My initial consultation with Dr. Hedden was wonderful. The wait time was only about 15 minutes and he was very cordial and friendly, as was the entire staff. Things remained that way until "after" my surgery. But I digress....My initial consultation was for a tummy tuck, breast augmentation and liposuction on my buttocks and thighs with the hope that it would help my cellulite. Dr. Hedden said I also needed a breast lift, as my tiny breasts were sagging. I wasn't thrilled about the additional scar, but he said augmenting my breasts without a lift would leave them drooping. Dr. Hedden said he would not recommend cellulaze or liposuction for my buttocks and thighs, as neither would really help with the cellulite and would leave my skin loose and make things worse. He recommended a traditional buttock lift, but said his partner, Dr. Schaffer, would perform the surgery. I wanted to have everything done at the same time, but Dr. Hedden said he does not recommend doing the tummy tuck and buttock lift at the same time and would not charge an additional surgical center fee if I did the procedures separately. So, I scheduled the BA/BL and tummy tuck for 11/24 and the buttock lift for 12/30 with Dr. Schaffer. I requested Natrelle Gummy Bear silicone implants, 425cc.
The Friday before my scheduled surgery date I received a call from Nicole, informing me that my surgery was scheduled for 11AM and my balance was $6,000. I arrived at the surgery center at 10:45AM and signed in with Nicole (very efficient and friendly). I believe it was 1:30PM when I was taken into the operating room. To my knowledge, there were no complications with the surgery and my recovery was very easy. My first follow-up appointment was the day after surgery and Dr. Hedden said everything looked great.
As I was leaving the office one of the girls (I believe it was Nicole, but I'm not sure) handed me warranty information for my implants, as they forgot to give it to me the day of surgery. Imagine my surprise to learn that I had been implanted with Mentor High Profile Smooth Round implants. To this day, I still have no idea why I was not given the implants I requested because on my next follow up visit of Friday, Dec. 19th (I flew back to Bham just for that appointment) after waiting for over one hour after my scheduled appointment, Dr. Hedden ran into the room, ripped the tape off my tummy and breasts, said everything looked great and ran back out. I didn't have time to ask one single question. I was shocked. So I asked the nurse why there was a switch with the implants and she said she didn't know why he chose the high profile smooth for me, but that he really doesn't like to use the gummy bears because there can be problems with them if they don't slide into the pocket (whatever the heck that means).
After being in their office for over two hours I was just ready to leave and thought I would just ask Dr. Schaffer when I met with him. I know that the surgeon has to make the final call on what type and size implants so it wasn't that I was worried, I just wanted to know why the doctor put something different in me than I requested.
As do most of the ladies, I stalk this site, especially with a surgery scheduled in a matter of weeks. After the change in attitude from Dr. Hedden and his staff I thought I should do a little more research on the buttock lift and on Dr. Schaffer. In my research I learned that the buttock lift surgery is very painful, requires a long recovery and if the surgeon isn't extremely skilled it can leave you with a flat or odd shaped butt. Dr. Schaffer had a review stating that he left a patient in that exact condition--with a flat, oddly shaped butt!! I posted some pictures here and asked doctors if a traditional buttock lift would help with cellulite because sagging skin is not my big issue. Based on the responses, I decided I would prefer doing a combination of cellulaze, bbl, liposuction. I informed Dr. Hedden's office that I had changed my mind about the surgery, but would still like to meet with Dr. Schaffer to discuss alternatives. December 16, exactly two weeks prior to the scheduled surgery, I informed Dr. Hedden's of my decision to cancel the buttock lift surgery and asked if I would receive my deposit back. I was told that I was canceling within the timeframe to receive my deposit back but all deposit refunds have to be reviewed by the office manager. Given that all of this took place during the holidays I'm hoping that the reason I haven't received the refund is because the office manager has been on vacation? Later that day or maybe the next day, I called back to say that I would still like to have something done with my buttocks and thighs and asked if I could schedule an appointment with Dr. Schaffer and if Dec. 30th was still an available surgery date I would like to do the surgery on Dec. 30th. The person I spoke with said to just ask to speak with Dr. Schaffer while I was in the office for my follow up with Dr. Hedden. Well that was the day that I had already waited over one hour and when I asked about speaking with Dr. Schaffer that day, the nurse said he was in surgery and it would be at least 2 hours before he could see me and she offered to schedule an appointment.
So they schedule me to speak with Dr. Schaffer at 8AM on and I'm thinking that's great because surely he won't be running late at 8AM. After sitting in the lobby for over one hour and watching them call in patients who arrived after me, even seeing Dr. Schaffer himself come and get a patient, I informed the receptionist that I would just like to cancel the appointment as this was obviously a sign from God that I did not need to have surgery by Dr. Schaffer. The receptionist told me it was her fault, that she had skipped my name. She said they were so busy that sometimes it happens. Wow. She convinced me to not leave and took me to a room and said the doctor would be in soon. After half hour of waiting in the room I went back to the receptionist and told her it was okay--I definitely wasn't supposed to be there. I wasn't upset, I knew it was an omen because as I walked out of the room, there was Dr. Schaffer standing right there at the counter chatting with Dr. Hedden and a couple of nurses. I can only assume that they were not pleased with my decision to cancel the buttock lift surgery or maybe that's just the way they treat out of town patients after the surgery is complete.
While making sure the receptionist knew that I did not want to have surgery with Dr. Schaffer on Dec. 30th, she informed me that the surgery had already been cancelled and I was never put back on the schedule.
Was it worth it? NO! Six weeks post-op and I now have oozing from some of the incisions on my breasts, one of the incisions is crooked--seriously crooked, and the incision on my tummy tuck is uneven (one side is much higher than the other and it's also crooked). Even though I will be in Birmingham again soon, I haven't called to schedule an appointment about my breasts because I'm so disgusted with the way I was treated after my surgery. As I look at these crooked lines I know I will need revision surgery and that really does upset me. So the only thing I can do is warn you ladies to stop traveling out of state for surgery. It doesn't matter how much money you save or what the doctor's reputation is, there are always doctors closer to home.