DISFIGURED after cheek implants and buccal lipectomy peformed by Dr. Michael Yaremchuk

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I had read all the glowing reviews on the website...

I had read all the glowing reviews on the website and was excited for my surgery: however, the actual result was much different. 8 days post op and my face is numb and smile is crooked. i'm deeply embarassed by how ugly my face has become. The size selected for the implant failed to provide enough projection and now because of the material used, porex, I'm afraid of the difficulty of trying to get it corrected at a later point. Dr. Yaremchuk has disappeared, despite my attempts to contact him concerning a revision. This whole experience has been deeply depressing. lastly, I had requested fat grafting to a divot I had in my posterior arm. when I awoke from surgery, I noted the fat had been misplaced into my armpit. after mentioning the error, Dr. Yaremchuk did absolutely nothing to correct the situation.

cheek augmentation biggest regret ever

I also had a large burn across my right lower thigh with no good reason for it to be there, which is still in the process of healing. I cannot emphasize enough how devastating this experience has been. From looking over the reviews, I see at least two other individuals had to have porex implants removed by the same doctor.

slow improvement

I'm updating the star rating I gave to the doctor, mostly because things seem to be slowly improving and I might have been overly hasty with my initial review. My L. upper lip is still numb, which doesn't concern me so much as the fact my smile is still crooked and my L. nasolabial fold is still blunted to the same degree post op day #12 as on day one. I also have trouble retracting my R. lower lip while smiling.

improving, but still scarred (on the inside) and destroyed (externally)

see pics

back in communication with doctor

I'm still very concerned about the final outcome, but I have gotten back in touch with the physician, so I now have a small glimmer of hope that wasn't there before.

less swelling = jowls

implants to be removed 9/23

My estranged husband at first told me I look like my mom (in her 50s) and then told me I look like a skeleton, but if I gain some weight, it might look better. I don't think he understands what was done to me. As more of the swelling dissipates, my face is likely to look even harsher and more angular. I just hope and pray that after removal everything, including the nerve damage, will eventually go away. I'm already paying several thousand more for the removal, not to mention all the unaddressed collateral damage that will emerge soon down the road owing to the aging effect this had had on my face, but as long as I can smile evenly again, I'll consider myself a lucky gal.

one more pic

this is just to demonstrate that I'm not acting rashly by not waiting longer for more swelling to resolve. I look sickly and gross. Considering where I started from in terms of physical appearance, the only reason I can think of for what happened to me is financial.

additional pics

additional pics, demonstrating necessity of removal

if the implants were at least positioned symmetrically from one side to the next, i would just leave them alone, despite the harsh, skeleton like look. The problem is they're also crooked, which was evident from day one. The Left side sits higher and more lateral while the right side lies low and oblique, practically jutting out of my face.

wish me luck

My implant removal is tomorrow, and I couldn't be happier. I just hope that I can work with a skilled local surgeon to help me correct all the damage that was done, and everything goes well with the removal, so that I can put this whole negative experience behind me.

One last pic of my aged masculinized face before implant removal

it just keeps getting worse and worse as the swelling goes down. It's going to be years of misery trying to get the buccal fat replaced just to restore myself to half of where I started, but the first step starts today.

post op day 2 removal

Removal was 100% the correct decision. I know this even two days post op. What was done to my face was truly horrible, and I'll never get back what I lost, but I now have more hope. I can feel the step off where my natural bone was taken along with the implants, so my cheeks have even less prominence than before the implants were placed. However, there is already more symmetry between the two sides of my face at rest, although both the L. upper and R. lower lip still contract asymmetrically with smile (nerve or muscle dysfunction- not swelling!). In addition, the swelling is reaching a maximum at the sides of my face and all that will go down in a couple weeks. Before removal, there were many days I truly wished to die. I don't regret having them removed.

too much bone take with removal

Actually the more I examine my face, I realize just how much bone was stripped along with the removal...

again with difficulty contacting doctor

I have been once again been trying to contact the doctor to let him know that so much bone was taken with the removal that I actually now do appear to have a mid face deficit. I can feel the several mm step off from where my natural orbits begin and where he gutted out the implants from my mid face. This is the second time I've not received adequate advice. I think he should have told me, "hey, if I remove these, I'm going to be destroying you're underlying bone to such an extent you will have midface hypoplasia. At this point your best option is just to have a mm or two shaved off the projection and leave them in place."

soft tissue damage rather than bone

The doctor accidently called me from his cell instead of the office a week or more back, so I called that same number today when I couldn't get an email response. He says no bone was removed. I'm not sure why my midface looks so terrible compared to preop, and why I feel a step off around the orbits and zygoma, but he stated the bone would not have resorbed so quickly. A different doctor has suggested it's soft tissue damage, which may or may not resolve, which makes sense considering the right side is worse than the left and the right is where the larger implant sat. I'm kicking myself for not getting the cheek lift at the same time as removal because I'll probably need one now as well, but I was just scared of taking on more risk with everything I've had happen, if it didn't need to be done.

The one good and honest thing the doctor did while taking out the implants was to tighten the drooping skin around my lower jaw concurrent with cheek implant removal. This is one reason why the developing jowls aren't visible in the post op pic and my lower face is smooth again.

midface changes

So just for clarification, I've since been educated by a different doctor other than my own that the damage I noticed to my mid face is soft tissue related and has nothing to do with the underlying bone. Thats good news. I'm glad I had them removed then. Here is another pic post op day 3. The fullness I love so much from swelling is already going down, but you can already tell i won't look as skeletal. i was and still am freaked out about the sagging but am hopeful with enough filler I can get through this. I'm thankful for all the support and advice I've received from Dr. Barry Eppley who has been kind enough to talk me through most of my concerns on a near daily basis at times, even though he was uninvolved in any of the surgical procedures, which have given me so many problems.

R. sided midfacial defect

so the changes I'm noticing on the right side are pretty significant even though the left side appears normal so far. I'm worried and scared about this, like I actually do have a mid face defect that needs correction. A pre op of my right side is also shown for comparison.

I had been informed that because the implants were in such a short duration, no bone erosion or soft tissue changes should be observed, but if you look at the pics of the right side of my face, something has definitely happened.

When will the misery end?

facial dent still better than implants

So I'm still concerned about the dent in the right side of my face and what the cause might be or how permanent it is. And I still have a lot of swelling 6 days post op, but even the local plastic surgeon agreed I look better after removal of the crooked, masculinizing implants (he again used the terms, "strong" and "strength" to describe them).

grief and shame

So you can see how much of a baby face I used to have. My cheeks and chin were so much more feminine and beautiful, with a perfect heart shape. I now look 10-15 years older. The cropped pictures don't do justice to the before and afters as you can't see the long, thin crooked oval my face resembles. The chin revision ironically created greater asymmetry. I wake from bad dreams about what happened every morning around 3 or 5am and can't get back to sleep. I can't focus on anything. I literally am too ashamed to encounter anyone who knows me and almost never leave my house... This is where I'm at 11 days post implant removal.

sagging 2 weeks after cheek implant removal left in only 3 weeks

I have come across a lot of misinformation stating that the tissues will "snap back" after cheek implant removal if they haven't been left in very long or if the person is younger. In my experience, this has not been true, and I've been doing a lot of online searches and it seems pretty common that no matter how young you are or how little time the implants were in place, there WILL be residual sagging. There is a person as young as 18 left with sagging months after removal on implants there were only in place a couple months, and another individual where the implants were only in place 1 month who had sagging that didn't resolve even months later. I hope this information helps anyone making a decision about whether to do an accompanying lift concurrent with removal. It almost should be standard.

crooked chin

I have other pictures of my chin posted under the questions section of my profile, but here are some I'd like to post in regards to my genioplasty "revision." If possible, I'd like to hear other people's opinion on this. I actually did patiently wait and try to give this more time as I was unsure whether it was due to swelling or muscle issues. It's because an implant was only placed on one side, as you can see from the pic where i'm pulling up on the soft tissue.

false hope was from post op swelling, now NO hope + eye changes

Here's what the corner of my eyes look like now, I have huge bags when I smile and they pucker up from the scar tissue. The swelling after implant removal gave me false hope for renewal but 16 days post removal, every day is just painful and it doesn't stop

another pic of the eye changes after being cut for implants

because of the scarring, the tissue around my eyes bulges, puckers and folds over on itself while remaining depressed at the corners where the cuts were made. Yaremchuk cuts the eyes to place any sort of cheek implant, and it's not a benign procedure. I may purchase a dermapen from Amazon and see if that can help.

i would recommend Dr. Eppley over Dr. Yaremchuk any day!!!

So I saw Dr. Eppley today and the experience was completely different. Instead of harmfully proceeding with surgery, he explained everything, gave me several options and even talked me out of having Dr. Yaremchuk's single sided implant removed by warning of the high risk of injury given that all the injuries from Dr. Y are still present. Even before he met me, Dr. Eppley provided more support, while Dr. Y pretty much completely avoided giving me any information whatsoever, from the very start up through dealing with the disastrous aftermath.

This is what I mean by getting worse. You be the judge.

All the false hope I had during the first few weeks after removal was due to the swelling, reminding me of an uglier but still presentable version of pre op status. However, a true picture is starting to emerge, and I look sick and gross. It's horrific.


These two photos were take with me in the exact same position. The first is the side which was untouched. The second is of the right sided jaw implant that i never wanted. not only is my chin more crooked, but i also have jowls and nerve injuries to that part of my face, which interfere with my ability to smile. Be cautious before you put you trust in credentials, and realize there's a lot of false advertising out there for this particular doctor.

permanent eye damage

In addition to the eye pain I get shooting down my cheek with blinking or smiling, I've figured out I now have whats called a "tear trough deformity" and aged lower eyelid. Children and young adults have whats called an orbicularis roll, which is considered a sign of youth. It's a bulge directly under the lower lashes. people in Asia actually pay to have this, and they're referred to as "love bands." Dr. Yaremchuk wont tell you he uses medpor during the consult, and in my case, because I expressed hesitation with proceeding, he even concealed the fact he'd be cutting my eyes. But BEWARE because it will cause permanent damage. I have contacts in the first photo, but both are definitely me. Even my upper and lower lids were messed up with him cutting the corners of my eyes

fat grafting, burn, master of facial balance?

I saw a TV show maybe a decade ago where this woman had cheek surgery and mentions Dr. Yaremchuk by name. It always stuck with me, and years later I decide to email him and eventually set up an out of town consult asking about cheek implants because it’s what I had seen on the TV show. That was pretty much the extent of my research, except a cursory search where people were describing him as Godlike. I mistakenly believed it. His assistant has me prepay for a surgery date, even though I haven’t been able to discuss anything in person at this point, and that was the start of the problem. You see, I thought a consult was where a doctor evaluates you in person, taking into account your desires, concerns and current appearance, and then gives you the best information, along with a relevant discussion of risk and benefits that would enable one to make an informed decision. Let’s just say that’s not what happened.
Now, more so than ever (after having even my natural cheek contours obliterated) I need volume directly below my eyes, which is pretty much the same thing I repeated throughout the entire ordeal with Dr. Yaremchuk. Instead, the “master” of facial balance built my face outward laterally to an unnatural degree, with my cheek “prominence” dropped halfway down my sunken face instead of just below my eyes like they originally were, a continued lack of anterior fullness, and an emaciated and sickly appearance. See pics. During the consult, even simply informing me that my eyes would be cut would have deterred me from surgery, as I had grown reluctant and was scared to proceed by the time I reached the office, yet surgery was the only route offered. I remember after I cried and stated how scared I was, Dr. Yaremchuk sat silent, blinked a couple times, and then handed me a mirror. And I swear to God a buccal lipectomy was never once mentioned during the consult.
The very first day post op, my face is swollen and flushed, so I actually look pretty. He removes the bandages, says something about 2.5 mms and taking a “little fat” out. It isn’t until a week or more out that I figure out he made me look like my mom. And as more time passes, I start looking like a skull covered with skin. Dr. Yaremchuk doesn’t respond to most my emails, but when he does, it’s mainly to deny that anything is wrong. When he talks to me on the phone, he’s a little more direct with his feelings, using words like “hysterical,” and telling me that what he’s done to my face is so subtle that even at 2 weeks, no one can tell I had anything done. That’s pretty damn hard to believe when I overhear a stranger in the subway say, “That woman is stupid. She can’t even talk right.” Or when I have to struggle to ask for, “Rooibos” tea, at Starbucks, repeating myself several times because they can’t understand what I’m asking for.
Anyways, I’m basically left to figure things out on my own because Dr. Yaremchuk isn’t responding to my emails. I start researching on Real Self and talking more to Dr. Eppley, and that’s when I figure out to ask what material had been used and discover it’s exactly what I feared. Dr. Yaremchuk starts using words like “you requested” in his email replies to me at this point. I of course can’t go to another doctor because no one wants to work with medpor, and I tell Dr. Yaremchuk I had been told by another doctor that my original doctor is supposed to be working with me on this. He finally responds, and I start asking about the possibility of a silicone implant, only because my face has already been cut once and will have to be cut a second time to remove the mutant medpor implants. He at first refuses to replace the implant but then agrees, saying he will order whatever I want. I keep asking which one I need, but Dr. Yaremchuk never responds. I send him pics of different implants I google off the net and also keep repeating the same thing I had said from the very beginning: I want volume right below my eyes (not at the sides of my face). I try asking other doctors because Dr. yaremchuk never does respond. Finally I just give up because really as a patient I shouldn’t be googling what to order for my surgery. Because I have so many nerve injuries with what should have been simple, I start thinking how I might end up blind, unable to close my eyes, if Dr. Yaremchuk does his “subperiosteal” mid face lift on me. I start crying when I go back for implant removal, and his nurse Jan was like, “didn’t you ‘request’ a lipectomy?” Early on, after I started complaining about looking sickly, Dr. Yaremchuk wrote in his op note that I “requested” a lipectomy and further more that I “requested” a single sided jaw implant. Well, I’m also posting pics of the fat injected into the middle of my armpit along with the burn. One of the pics is what I showed Dr. yaremchuk during the consult, a depression that was caused by a steroid injection on the back side of my arm. Look at the pictures of the fat in the middle of one of my armpits, and ask yourself if a reasonable person would have come to him and asked for lumps of fat to be injected into the middle of their armpit. I’m pretty sure I’d hear that I “requested” this, if his BS story about tunneling through the middle of my armpit to reach the back side of my arm doesn’t work out. Any ways, Yeah, I’m the one who came to him, but I ended up getting much more than I bargained for.

50 people, one question

full view of masculinized face. video of synkinesis


midfacelift, browlift

Thank God for the talented doctor who did my midface lift without permanently injuring a single nerve despite the more complicated nature of what was done. I still have the abnormal mouth movements and twitching, courtesy of Dr. Yaremchuk; but what this new doctor did was amazing.

Miracle Worker: Mark E. Richards of Bethesda Maryland

I was using my touch screen to try to post these earlier but must have tapped at the wrong review. More detailed explanation to follow.

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
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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