What to do if given empty promises, misled, not given enough information about recovery period and type of surgery?

I had a Midface lift 5 month ago, I look bad, Disfigured or older. I was so excited by all things doctor and his assistant said my surgery can do but never said what and how it's achieved. They said I would feel like myself in 8 days, can go back to work in a week. They never said anything about risks and how my tissue feels like, they made it look like an easy procedure with easy recovery. My face is hard and painful, skin and hair is in a bad shape, if I run my cheeks gets painful, hard

Doctor Answers 13

Unhappy with surgery and patient journey experience

Thank you for your question, I am sorry to hear you are not happy with your results and patient journey experience.  Surgeons have a responsibility to make risk and complication transparent, therefore patients fully understanding before the procedure has taken place.  These should be read, discussed and a patient consent form should be signed, to note that you are fully aware of them.  Transparency is very important thorough the whole experience.  Please return to your surgeon for regular follow ups, discussing your concerns, you may want a second opinion from another plastic surgeon consultation.  All The Best 

What to do if given empty promises, misled, not given enough information about recovery period and type of surgery?

Sorry to hear of your experience. It seems all too common on the Internet especially disappointing when patients are misled by surgical offices as to what their expectations and results can be.  If you feel disfigured and older looking I think you do need to seek a second opinion and consider revisionary surgery if appropriate.  If you do proceed through another doctor's office discuss your dissatisfaction calmly with your initial surgeon and see if some resolution can be achieved.  Best wishes,

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
ABC-TV Extreme Makeover Surgeon
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews


Thank you for your question. Please post pictures to assist us in answering your questions. In the meantime, you should have been warned of the complications and the risks associated with any medical procedure. Your swelling and bruising should have resolved by now, which leads me to suggest that you consult with your facial plastic surgeon.

Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Unhappy facelift results

I am so very sorry that you've had such a negative experience. Tightness of the skin and swelling are to be expected following such a surgery, but typically have resolved by 5 to 6 months post op. And the fact that you are still in pain is troubling. You really only have two options, unfortunately. Stay with your original surgeon and see if he can fix your issues or get a second opinion from another board certified plastic surgeon in your area. I would vote for the latter. 


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Midface Lift Recovery

I am very sorry that you have had a bad experience with recovery.  An endoscopic subperiosteal midface lift (if that is what was performed) leads to a fairly substantial amount of swelling that lasts for several weeks.  If you were told that you would appear totally without signs of surgery, that was an overstatement. Since you are only 5 months out and further improvement in your situation is likely, I would continue to rely on your current Surgeon for reassurance.  As Surgeons, we all wish that there was a true "no recovery" surgery, but it doesn't exist; I would ask all prospective patients to realize this fact when booking surgery. 

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews


Oh dear!  It sounds like you've had a terrible time.  I'm so sorry you're unhappy.  There are some things you describe that can be normal phases of healing - like having tissue that feels firm to the touch - but certainly not 5 months later.  If you would be willing to post before and after photos I"d be happy to try to help.  Even in the best of scenarios, having expectations and understanding of how long recovery will take and what the outcome will be is crucial.  I hope you have spoken to your plastic surgeon about how disappointed and unhappy you are.  He or she will almost certainly be able to speak to some of these issues.  

Dr. Jespersen

M. Renee Jespersen, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Mid-face lift - received poor advice

Thank you for asking about your mid-face lift.

I am so sorry you have had such a poor experience with your mid-face lift. And that your surgeon did not adequately inform you as to what was involved. At this point, your options unfortunately are to stay with your surgeon and give yourself more time or to seek a second opinion. If you do get a second opinion, it will help to take your before photos and a copy of your operative note with you. It may just be that you need much more time for everything to finish healing.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Unprepared for recovery and results from facelift

Unfortunately, your experience is pretty common. Surgeons sometimes are reluctant to tell patients the full scope of the after-surgery period for fear of losing the opportunity to do the procedure. It's critical to look into the surgeon's background, but equally (if not more) important to research the experience that other patients of that surgeon had by using sites just like this one.

Malik Kutty, MD
Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Get a second opinion

I'm sorry to hear about your outcome. The word mid facelift means many different things to different surgeons. If your surgeon doesn't feel like this result needs re-looking at, as far as a revision, then my recommendation is find a board certified plastic surgeon with a great deal of facelift experience for a second opinion. Best of luck.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Unhappy 5 months after midface lift.

I'm sorry to hear your surgery results did not meet your expectations.  After 5 months, any swelling or firmness from a facelift should have fully resolved.  If your has not, and your result is not what you wish, you may consider returning to your surgeon to discuss options for correction.  If you do not wish to return to your original surgeon, seek out a board certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in facelifts and go for a consult.  Best wishes.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.