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Don't let this happen to you! 8 ½ Wks. Mid-Face/Neck Laser Lower Eyelift - Springfield, MO

Lots of Complications --Hemorrhage/hematoma not...

Lots of Complications
--Hemorrhage/hematoma not drained or cleaned out resulting in scar tissue/fibrosis & a goose egg under chin and most likely revision surgery.
--Unable to hold my head in a normal position, or lift my head at all, plus extremely limited side-to-side motion. I also couldn’t relax my shoulder due to the pull on my neck & opening my mouth was a problem too. It made eating very difficult. I lost 8 lbs. in just the first 9 days and I’m not a big person.
--Lots of pain in shoulders, neck & back because of the above alignment problems, plus still having burning nerve pain from neck and down shoulder.
--Facelift needs revision surgery too, if even possible, I don’t know yet. Just check out my cheeks & jowels in the photos.
--Lower eyelift… an enlarged eye due to a droopy lower eyelid so can’t close eye completely, plus upper eyelid pulled down (dr. says not so but see photo). Incision under one eye needs revision.
--Laser work along with everything else needs to be redone as you can see in the photos.
--Eyes scratched & swollen… still dealing with Chemosis over 8 weeks later.
--Nerve injured resulted in a drooping lip especially when I talk.
--Ears clogged with blood, 4 weeks for hearing to return to normal.

Update on PS's Complication (NOT) Revisions

Thanks for all your responses. As Anon2390 wrote, “If he is as qualified and experienced as he makes out then the only explanations for his bad job is either it wasn't him (i.e he had a trainee do it)…” This was my first thought, that it was unsupervised trainees that did it, because how could I have such terrible results by a man with his credentials and experience. The two sides of my face looked so different it actually looked like two different people worked on me.

Laser - During the sales phase PS said he could reduce the lines by about 80%. NOW he says, “the laser treatment only works on the upper lip and he only treated the lower lip & chin so the skin tone would match.”

Lower eyelid -pulled down and I can’t close the eye fully - PS says it’s a nerve issue, give it a year, it will raise up.
Upper eyelid pulled down - PS says this is not so, I’m mistaken (see photos).
Incision under one eye needs revision - PS says this is a good incision and will not need a revision.

Cheeks & jowls - PS says the problem was my face, as my cheeks were not symmetrical! Who’s is?!
During pre-surgery consult he said my cheeks were fine, and did not recommend cheek implants or fillers, instead he recommended the lower eyelid lift. PS has said he would do a one-time temporary fix with filler. This is the ONLY thing he is willing to do.

Neck - When the drains were removed, under my chin immediately turned black as it filled with blood. The blood was never drained or cleaned out even though his surgical center was just steps away. The the goose egg under my chin of scar tissue/fibrosis according to other PS’s will need revision.
All the PS has had to say is it’s just swelling, be patient and don’t worry about it. I started massaging and going to a physical therapist upon the advice of another PS, who wanted me to have an MRI as he I may have been injured on the operating table and have cracked vertabra in my neck.

This had been such a HUGE disappointment. This was something I was doing for myself, in celebration of a new year and new life and having four very difficult life events mostly behind me. I say mostly because two are major health issues highly likely to be future problems. My only child was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and needing immediate surgery by a skull-based specialist… and NO insurance. It was a rare tumor so they couldn’t say if a stage 3 or 4 or not, he could die before Medicaid came through. It became my full time job trying to find help for him, and help him. It feels like such a cold hard world when all you hear is no. After 3-4 months a surgeon relented when my son absolutely couldn’t wait any longer.

6 months later when he was through recovery and functioning reasonable well, I go back to work BUT only briefly… then I found myself with 47 staples in my head and recovering from a brain aneurysm. My son had his second surgery while I was recovering from mine and I couldn’t be there for him this time. When they found the aneurysm, the also found what appears to be a pineal glioma, like my son had. It’s not nearly as large as my sons and as it’s not currently causing any problems so I’m in a watch and wait mode and there is not telling how fast or slow it may grow. There are many variables and these things are not hereditary, so who knows what the future will bring.

I’m single, and essentially haven’t worked in 3 years as every time I start back to work there’s a new crises. This experience has just left me embarrassed and regretting that I spent $17,000 and did this and feeling like the unluckiest girl in the world. I start back next week trying to rebuild my business… given the questions about my son’s and my future health issues and considering the financial drain they can be… revisions of the cosmetic surgery may not be in my future.

Better photos of the damage done to my cheeks.

I caught an image of myself in a mirror chewing gum and I was mortified by what I saw. I don't know how well this will show but on my left cheek there is an indentation going up the middle which looks like perhaps a laser was overly applied twice going up my face.

Better photo of eyes today

The results of the upper eyelid altered on one side & lower eyelid on the other side.

Oops! Here's the forgotten photo

Re: PS's post below on my review

Since the PS thinks I’m manipulating photos to make him look bad, I’ve decided to photo another of my eyes. This time I have no makeup on, I’m not sitting in shadows & the only light is from a makeup mirror in front of me. Posting all my worst photos is just be too embarrassing. Besides my new small eye and new big eye, also note the obvious scar under one eye. Plus the darkness & veins under my eyes, which I haven’t mentioned yet on this site, I believe is from too much fat removal. My eyes do look their worst when I look up, but then I’m 5’2” so I am generally looking up at people. This also gives a different view of the damage done to my cheeks; how my mouth has been pulled down & is lumpier on one side; and the pad of scar tissue under my chin. In the second photo I was trying to take a back lit photo to show how my left ear now sticks out, but even with back lighting you can see the damage to my cheeks. The damage is apparent no matter the lighting condition.
I have wondered why the PS made that post. Was it out of spite, to cause further harm? What PS will want to take me on now since he has painted me a such a difficult patient? He would have to be insane to think others would believe that not following post-op instructions could cause such harm or that photos could be manipulated to that extreme. But other PSs will be reading his post with a different eye than the public. Whatever his reasons, I now have a new topic to discuss with the attorney, defamation of character and libel.

Thank you! I appreciate all the responses & all the support you have given me!

Your support here has been the one bright spot in all this. This has been one continuous frustration in so many ways. The latest frustration, I went back to the ophthalmologist I saw shortly before the PS. My vision has worsened, which he confirmed. However, he wouldn’t give me an RX for glasses yet as 3 ½ months post-op my eyeballs are still swollen & I cannot close either eye fully, this had led to dry eye problems. He’s talking about putting in tear duct plugs &/or surgery on my eyes! So it’s off to other specialists for additional opinions on my eyes as well as for nerve pain from the neck injury too.
Every morning when I do my makeup it’s depressing and it puts me in a pissy mood that I just can't shake. Not good when you deal with the public selling real estate, my income suffers. It's so bothersome to see people staring oddly at me or when talking to someone and their eyes veer slightly off as they look at my face. Actually, it's just as uncomfortable when they look me in the eyes.... are they looking at me or my eyes? All I can say is be very careful out there.
Thanks again! Karen

OMG, what's happening to my face!!! 4+mos. post

I’ve tried to keep myself busy getting the house ready to put on the market and starting my business back up and trying not to deal with PS issues as I needed a break and my hair has been falling out. I don’t know if it’s because of the emotional stress or the physical stress that the PS put my body thru. Besides the receding hairline shown in the photo, I have a couple small bald spots and there’s an overall thinning going on too.
Going back to work has aggravated the neck problems. The muscle spasms have flared up again, the nerve pain in my neck and shoulder has continued, and now I have nerve issues in my lower legs and feet. I had an x-ray and I have a dislocated vertebrae in my neck. I had nerve conduction tests done and I am finally getting an MRI on Monday to access the extent of the damage.
OMG my face! It’s getting so much worse as the swelling subsides. In the photo where I’m smiling, the front part of my cheek looks like an apostrophe with a crater behind it, where did that deep angular dimple come from? Then there’s the new deep lines under my eyes that extend back to my hairline, and a new horizontal line under my nose that extends from one nasolabial fold to the other. Even my smile has been effected, that’s not how I normally smile, and there is a new horizontal ridge extending out from the corner of my mouth. If someone showed me this photo, I probably would have asked, Who is that?
In two photos, I pressed a finger to my face and you can see the indentation that shows I still have a lot for swelling at this late date. My God, if this isn’t horrendous enough, what am I going to look like when the rest of the swelling goes away??? I also included a close up to show how badly damaged my skin is, and from what I have read this will continue to worsen! I don’t understand where all those deep line under my eyes came from. And what the hell is happening with my neck! I went to take a photo of my neck with my ipad, and my allergies and asthma were acting up so I sniffed and was shocked when I saw this image of myself on the ipad. It looks like I had a tracheotomy and all the skin being pulled into it. Why on earth is that happening??? And where did all the loose skin come from??? The skin on my face seems to be stretching &/or loosening too. In the second neck photo I’m sitting back in a chair… I didn’t realize, until this photo, that it looked like I could store my lunch in the pocket in my neck! Yea, I’m having another meltdown and now the rest of my hair will probably fall out.

From the Op Report I’ve just learned that the PS used the “Smartlipo Laser”on my face. This is for use on the jawline and neck, not the face! And at a setting of 50-53 degrees Celsius which is too high according to the mfr. Was this disclosed or discussed pre-surgery? HELL NO! In consultation he talked about using a laser a little bit on my neck only, and there was NEVER any mention whatsoever of the “Smartlipo Laser” or liposuction. Interestingly, on his websites he changed the mfr’s. name of the equipment from “Smartlipo Laser” to “SmartLaser Lift”. He’s even got a second website SmartLaserLift.com with no mention of liposuction whatsoever. Every other PS’s website that I’ve seen that does laser lipo uses the mfr’s. name for the equipment which include laser and lipo in the name.

The Thermal damage to my skin is permanent and it appears other damage to my face maybe too!!! On RealSelf someone ask: BUCCCAL FAT PAD REMOVAL VS. LASER LIPOSUCTION ON YOUR FACE? Responses:
---Laser lipo of your face is downright crazy and irresponsible. It’s a set up for permanent irregularities, potential areas of fibrosis and additional things that you will not like. Charles Virden Reno Plastic Surgeon
---Liposuction is no longer done on the face. Liposuction is confined to the jawline and neck, and works best in younger patients whose skin might shrink better than older patients. When you liposuction too close to the skin, you will see grooves and ridges that are permanent and impossible to eliminate. Richard P. Rand Seattle Plastic Surgeon
---liposuction of the cheeks in not performed except in rare cases. The facial nerve is at risk. (I have a droopy lip) Scott Haupt Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
---keep lipo to chin and neck line - chance of disfigurement, which can be permanent. Marwan Khalifeh, Plastic Surgeon
---Except in extraordinary circumstances liposuction of the cheek is not indicated. Vincent Zubowicz, Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Photo update

Springfield Facial Plastic Surgeon

Review to come.

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 (162)

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Hi Karen! Checking to see how you are doing!! XOXOX
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Hi Kat, I’m struggling with what to do about professional photos for work. I now look a lot different than I did in my photos that I used before. With my hair falling out I can’t go back to blonde, I no longer have the full cheeks, and my eyes are changed too. Now I’m embarrassed by those photos as they draw attention to the changes in my face. The thought of going to a photographer freaks me out, I’m afraid of what I’ll see. My crappy photos are bad enough! I was trying to take photos showing the discoloration in my neck which gets washed out in photos. Under my chin is discolored like a bruise and my neck is very red. In one photo there’s an indentation on the left, that’s my finger imprint showing the swelling at 5 months. The indentation on the right, a slip of the knife by the PS? In the next photo, I lifted my chin and what the heck? A slip of a laser? Now I wonder what my chin is going to end up looking like and what’s with all the loose skin on the neck? Perhaps from the extensive swelling I had? The neurologist has me on Neurontin, an anti-seizure drug, for nerve pain. I was on Keppra after Grand Mal seizures following the aneurysm surgery and it was horrible. I finally weaned myself off after about 8 months as I absolutely could not function. Dr. says this is different and we’ll find a happy dosage balance. We’ll see. He also referred me to a neurosurgeon for the neck problems, highly unusual, but I have a Epidermoid brain cyst that extends down through the base of the skull, an extremely rare condition. There could be very serious consequences if it ruptured so I can’t have a physical therapy or chiropractor manipulating my neck. Knowing about the Epidermoid, you would think the PS would have used extra care, but apparently not or I wouldn’t have my current issues.
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Larkar, have you tried a wig for your hair loss? They make some very natural looking ones these days especially the ones that are made of real hair. As for the gabapentin, are you getting any relief? I tried it after my ps disaster but the only thing it did for me was make me eat all day & gain 12 pounds. I was taking 200 mgs twice per day which is a pretty low dosage. It may have worked better at a higher dosage. Finally, is your lawsuit progressing? I hope the SOB settles out of court for a small fortune -- you deserve it after so much hardship at the hands of this "doctor." Hoping for the best for you.
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Actually, I’m wearing a wig in my before photo. It’s a selfie I took while recovering from brain surgery. They’re not such a great option. There are no local places so I ordered a couple others online, what I received was so different in cut and color then what I expected so I never wore them. Also I have a bigger head than normal, wigs don’t fit me. I’ve tried making alterations to some of my mom’s old wigs which hasn’t worked out so well. It takes me a lot longer to style my hair to hid the bald areas, then I spray it to death to keep it in place… if only I could hid my face. The dr. started me at 200mgs. also in anticipation on gradually increasing the dose. If it ends up affecting me like the Keppra, I’d rather have the pain. I am actually losing weight again. I lost a bit after surgery because my jaw wouldn’t even line up so even eating soft foods was a problem. I don’t know why I’ve started to lose weight again. Now I hate facing my closet, I have 4 different sizes and I don’t know what fits. I’ve really gotta get it cleaned out. I’ll write later about what’s going on on the legal front.
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Oh so sorry! The hair loss needs to be addressed by a dermatologist and endocrinologist. Stress or cb thyroid problems. Is this surgeon taking any responsibility? This is what PS nightmares are made of.
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I just responded to Renovation Project immediately below about a new thyroid issue before seeing your post. You are right on about the thyroid. The PS is taking no responsibility whatsoever. In fact, after all the negative responses he received with his post on here, he later made that same post on a few other websites as well. Reminds me of the definition of insanity... doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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I am so sorry you have to go through that nightmare. I currently work for a plastic surgeon in New Haven, CT and I have never seen anything like that. I hope you can find someone that can redo the surgery and get that horrible doctor to pay for it.
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Thanks for posting. I believe the doc will definitely be paying! I'm going to post later today, as time allows, on the legal situation and why I feel so confident about that.
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Larkar, with regard to the hair loss you're experiencing, if you haven't already done so, have your regular doctor run a full iron panel to see if your iron stores have been depleted. Be sure the tests include ferritin, serum iron, and % saturation - not just the hemoglobin and hematocrit. Iron deficiency can be present without anemia, and when your iron stores fall below a certain level your body can sacrifice your hair in favor of more essential organs/function. This can happen from blood loss during surgery, but also from extensive or prolonged bruising after, which can result in a more gradual, intra-vascular blood loss. You may need iron supplements, and to stop the hair loss and promote regrowth you should shoot for a ferritin level in the 70 range.
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Actually, the day the Dr. told me I had a dislocated vertebrae, he said he checked my iron levels as he expected me to be low on iron. Instead he was surprised to see a significant change in my thyroid levels and I'm supposed to go back for additional tests. I'll ask, and if he hasn't done so already, I will request that he checks. Given all the damage to my neck the PS caused, I have to suspect the thyroid issues are related.
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Did the dislocated vertebrae have anything to do with the ps? It's hard to understand what he could have done in a FL, neck lift that would have affected the vertebrae but, who knows, stranger things have happened I guess. At any rate I hope this horrible experience is soon behind you.
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Absolutely! I had no problems whatsoever with my neck before surgery and major problems immediately after. From an PS board professional article, "During cosmetic facial surgery, the neck can be exposed to stress and strain forces acting on the cervical bony and ligamentous constructs. Under general anesthesia the surgeon may hyper-extend or hyper-rotate the neck that may risk acute injury…” How they position you and handle you during surgery is a very basic part of their education. If not you are not handled correctly you can suffer varies injuries, pressure on a nerve can cause permanent nerve damage, even death if an incorrect position blocks a vein causing a blood clot.
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That's so sweet Drdiana, I have been watching Karens story unfold and praying she gets the helps she needs. I can't imagine how hard it's been:( Ps: Karen I'm a stylist and just want to reassure you your hair will grow back in if the hair loss is stress related. Stress is so hard on our skin and hair. Please find ways de~stress if possible...yoga, deap breathing, acupuncture maybe? Easier said then done I know, I had skin issues and was stressed about itl for a number of years! Positive affirmations help.
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Hi Drdiana, 8 months... aaaaaggghhh! This will be the longest 8 months of my life! Your willing to take this mess on? What's your name and where are you? Send me a private message, if you like, and we can chat a bit.
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I'm so sorry things are appearing worse right now. Lipo was done on the wrong place on me, also. Bortnick lipoed my jawline (and above?), which in my case, was damaging because I didn't have enough fat there to lose! Now the area above my chin is caved in, and jaw looks too narrow. All 3 surgeries (Bortnick & Gutek) adversely affected my smile. It's really the worst thing for me because my smile was absolutely great and was my trademark. I HAD NO IDEA THAT ANY SORT OF LIFT COULD EFFECT THE SMILE. I should have been told that, among 100s of other things. If I had known that, I would never have had any "lift" surgery ! Now I have to keep my mouth in a permanent semi-smile and the same in photos, because my smile is so weird I can't stand it. In 5 years I still haven't worked out what kind of smile could actually look good in a photo, so I keep desperately experimenting. What my surgeons did should be so illegal that they are in prison right now where they can never hurt another person.
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Without a doubt I certainly know how you feel. I too tried to keep my mouth in a permanent semi-smile at first because I hated how my mouth has been pulled down into a permanent frown. That's not easy, you have to be aware of your mouth constantly, but then my face worsen. Frown, grin or smile, now I don't know which is the lesser of the evils. I've thought too, that this should be a crime, especially since the PS knew without a doubt that he was putting me at risk by not treating the hematoma. I have him on tape making up various excuses as to why he didn't, and on his fabricated "progress notes" claiming he did.... however, not in what would normal standard of practices in treating a hematoma, I believe. So weird. In fabricating his notes for my file he made lots of errors, such as, on different dated "all sutures" were removed. In fact, I couldn't get him to remove all the sutures. I had to get my GP to remove sutures, so I have proof that the PS did not. His "Progress Notes" are certainly going to help my case. LOL, love it!
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Did you find an attorney to take this on contingency? If you are planning to be sure to start now before your statute runs out. I hope he pays you millions. What a complete mess he is. Stop him before he does this again.
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I now have 2 attorneys! I have a relative who is a principal at Berger Kahn a large law firm with a few locations in Calif. They do work nationally. As an established firm they get away with doing things differently. Go to an office and you'll meet Harrison Frank, a mannequin dressed in double breasted suit. He wears the suits in the office, the attorneys don't. He's named after Harris & Frank, the clothing store. He's listed along with the other attorneys and has his own webpage on their website. I have trouble asking for help on small things, I could never asked, but he stepped forward and offered to do this, he is outraged about this situation. Over the years, the bulk of his practice has been related to insurance defense. Perfect! Attorneys with a view from both sides of the table!
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Great, good luck. Hope one day you'll be able to put this all behind you.
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Glad to hear about this Karen!! Geezzz, I can't believe he never even offered you a refund. Certainly doesn't make him look good. We aren't talking about just one thing here, it's not one wonky eye or stitches that popped it's the entire thing!! I got tears in my eyes when I saw your recent update...then I got mad!! I know med mal is hard to claim because you have to prove he operated outside the standards of care (worked in law offices myself). Please let us all know if there is anything we can do for you!! XOXOX
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That's great news, I'm so happy for you!
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I'm glad you're getting help with this and that things are moving forward. However, as a word of caution - if you are moving towards potential litigation, you might want to be very careful about what you post on a public forum. I want you to have support from the community here, but you may want to check with your legal team just to be safe. Remember that the internet is forever, and you certainly don't want to do anything to jeopardize your position. We're all pulling for you - just take precautions and get professional guidance so you know the parameters you're working with. Best of luck to you.
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karen i am sorry about your ordeal .I had my surgery with Dr Franco in miami and I have been very happy with the results so far. There a couple of things I would like him to do , may be fat transfer around my lips, and may lifting my eyebrows a tiny bit. He is an excellent dr, I wish you best.
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Thanks! I haven't made any decisions yet on which PSs I will be visiting for consultations. I'll definitely look Dr. Franco up.
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