How Do I Talk to my Dr About Bad Outcome from Overdone Lipo?

Had mini tummy tuck for diastasis recti of upper stomach from child birth. No stretch marks or loose skin. Agreed to mild lipo of lovehandles only. Came out with overdone hips and buttocks area somehow. Left side indented and way smaller buttock and hip. and "wooden" feeling. 3 mos out. He does not seem to want to acknowledge problem. Worried I will have to overdue lipo on right side now to make even.

Doctor Answers 5

Communication is key to getting great final results from any plastic surgery

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Just talk to your surgeon.  That sounds easier than it is, though, I know.  I don't know any reputable surgeon who wants an unhappy patient.  If you let your surgeon know your specific concerns, he should be willing to talk to you about them and give you options.  The tone of the conversation should be gentle and non-accusatory.  As I said, no good surgeon wants an unhappy patient--hopefully your surgeon has enough experience that he won't become defensive during the discussion.  Sometimes that happens, though.  I've heard this happen more often with non-plastic surgeons who have done these procedures--I think they don't have as many options to correct such problems as actual board-certified plastic surgeons have.

The bottom line is that he should acknowledge your concerns and tell you if there are options.

By the way, if you are truly over-resected on one side, you shouldn't try to make the other side match.  You might consider fat transfer to the over-resected area instead.

Good luck!

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Discussing Disappointing Results with Plastic Surgeon

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The only way to settle it is to discuss it. The discussion should not be accusatory or heated but both you and your surgeon should at least see what, if anything, could or need to be done. (Instead of "you promised me X,Y,Z and instead I have Z,X,C, it should be more along of "Dr. W, My husbandand I are disappointed with B,N,M and are worried it would be permanent, what are my options for correcting it?) Most surgeons would respond to that and want to make you happy.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

800 pound gorilla

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Unhappy results are a difficult topic sometimes.  You have the choice to suck it up or confront the doctor.  At three months our, I believe you are seeing results that are starting to look close to the final result (though more swelling will resolve).

On your next exam you need to be firm but polite.  Perhaps ask to see the pre op photos and ask to discuss what was done, and how much fat was removed from each area.  Replacing fat is difficult.

If he won't talk to you, ask him for a second opinion, and seek one of your own anyway.


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you need to resolve if possible, the miscommunication you had with the liposuction of the buttocks when you only wanted love handles. At times the doctor must do adjacent areas that are affected by the desired area and this might have been explained to  you but with all the other information it might have gotten "lost" during the converstaion/consultation. This should be done prior to having the surgeon perform any revisions.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Handling the discussion with your plastic surgeon when results are not ideal

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There are many things that can lead you to have a result that you are not happy with.  Perhaps your expectations were higher than appropriate for what your body could allow.  Perhaps you expected more than the doctor was able to do (especially when you go to a non-plastic surgeon).  Sometimes the technique was flawed or the healing was marred by more scar tissue than one would hope for.

Regardless, if you are unhappy, you should discuss it calmly with the doctor.  Ask what the issues are, why they are there and whether they can be made better. 

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.