). So we have 1 confirmed patient with a complaint out of hundreds of very happy patients that I know of (there's probably thousands in total). Even if there was some sort of mistake made (though it looks as though your surgery has great results) I think 1 out of thousands isn't a bad ratio. I haven't been able to find a facial plastic surgeon in Az with as high of a percentage of more than satisfied patients.
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I understand and apologize.
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It is very sad, to have noticeable scars after surgery;-( but myself to top it of, I have a scleral show'ectropion' n the indented scars looks like this surgeon was carving my eyelids n even after 11 long years I do still have those noticeable indented scars n the ectropion. Hopefully ur scars go less noticeable. I did go back with this charlatan surgeon of mine to "fix" n he did worse than better, so sometimes it's not good to go with ur previous surgeon.
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Mely, I'm so sorry to hear about your results. I also have scleral show due to poorly done lower lid surgery. Who was your surgeon and where located?
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Eugene Cherney n he is in Des Moines Iowa.^_*;
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You are doing a great service warning others about Dr. Holden. I wish there was a way to stop such doctors from practicing altogether.
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He's back at it and the AZ Medical Board shows no "disciplinary actions" under his info. Apparently you can be arrested for stealing medicinal cocaine and awaiting trial for same and just carry on doing surgery on people. The PS I consulted to see if I could have a revision (who measured my lids with the small caliper) said I was the third Holden patient he's had come in to see him w/ bad results they're hoping to have revised. I also corresponded with a local journalist who's been writing about Dr. Holden, and he said he's had many patients with bad results contact him to thank him for getting the word out.
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"Such doctors?" You mean doctors with such high ratings from patients? This review is the only negative review, posted just over a month after an extremely positive review when she was 6 months post op and the bad review happens to be posted just after the arrest of the doctor. The arrest has nothing to do with his patients and the medical board allows him to continue practicing for a reason. Addiction is a disease affecting millions of people world wide. And some of the side effects of the disease, are behavioral, causing people to make mistakes they would not normally make. Would you want to "warn" people about a doctor if he had cancer (the side effects for that are primarily physical, causing peoples bodies to do things they wouldn't normally do). Dr. Holden sought treatment and is practicing and from what I have come to find, has many, many more than satisfied patients. I haven't found another facial plastic surgeon in the state who has this kind of ratings and this kind of support from his patients. And it's quite ironic that the one bad review comes from someone who wrote it after the arrest and after writing a very positive review. It's sad that America is so sue-happy.
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KenaMarie I think you are an unusually charitable person. I hope you can understand how distraught one might become learning that their doctor may have been abusing drugs at the time of surgery. My understanding is that this surgeon did not simply have a drug problem. This person was actually arrested for breaking into a pharmacy associated with a surgery center. If there allegations are true, this type of behavior raises significant questions about the moral character of such an individual.
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The medical board is aware of the science of addiction and the fact that it affects both brain & behavior (which, while active, can cause one to behave in ways they never would). The medical board is also aware that addiction has nothing to do with morals. It also has no boundaries or prejudices. Addiction (and I'm not just talking about physical dependency, I'm talking about all the characteristics, symptoms, etc) it knows no societal boundaries & affects millions of people no matter ones gender, race, religion, or moral character. It's a disease that affects more Americans than heart disease, diabetes, or cancer. But, luckily, it's a disease that there is treatment for which has proven successful so that those affected by it can get help and then get back to being the people they really are. If we, as a society, shun all those people & don't let them go back to doing their jobs, we will have one heck of an issue. There are people out there who are extremely talented at their jobs, but who, like millions of others, have been affected by this illness. I say, let them get the treatment they need, and follow all the rules they need to follow in order to get their jobs back.
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As I said, a very charitable position but not one that accurately reflects the feelings many. Some addictions make certain occupations unsuitable for vulnerable individuals. Access to schedule II drugs is one of those inappropriate situations. Drug addiction and a predilection to committing felonious crimes to support a habit is a reasonable basis for separating individuals from positions of public trust. The fact that a medical board permits physicians and surgeons to return to practice after such a circumstance is a reality that generally does not sit well with the public. It is often seen as a defect in the system where doctors are involved in governing themselves. It is not the product of some deep understanding of "the science of addiction." The science of addiction teaches us that these individuals are never cured of the addictions. Some people do not warrant being allowed to resume their jobs of public trust. Very talented and highly trained does not permit one the narcissistic indulgence breaking the law and putting the public at risk. Illness, perhaps, but certainly a character flaw for which society and the public has an appropriate interest. Practicing medicine is a privilege not a right. You over look the very real harm caused to people who put their trust into a surgeon and were violated. You should stop apologizing for this person.
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Thank you for your comments Dr Steinsapir. I had a similar outcome as described by 3dogmom from my procedure and I was more than a little distraught for quite a while. I actually saw you for a consult and you told me it looked like the surgery by this doctor was done with "pinking shears." Just because some people don't choose to post their comments about their bad outcomes after having a surgery performed by Dr Holden doesn't mean they aren't out there.
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I don't think you look bad at all. The scars are slightly noticeable in your photos, but nothing a little makeup couldn't fix. I hope things go well for you. If I met you on the street, I would think you look fine.
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Thank you for saying so, but it's hard to spend your hard-earned money and your time researching and months healing and then look at scars that are not placed in the crease where they should be day in and day out. It is what it is and I have to live with it - but I want others to be able to see this review so they stop and think before using this surgeon. Thanks for your comment.
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I am so sorry you have had to go through this. Have you had any response from the MD? I hope you get a refund or some sort of restitution.
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You've really been through such a tough experience! I had my lower bletharoplasty done one month ago in the UK. Have you tried a silicone gel called Dermitix? It reduced scar tissue very quickly. You can buy it over the counter. It might help! Always worth a try. Good luck x
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I did try one that was recommended by someone else on RS and found it so sticky that I couldn't cover the scars with makeup and my hair would get caught in it. :0 I'll look into Dermatix. Starting in January, I'm going to start doing consults with other PS to see if I can find someone to do a revision. Thank you so much for your kind reply. :)
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Hey 3dogmom, I'm linking your forum post about finding a new surgeon here.  If anyone can recommend a good Oculoplastic Surgeon that does eyelid revisions in AZ or MN please comment either here or in the forum. 

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I'm looking for an oculoplastic surgeon to revise a previous surgery where too much fat was removed on lower lids, causing them to pull down. If anyone has a recommendation for northern California, in the San Jose/Palo Alto area, I'd much appreciate it.
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RE: Revision surgery for upper lid blepharoplasty Patients dissatisfied with results after upper lid surgery (blepharoplasty) should contact their primary surgeon and discuss about the possibility of undergoing revisional surgery. Eyelid surgeons should make sure that their patients understand the healing process of any surgery, including blepharoplasty, usually takes 12 weeks or 3 months. Therefore, revisional surgery before 3 months postoperative shall not be performed. Re-operating in a “moving target” (healing eyelids) could make very difficult to determine the outcome. Scars of upper lid surgery may be visible during the healing process (12 weeks/3 months). This normal post-operative finding usually causes a lot of anxiety on patients. Blepharoplasty surgeons should remind their patients that upper lid surgical scars heal inconspicuously and therefore, there is no need of reoperation before 12 weeks of healing time. Patients with residual excess of skin and or “fat bags” may undergo revisional surgery. These patients should, actually, must contact their primary surgeons about these concerns. It is common for patients to go to another surgeon when things go wrong. However, patients should understand that doctors, like patients, are human beings, and therefore not immune to errors (e.g. if you make a mistake with your daughter/son, do you think It is reasonable for your sibling to find substitute mother/father?). Patients unable to contact their primary blepharoplasty surgeons due to mayor reasons (e.g. medical license suspension, etc.) should consult with a board certified plastic surgeon specialized in upper lid surgery. Patients should also consider asking for permission to get in contact with primary patients of that surgeon that underwent revisional surgery. Surgeons that do not perform revisional surgery on their patients are surgeons not really operate too much.
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You mentioned getting in contact with patients of a surgeon that underwent revisional surgery. I did ask that of one of the doctors I consulted with and he refused. His before/after photos were good. Do you think that a doctor who refuses to let a potential patient contact another patient who had a similar surgery is not a good doctor to go to?
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Doctors that refuse to let a potential patient contact another patient who had similar surgery are not automatically/necessary bad doctors. Surgeons have different ways to run their practices. Some surgeons are more “open” than others in regard of letting the public and potential patients now about his/her complications and revisional surgeries. The main issue with patients seeking revisional surgery is to regain ‘trust’ on the surgeon. Patients may think “If I had a bad outcome with Surgeon A, the same could happen with Surgeon B and Surgeon C. No surgeon does perfect surgery in 100% of his patients. However, patient should be confident that his/her surgeon would take good care of them if things go “not smooth”. For example, I had to re-operate on a patient that had undergone upper lid blepharoplasty for “sleepy eyes” (upper eyelid ptosis). Few days after surgery, once the swelling subsided, one of the eyelids was still low (the stitch “popped”). The patient was of course mad with me. However, I reassured to her that I was going to take care of her. She underwent revisional surgery and now she is extremely happy. She is so happy that she has referred me several patients. Additionally, a patient that underwent both abdominoplasty and facelift with another surgeon and had a bad outcome in both surgeries was very reluctant to trust any surgeon. However, she wanted revisional surgery to regain her self-confidence. This facelift patient contacted my revisional eyelid surgery about undergoing surgery with me. After their conversation, the potential new patient decided to undergo revisional abdominoplasty with me. The patient had an excellent outcome and was extremely happy. Then, after regaining her confidence with the plastic surgeons, she trusted me again to revise her facelift (a bigger deal for her). She is now extremely happy. You should see how overjoyed she is with herself. She has regained her self-confidence. She also has regained confidence in plastic surgeons. In a nutshell, undergoing primary surgery and revisional surgery with a plastic surgeon should be like a marriage: the patient and the surgeon should both work together during both the ‘good times’ and the ‘not really good times’ to achieve the best outcome possible for the patient.
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Thank you for your thoughtful reply. If I go to the surgeon who did the surgery that needs revision (who by the way I do still trust) is it customary to be charged for the revision? My surgeon could feel it's not his fault; on the other hand, I feel it's not my fault because I followed all instructions precisely.
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Just to be clear on this - your comment talks about 3 months/12 wks. I am 7 MONTHS POST-OP. I did not run to another PS a few months post-op, but just recently saw another PS and he was honest enough to say he was not th eright dr. to do my revision . I have no intention of moving forward until/if I find the right doctor. I will however, request info on past revision patients - that's a very good idea. Thank you.
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