Not Happy with Cheek Lift (Mid-face Suspension) - Scottsdale, AZ
- updated 2 months ago
I can't remember how much the procedure, by...
- 19 Oct 2011
I can't remember how much the procedure, by itself cost. I paid for four at once, which totaled $18,500.00
Cheek lift moving my own facial fat back up is even and seems to have stuck, but it also resulted in bigger cheeks than I had naturally even as a young woman. I don't like it.
It also pulled my upper lip up and in a little so it doesn't stick out as far as my lower lip in profile, and when I smile it feels like my cheeks are pushing up into my eye area too high, probably because I've never had this exact shape of cheeks before.
Another after-effect is that where he went into my cheeks through my mouth, it feels like I have wads of cotton stuffed up under my upper-lip on both sides. Also, it often feels like have something wet on the corners of my upper lip when there is nothing there. I keep touching myself to make sure I haven't drooled on myself or something.
Worse, it changed my smile. Now my smile is tight against my chipmunk cheeks and pulls tight under my nose, from cheek to cheek, which not only pulls at my nostrils, but creates a ridge below my nose and above my upper lip. I hate it. I liked my old smile, which was a pretty.
Smiling isn't very comfortable now due to the tight pulling/stretching on my face, pulling on my nostrils, and the sense of pressure pushing up under my eyes. When I smile the pulling reminds me that I have that weird, stretched ridge under my nose, so between that and it not feeling comfortable, I don't smile nearly as much as I used to.
After leaving the surgeon's, I've never had a single phone call or email from his office that I didn't initiate. Not at six months, except when I contacted them and then his assistant didn't get back to me in a timely fashion until I was irritated and let her know it.
After six months I went back for a correction to another procedure done at the same time. When I tried to tell him how I felt about my smile, he did not want to hear it and told me not to be a glass half-full person. Six months after the corrective procedure, I've never heard from his office. Since I didn't contact them for anything, they have no idea how I am or how his work turned out.
My surgeon did not tell me his recommended cheek lift would change my smile. If I'd known, I wouldn't have agreed to do it.
I hate my smile so much, I smile much less often...
- 14 Nov 2011
After reading more, I think what it is called is a Joker's smile. It looks like where the surgeon decided to place the sutures where he went in through the inside corners of my mouth up into the cheek areas provided too little room for my normal, wider smile. When I smile my upper lip pulls so tightly against the gum, and it also looks like there is no place for the corners to go, that instead of turning up in the corners, my upper lip is completely straight across. Hence the Joker's smile.
Like I wrote previously, I think my smile was very pretty before and I would never have agreed to anything that would change it. My surgeon did mention that the mid-face lift would raise the corners of my lips back up some, but he said nothing about any other possible changes. In fact, when I did raise any specific concerns about anything else, he just shook his head and said I had nothing to worry about. The material he gave me to read before hand did talk about all the possible potential problems regarding nerve damage and so on, but when I asked about any of them, he said he never had problems with any of those things so not to worry about it.
It's been s full year since the surgery and compared to some of the horror stories other people share, I guess I was lucky not to have my face misshapen, so the skill for achieving cheek balance was good at least.
However, I wasn't unhappy with my cheeks when I went for the consult and I liked my smile a lot. The only things I asked about were my chin/neck and my upper eye-lids, but the surgeon said he thought my results would be much better with the added mid-face and partial brow lift, so I agreed. That's left me with cheeks I don't care about one way or another and that are actually fuller than when I was younger, and a smile I hate and am embarrassed by. In fact, although I told only a 3 or 4 people about my surgery, in the last year not one single person has mentioned that I look different or that I look good or that I look "rested." I have no doubt it is because they can tell something happened and they don't want to bring it up!
I'm sorry I did it, it wasn't worth many thousands of dollars taken out of savings to pay for it, and I wouldn't recommend this procedure unless there is some major need for it, and even then, be Very careful and ask about this possible outcome. And don't go to any surgeon that makes you feel rushed, not listened to, or whose staff is less attentive than he believes or claims they are.
(Sorry about posting this as a reply comment too. I goofed!)
After all that, the summary is my cheeks are too...
- 15 Nov 2011
It's been more than a year since my initial...
- 27 Nov 2012
A little more than two years later...
- 14 Oct 2013
The large scar running from under my chin to my throat has faded and is not obvious, other than some tugging at the throat where the incision ends and was stitched so a sharp eye would notice it. Still, it isn't awful. There is a little spot under my chin that sticks out where the initial incision was made and stitched. It isn't huge, but it is there and so creates a small bump so it isn't entirely smooth. Given what Could have happened and does happen to some people, I'm not that concerned about it. It still looks better than my original throat/neck profile.
The forehead lift result is also minimal. Between my eyes is still the deep furrows and I think my eyes and brow look a little heavy for my higher/fuller cheeks. It's not disfiguring, but it also is not a result worth the money I paid for the procedure, not to mention the physical side-effects of nerve damage, a scalp that still starts itching wildly on a regular basis, or the changed hairline.
My cheeks are not as round as they were, which is a good thing. However, I think it also looks like the positive results are not going to last all that long, as the corners of my mouth are dropping and I have little poofs forming around my mouth and jowl that I did not have before the surgery. So was it worth a big chunk of savings if it won't last even three years?
I still absolutely hate what he did to my mouth! His claim that he was lifting the corners back to where they belonged was bogus. Looking at before and after photos, my mouth appears to turn down at the corners even more than they did before. They certainly are no better. And for that I have a weird smile that screams Plastic Surgery! Plastic Surgery! Plastic Surgery! Not only is it unnatural looking, but my smile is not nearly as pretty as it was. I avoid smiling, and recently I was really saddened by the photos of me at my daughter's wedding. One of the happiest days of my life was shadowed by self-consciousness and disappointing photos because of my smile. At another extended family event, a couple of people actually did double-takes and I saw their eyes narrow in on my mouth as I was smiling and talking to them. I was mortified and spent the rest of the time avoiding looking at anyone directly when I was smiling. I kept looking down, and that is totally the opposite of my old demeanor before this surgery.
The upshot is I can live with everything he did and know I did not use my money wisely and it was my choice. I cannot accept, however, what he did to my mouth, upper lip, and where he sutured things along my cheek because it just looks unnatural and made my smile Less attractive and that isn't why people pay for plastic surgery, to be Less attractive.
By the way, not one single person in the two plus years has commented on my looks. Not one person has said I look different, or rested, or younger, or better; not even funny or worse. No relatives, friends, or acquaintances have said a single word. No one who I told about the surgery and no one I didn't tell. Not one. What does that tell you? It tells me that people notice something odd and are too polite to say anything so they just pretend they've noticed nothing.
Doctor sometimes had good bedside manner and sometimes didn't. It depended on his mood and how distracted he was. When we talked on the phone because I live elsewhere, he always sounded distracted. He did not answer all of the questions I emailed to him, and he did not answer all my questions in person. He answered those he wanted to answer and the others he brushed off. There's been no after care follow-up. After the surgery over two years ago, his staff did not contact me Once to see how I was doing, even though they knew I was making a stop in another state different from my own home state and then traveling on home a few weeks after that. The doctor reassured me that his office would not just abandon me because I was leaving his state, but I never heard a word from any one of them. Not once. After I returned to my own state, again I heard from no one in his office. Not once. They did not respond to emails when I asked them to until I was a little angry about it. After the surgical revision to my lumpy chin six months after the first surgery, no one from his office ever contacted me for any reason whatsoever. Not once. He sent me away with a huge scar under my chin, and he knew I was unhappy about my smile, but he never once contacted me to ask how I was healing or if I was happy. So much for the claims regarding dedication to achieving patient satisfaction made in his written material and on his website. I paid cash, and he was more expensive than the average. Wait times were fine. His medical team seem fine, and I liked his anesthesiologist a lot. The after-care transportation and facility wasn't that good. The driver was talking about me on his phone in the van, and braking hard. He couldn't find the door to the place and had me in the hot Arizona sun without anything covering my face. My sutures, especially on my eyes felt like they were on fire. The day nurses were nice, but one of the night nurses was impatient and curt. Another patient in the room kept waking me up all night with her computer and music. A few weeks before the surgery, I talked to his patient coordinator and told her that I thought I was rushing into it and I had decided I should think about it some more. She assertively insisted cold-feet nerves were normal, but everything would be wonderful and I would be so happy that I really needed to trust the doctor and go through with it. I told her I was worried about ending up with a lumpy chin. She insisted I had nothing to worry about, and said, "Oh no! You will have a smooth, firm chin. You'll love it and be very happy. Trust the doctor." I did, and I ended up with a lumpy chin, which he fixed by leaving me with a very large visible scar. After feeling sort of pushed into the surgery because I initially had asked for only a consult but as soon as the doctor was finished doing the consult I was taken to the patient coordinator to look at photos and schedule my surgery as though it was given), and then she was so insistent about not letting me back out, I now think she was working on commission. No one in a physician's office who deals with encouraging medical procedures should be working on commission for this very reason. I also felt like up-selling was going on, because I was talked into the mid-face cheek lift when I wasn't asking for one, and then the doctor tried to convince me to have a $5000.00 laser procedure afterward, and actually talked about it as though it was almost a given, when I'd never asked for it and it had never been brought up before my surgery. After the first surgery over two years ago, I was sent away with no instructions for scar care or even that I needed surgical tape to replace what was on me. Because I was having trouble getting time for specific questions answered about how long I had to sleep sitting up, how long to wear the chin band, and other timeline questions, before I was ushered out the last time, I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote those questions down and had him fill in the answers before I left his office the final time. When I asked about creams or something for the incisions and to prevent scarring, his staff looked like they didn't know what I was talking about. When I asked him, he told them to get me two facial creams that would prepare my skin for laser resurfacing. I paid about $250.00 for them and they made me break out so I ended up throwing them away. (I told him that, and he had no response.) He said nothing about scar creams, surgical tape, or anything else. After I left the state, I called his office 2.5 weeks later when the surgical tape I left his office wearing was scuzzy and sliding off. I'd not heard a word from his office since I'd left even though he'd reassured me they would follow-up with me so I did not need to feel insecure about leaving. I wanted to know if I could just throw the surgical tape away and to verify I didn't need it anymore. That's when I was told I was supposed to be changing it regularly and I needed to wear it for the next three months! I tromped through the rain in the city I was in (not my own home city) looking for a pharmacy that sold it, wondering how in the heck they'd sent me away without explaining it to me and giving me a roll of surgical tape? I've never had a surgery where the surgeon's office didn't send me away with what I needed! When I saw him six months later for a revision of another procedure, I told him about it and he argued with me, telling me that it wasn't true they sent me away without instructions because they are very careful about that. He said I just didn't remember because of what I'd gone through and that to ensure I couldn't forget the second time he would send me home with the instructions written down. They did neither. Again there was no discussion at all about scar prevention until *I* specifically asked *him* about Mederma as he was preparing to leave, and then he said yes to do that. I also left with nothing in writing. (It isn't only me because I know another of his patients who had the same experience: no instructions for wound care and scar prevention, and she never heard a word from anyone in his practice after she left. No one even called her to check up and see if she was having any problems.) To get any follow-up that doesn't include an office visit, the patient has to initiate it and be persistent. I haven't even bothered to contact him over my horrible smile because because when I went back for the revision of something else, he made it clear he had no interest in what I had to say about my self-consciousness over my smile, and he also had no interest in tweaking my eye-lids even though he'd previously said when I went back he would tweak them if needed because doing multiple procedure at once caused so much swelling it is difficult to assess how much eye-lid skin really needs to be removed. Because of the swelling from multiple procedures when he did my eyelids, he did not remove enough to make that much of a difference, and he'd acknowledged that would happen because of the swelling, but when I went back, I guess because I'd refused anymore expensive procedures, he refused to acknowledge the issue, changed the subject, and did not follow through on his "tweaking" promise. What he was interested in was a $5000.00 laser re-surfacing to "finish off" the other work (which was never mentioned in my initial consultation), but my skin is in much better shape than most women my age and two others told me no way was I a candidate for such deep burning of my face. I don't like the shiny look skin is left with after that procedure either. Because of my ruined smile (way too tight, sort of joker looking, with a distinct thick ridge running horizontally under my nose) and what he needed to correct from the first surgery, I decided not to follow his recommendation regarding the face resurfacing, but instead waited to see how the revision went first. I guess since I wasn't there to purchase another expensive procedure, he had no interest in keeping his word about my eye-lids and he didn't care to live up to his written material about caring so much about the satisfaction his patients feel about their outcomes. Given the unhappy result of his revision (which I will write about under face lift/neck surgery), I'm glad I didn't agree to the facial resurfacing.