The $2200 reflects one syringe of Voluma $900-950 and 2 of Restylane. I went to Dr. Stevens 2/19 of this year for Botox & Restylane injections for my lines & dark circles. I had Restylane once before, about a year ago & it helped. He suggested Voluma for my cheeks since I have a thin face & said I would love it & lasted 2 years. He injected 1 syringe along with1 of Restylane. I had to go back on the 26th because it wasn't even. I should mention he left me waiting in the reception area while talking to someone who had no appointment & had never been a patient. I thought it was very rude when he knew I was sitting there & mentioned it to him. He said he just came in his office and sat down, perhaps you can say you have a patient. I felt rushed & every time I'd point something out he would say, oh, your crazy, not in a mean way but flippant & didn't appreciate it.
My face had a bubble like lump, extreme redness & had never looked like that. I was very upset by the whole incident & emailed him explaining how I felt along with photos. He assured me that there was nothing to worry about. It did finally subside but by the first week of May, I noticed a lot of bruising, redness & the same blister like lump plus the left cheek was very swollen.
JUVÉDERM VOLUMA™ XC is a Hyaluronic FDA approved (10/13) filler for the cheek area to correct volume loss. I would think it's important to know all the possible side effects & how to treat a patient in case of an infection or reaction. He never mentioned anything about a Biofilm infection or that it was harder to dissolve if there was a problem because it is a thicker substance. I left a message that night and went in May 8th. I don't know if he was annoyed by my email but felt he minimized my concerns & said he didn't feel any lump. I actually had to place his hand on the lump and finally said he felt it. There was no way you could miss it. He explained the redness as rosacea which I've never had. I asked specifically if I might have a biofilm infection. He said I didn't but the tone implied I had no idea what I was talking about. I also asked about dissolving it but he said not to do anything at the moment. I left the office feeling very uneasy & asked if I could send him pictures since he brushed it off which bothered me.
I sent more on the 12th since it was mother's day weekend showing how the redness had spread down my cheeks. He called at the end of the day & said he really didn't know what to do & should find a doctor who had experience with adverse reactions. He did confer with a dermatologist who suggested I be put on antibiotics for a possible BIOFILM infection, the same one he so readily dismissed when I asked. I told him I called Allergan, the company & there had been some reports & even found some cases where doctors explained the specific symptoms & treatment. He wasn't aware of anything like that & even asked me to forward the site to him. He prescribed Biaxin for 10 days & gave him my pharmacy to call but they hadn't received it 15 minutes before closing. I was anxious to start & had to email him the name of a 24 hr. pharmacy. Why make a patient wait who is so nervous? He said to follow up next week. I think a doctor should be the one to follow up, not ask your patient to give you a call. I spent the next 48 hours researching every doctor to find the right one.
I feel it's best to err on the side of caution & make sure the patient is taken care of even if that means bringing in another doctor. It's a very frightening experience, especially anything around the eyes and felt so alone. I've had 3 injections to dissolve this & shouldn't have been sent home with a lump in the first place. I can't fathom why he thought it was fine but doctors need to listen to their patients. I may not be the expert, but I do know when something is wrong. If you don't know how to deal with an adverse reaction, perhaps it's not a good idea to inject these fillers until you do & make sure your patients are aware of all possible risks BEFORE any procedure.
I requested a refund on 5/15 since he told me I should find another doctor that can deal with this but asked me to sign a release which I can't since I haven't finished treatment. He has known me for years & feel a caring physician would have offered not only to reimburse me but also to pay to have this corrected. It wasn't a large amount of money but regardless, it's the right thing to do instead of running to an attorney or malpractice insurance company.
I've heard NOTHING from him, not a call, an email to see how I'm doing, could he help in anyway or follow up on my progress. IT DOESN'T COST ANYTHING TO CARE BUT IS INVALUABLE IF YOU DO. IF you're inexperienced with reactions to these cosmetic fillers & tell your patient to find someone else, why should they pay the cost? I want people to be aware of what can happen & to be extremely cautious!
After this review, his wife repeatedly berated me on Facebook to the extent I had to block her. It's a very poor reflection on both of them!
UPDATE AFTER 3 INJECTIONS TO DISSOLVE FILLER
After reading everything possible to learn about infections and complications with facial fillers, I've learned some of the causes can be; how the doctor does the injection, the product itself, not cleaning the area properly which can allow bacteria in or how it was stored. Dr. Stevens had to go down the hall for the product since he didn't have it in his office. I'm not saying this caused my reaction but you do have more control if it's in your office at all times. The photos I sent the next day clearly showed a blister like lump and redness which should have triggered enough concern to want to check it out.
This has been a nightmare and having his wife write such slanderous comments on Facebook, such as accusing me of extortion is deplorable. The fact that Dr. Stevens allowed it, speaks volumes. It will be interesting to see how the medical board views this. What happened to patient/doctor confidentiality? I asked for a reimbursement because he said he didn't know what to do and to find someone who was experienced with complications so now I'm paying to have this fixed. I think it's wrong to wash your hands of the situation and keep the money! She accuses me of being litigious yet the only thing I've been involved in, was one of the largest financial elder abuse cases in CA. and fought for legislation to help seniors.This could have easily been avoided by simply making me feel that he would do everything possible to correct it and that we were in this together. That doesn't cost a dime!