My abdomen is a different story. In the first few days, I was please but then soon my incision came open twice, on my left hip. Once at 1 week postop, that he sutured back in his office a few days later. Then again, a little further down from he original dehisicence, almost one week late, it opened up again. He sutured that area back in his office also, but it was a week after it opened. Then while it was still very obviously open at the skin and very obvious that the sutures were not holding at 6 weeks postop, he quickly came in and told his nurse to clip half the sutures and he'd see me back in a week. He spent probably about 60 seconds with me and never even looked at the area after she clipped it. He released me back to work on a very physical job without restrictions. I went back the next week when he again had his nurse clip the remaining sutures and I was told to "throw some Gauze on it and it'll just have to heal from the inside out". Nothing else. No packing mentioned. No wound care referral. Again a less than 60 second visit with him, he was very rushed and didn't seem to listen to me. He again never looked at it after the nurse clipped the sutures. I felt as though he was done with me and at that point could care less. So i was left to go to work with a gaping open wound on my left hip. I, as a nurse, knew better. I knew it needed packing, so I made an appointment with my regular doctor to see what he thought and he agreed with packing it twice a day. i did this for about two weeks and wasn't seeing much progress. So I knew some nurses at a local wound care center and they told that I didn't have to have a referral to see a doctor there to get their opinion and so I made an appointment. This was all completely on my own, because Dr Bolling could obviously care less. The wound care doctor was shocked that I was even working with this but even more shocked when he found a 9 cm tunnel coming from the open area on my hip running into my abdomen. He even got up left the room and went and called Dr Bolling himself. I ended up with a wound vac for almost three weeks and yes, i still was working. Sometimes 17 hour shifts with my heavy wound vac over my shoulder. Which Dr Bolling knew about, but never offered to put me back on FMLA. BTW, 3 MONTHS, later the hip area is finally almost closed. Then about two weeks after beginning to wear the wound vac, my abdomen began to become very distended. I looked like I was 6 months pregnant. He began to tell me what I was experiencing couldn't possibly be from the surgery. I had a CT scan which showed some areas of fluid collection on an area by my umbilicus that connected with an area that was 9mm that ran all the way across my pelvis, which the radiologist noted on his report was directly realated to the recent abdominoplasty. Dr Bolling arrogantly stated that couldn't possibly be right and brought me in to personally review the CT scan with me himself and of course, to show me how the radiologist was wrong and he was right. Oh and to also basically tell me that the reason for my extremely distended abdomen was that I'd just gained weight (which he encouraged me constantly to do every time I went in the office because I "looked like I was in a concentration camp" and that I needed to eat to heal). Yes, he said that, not once but probably more like 4 times. So his reason for what was my now distended abdomen...Yep, you guessed it .. I'd just got fat again. Somehow I managed gain 45 pounds of fat in 9 weeks and it all went straight to my belly. I'm not saying that he is completely to blame because in some ways he was right about my nutritional status. I was not in a good place nutritionally when I had the surgery. I do not dispute that could have been the cause of the initial dehiscense BUT really should he have even operated on me at that time though If that's truly what he thought? He also made the statement during the visit while reviewing the CT, "I hate you have to carry around that heavy wound vac all the time. Why don't you just come into the office one day, I'll numb you up and we can cut out all that old scar tissue and suture you back up!!!!" I didn't even respond because I knew at 10 weeks postop, this was unheard of and ridiculous. I knew at that point for sure, that I'd made a huge mistake in my plastic surgeon choice.
So at that point,i still had an open wound with wound vac and big distended abdomen and he was telling me that was all apparently my fault. I've followed his instructions exactly but still feel as though he put all the blame on me.
About a week after the CT incident, wound care found that although the wound wasn't completely closed, the tunnel had closed. So I got to stop using he wound vac. I thought FINALLY i was getting better, still unhappy with the way my abdomen looked, still swollen but my wound was healing. I thought I was going to be ok and that was good news. LIttle did I know that the worse was yet to come.
The day after I got the wound vac off, a new complication began, the lower part of my abdomen began to swell and get very hard, red, and distended. Before it was more of my upper abdomen. I decided to continue to work that weekend. This all started on a Friday. By the time I finished work on Monday morning, I had edema from my labia all the way up to under my breasts, bright red on my lower abdomen that streaked to my upper abdomen and everything was rock hard. I left work and headed straight to the ER. My initial heart rate was in the 140's, respiratory rate 40's, elevated temp and my po2 from my blood gas was 66, because it was all pushing up on my diaphragm so much that I could only take very shallow breaths. The ER doctor came in and I told him what all I'd experienced over the previous months, he too was shocked at my story,then told me that he thought I was borderline septic. Within a few minutes, I had O2 in place, labs drawn, two iv's- one in each AC to infuse Vancomycin and Zosyn and was scheduled for a CT. They placed a foley catheter because they were afraid that the extreme edema in my labia would eventually leave me unable to void. Went for the CT where they found that I had a 17x11 cm abdominal wall abscess. Within an hour, I was in OR holding for an incision and drainage of this huge abscess. I cried almost the whole time I was there, especially when anyone would mention Dr. Bolling's name while asking what happened. I trusted him.....COMPLETELY... AND he let me down in his aftercare. Angry and hurt doesn't begin to describe how I feel about him. I spent two more days in the hospital receiving very strong IV antibiotics and learning how to pack my 10x5 inch open wound twice a day. I couldn't even look at it in the mirror for two weeks without crying. My DREAM had turned into a nightmare. I looked like I'd been shot in the abdomen with shotgun. My labia looked like they were hanging off my body. $9000 for this.....$9000!!! We spent all our savings, took out a loan, took time off work, have tons of new bills from medical complications for what????? An incredibly disfigured abdomen. I now am almost 3 weeks post op from the incision and drainage with ANOTHER wound vac and home health care 3 times a week of painful redressing and packing for my wound vac. I can look in the mirror without crying now. So that's progress, I guess. I don't know how long it will before this one closes. As of this week, it's still 7.8 x 2.4 inches with undermining of 5 inches. I can't work because it's still pretty painful and too large. Plus working 17 hours with a wound vac isn't easy. I want to heal so badly. I want this to all be over. I had many times, before the original surgery, felt as though I shouldn't have the surgery. I had a feeling something bad would happen. I was afraid I was going to die. It was a feeling i couldn't shake. I told many people about it and ended convincing myself that it was just anxiety and everything would be fine. Hindsight is always 20/20. I wish I would've trusted those inner voices. I wish I'd paid a few thousand more and went to Birmingham to a more qualified and skilled physician. i can't change that now, it's all water under the bridge. There really isn't much I can do now but warn others with this review. Perhaps if I'd seen a similar review, I'd thought twice about having my surgery with him. Maybe I wouldn't be sitting here with a deformed abdomen with a huge hole,broke, and unable to work with piles of medical bills from all the complications. If I save one person from what I've endured then writing this review is worth it. I wouldn't recommend anyone to go to him. I've had so many ask about using him, because his prices are much more affordable but after I tell my story, people usually end up saying "wow....never mind, I won't be using him." I just smile and say that's a wise decision.. Hurt, disappointed, broke and sad.... So thanks "Rob". Oh and please, if you can't refund my money for my tummy tuck to have the mistakes YOU made corrected, at least send me back my drawings because I don't want my name associated with you in any way. Remember what you told me while you were showing me the CT scan that "you'd make this right". i can't trust you to make this right. I don't want you to EVER touch me again but you should MAN up and own your responsibly in this. You should refund my money for the tummy tuck so that eventually someone else can "make it right". Do the right thing Rob. Just do the right thing. To all of those considering surgery, I will just say choose wisely. You get what you pay for. Trust your instincts no matter how crazy they feel. You have them for a reason. I wish I'd trusted mine. Oh and I don't even know if he knows about the abscess and my subsequent hospitalization, which btw ended culturing out MRSA, because I haven't heard from him since the day he reviewed the CT with me. That's how much he cares once he gets your money. When I see or hear his commercials on the Birmingham stations or even hear his name, I literally feel nauseous. I feel so betrayed. I guess you really do get what you pay for. What should've been my dream come true for me and a completion to my journey has turned into a complete nightmare full of pain, regret, and medical bills from complications he refuses to own up to. So beware, just because you're promised a dream, doesn't mean you won't be delivered a nightmare. Please see my pictures.