Facelift: StoriesWrite a Review
Very Unhappy - Scottsdale, AZ
- posted 5 months ago
- Not Worth It
- Cost: $18,500
- Marc Malek, MD (Scottsdale, AZ)
I liked the anesthesiologist and the surgical...
- 14 Dec 2012
I liked the anesthesiologist and the surgical nurse/s.
Sometimes while talking to me in person, the doctor was focused and sometimes he was distracted. On the phone, before my first surgery, he was distracted, I could hear a lot of noise behind him sometimes, and although I'd emailed questions to him before he called me, he would ask me to remember them off the top of my head as though he'd never read them, and then he gave me general and somewhat vague answers to those he wanted to answer. The others went unanswered.
I was talked into a mid-face cheek lift procedure I was not seeking and it left me with a weird, too tight, embarrassing smile that creates a thick horizontal ridge under my nose, strange uneven tightness on the sides, nostrils pulling back tightly making my nose look bigger like an eagle's beak, and the skin is pulled permanently to one side of my nose which changed the left profile look of my nose quite negatively. When I returned for revision surgery on my chin, I told the doctor I was embarrassed by my smile. He interrupted me and told me not to be "a cup half-full person." He was not interested in talking to me about why I was unhappy and what could or could not be done about it.
The brow lift was minimal. The doctor said he could not do a full one because I have a high hairline. Well, the result is minimal enough that I don't really think it was worth the expense, scarring, nerve damage, moved hairline, and hair loss. It doesn't match the mid-face lift, which I think looks a little odd because above the brow and the nose is heavier than the rest of the face. I can live with it, I just don't think it was worth it.
The chin lift left me with a lumpy chin. A gland on my left side was damaged and after the doctor had to drain blood from that side four or five times, it kept swelling like one of those toads for the next year-and-a-half. It's finally settled down. At my chin revision appointment, I asked the doctor why it kept swelling. He didn't look at it, but just said, "I don't know" as he turned away, and then he changed the subject. If the surgeon, trained in anatomy and the person who actually cut into the area, doesn't know, who does?
The chin revision left me with a large visible scar from just under my chin to my throat. It is a little ropey where it meets the throat and so pulls a little (which an observant person can notice), which is also the most visible spot.
I called before the first surgery to cancel because I was worried I was rushing into it. I told the patient coordinator I was really worried about a lumpy chin, and that if it went wrong I did not have the money for follow-up surgeries to fix things so I needed to think about it some more. She was assertively firm in telling me it was normal to have cold feet but I needed to go through with it because I would be "so happy" with the results. About my chin she said, "Oh no!" "You will have a smooth, firm chin." "Trust the doctor." Like I said, I was left with a lumpy chin until he did revision surgery and the revision surgery left me with a large, visible scar.
The eye lid surgery wasn't bad, but it wasn't a complete job either. The doctor told me at the consult he would tweak it when I went back because he was doing multiple procedures and "due to the swelling it is difficult to judge how much to take so I will remove the skin conservatively the first time." When I went back for the chin revision, the doctor was not willing to discuss tweaking my eyelids and changed the subject.
After both surgeries, I was sent away with no after-care instructions regarding scar prevention. After the first surgery I was sent away with no instructions on changing and using for how long the surgical tape under my chin. The doctor denied that later, but he was wrong. There was a reason I'd left his office for another state, with a stop in-between AZ and my home state, which he knew about and gave me medical permission to do, with no replacement surgical tape. It was because no one even bothered to tell me I would need any, to change it, and how long to use it. Never before have I left after a surgery without at least some of what I would need in the next week or two. I found out 2.5 weeks later when I called his office to verify it was okay for me to throw away the grungy piece I'd had on all that time. Because he denied I'd been sent home without instructions, he said he'd be sure I went home the second time with detailed written instructions. He didn't. It was the same as the first time.
I did not agree to the added $5000.00 laser procedure the doctor recommended. After my initial surgery, he started talking about the laser procedure almost as if it were a given. However, I was told by two other medical professionals that my skin is far better than many women my age and that the laser procedure he was recommending was absolutely not for skin in good condition like mine. I'd not requested a laser procedure, nor inquired about it. There was no mention at all by anyone at the clinic of any laser procedure until after my first surgery. Then the doctor told me it would be the final touch to finishing off and achieving the best outcome.
At the chin revision appointments, it felt to me as though, because I wasn't purchasing any more procedures or surgeries, the doctor just wanted to get me in and out and on my way. My scarred chin and unhappiness with my mouth made him unhappy so he wanted to move on.
After both surgeries, no one from his office ever contacted me to ask how I was doing, healing, or if I was happy. Not one after-care phone call from his office. Not one. So when I left his office the final time after my second surgery a year-and-a-half ago, although he'd done a revision surgery on my chin and I'd told him I was unhappy about my mouth and smile, no one from his office has ever called to ask about my healing from the second surgery or satisfaction with either of them. In other words, follow up care and concern was zero, twice.
The aftercare clinic transportation was Not good, and the clinic itself was only so-so. Nice day nurses. An impatient and curt night nurse, and another patient's music and computer kept waking me up all night.
I'm sorry I did not stick to what I initially asked for, which was only a chin lift and eyelids. It's been two years since my initial surgery (forehead/brow lift, eyelids, mid-face cheeks life, and chin lift). I avoid smiling in photos because I am horrified when I see what I look like smiling in them. I avoid a number of relatives and old friends because I am mortified by my new smile, which is too bad because I liked my old pretty smile a lot, thought it was my best feature, and never wanted it changed.
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I feel there is too much up-selling and I am wondering if the patient coordinator works on commission because of her unwillingness to accept my request to cancel. My experience was the commitment to patient satisfaction with outcomes is exaggerated. The lack of any follow-up contact with patients is appalling, and since I know another of the doctor's patients, I know I am not the only patient never to hear from his office again once I am sent home. Sending patients home, out of state, with no surgical and instructions on when to change it, and no instructions in scar prevention and tissue managements threatens the outcomes and it is poor medical care. I feel the doctor needs to stick to what he does best, breasts, because I've seen his work on breasts and the outcomes were very good, but my mouth and chin are evidence he oversold his abilities on the face.