Six months later, still mortified, I told my brother, also a surgeon, my sad story. He told me to go see Richard Zienowicz. My initial consult was short and sweet. I showed Dr. Z my problem. He said, YES I can fix that! He didn't body shame me. When I told him that the other doctor said I needed to lose at least 20 lbs, he looked at the medical student who was rounding that day and said, "Look at her face. She is pretty close to her ideal body weight now." (I weighed 130 that day.)
The surgery went off without a hitch. Two years later, it looks even better than it did in the six months post surgery. I was so completely delighted, I asked Dr. Z if we could tweak the back / bra line. I never really got over the other doctor's comments. Once again, he said Of course I can fix that!! (I love a can do doctor.) I would point out that, in retrospect, the other MD wasn't wrong about my back. It was the way in which the information was conveyed (both during the consult and in a follow up letter) that stung so much. Dr. Zienowicz has, during our consults, suggested that IF we are going to do X, perhaps we might "consider" doing Y. As I said, he never body shames. He merely suggests ways in which one can best achieve an optimal outcome. He is verbally very gentle while also being very encouraging and very supportive.
Dr. Z liposuctioned my bra line and used that fat to augment my non-existent derriere. The black and white photograph shows the results at about 4 months post surgery. The bum has reduced a little bit in size since ... but it still round, perky and perfectly proportioned to my body. My husband couldn't be happier.
Richard Zienowicz is my HERO. He didn't just fix my sad tummy. He gave me the body confidence to actually start going to the gym. I had only ever used my treadmill at home alone. And no one in the family was allowed in the basement when I worked out. I was that self conscious. I also went from walking on the treadmill to running - no longer afraid of how I looked running. I then started running outdoors. My husband, who never worked out in all the years we are married, started going to the gym last year in part because of the sheer excellence of my surgical results. He felt the need to keep up. He now works out five days a week and has a personal trainer. He looks like something out of The 300.
I will let the photographs speak for themselves. But I would like to address one or two small issues raised in other reviews both here and elsewhere. I have seen a couple of complaints about wait times and the length of consultations at Dr. Zienowicz's office. I have not only had two surgeries with Dr. Z, I see him every three months for 'facial maintenance'. Botox etc. After nearly 3 years, I think I have a fairly balanced overview of his practice.
1) It can take a few weeks (6 in my case) to get an initial consult. He is busy and he is popular (with good reason). But once you have the initial consult, the surgeries are booked fairly quickly after that.
2) Consults vary in length ENORMOUSLY. My initial consult was maybe 5-10 minutes. He looked at my abdomen, assessed my frame and weight (and face) and said, Yes, I can fix that. I did not need him to hold my hand for two hours of questions. However, I know from a nurse on whom he performed reconstructive surgery that he spends much more time with physically and emotionally fragile post cancer patients who come to him for reconstruction. I have seen one or two amazingly critical reviews written by people who felt that Dr. Z should have spent 90-120 minutes with them for routine procedures while they were still doctor shopping. I would suggest that these are not creditable reviews.
3) Wait times for follow up appointments. This issue seems to spark the absolute meanest comments imaginable. I am frankly appalled by some of them. In 3 years, with an average visit level of 6-10 visits per year depending on whether I was just going for facial maintenance, a consult, or post surgical follow up, I have had appointments with 10 minute waits and one, only one, 90 minute wait. In the case of the 90 minute wait, I specifically told the front desk that I wasn't in a rush. I knew they were busy. I was happy to wait. I remember what it was like to have a minor surgical complication that completely blew Dr. Zienowics' schedule apart. I had a hematoma subsequent to the abdominoplasty. It had to be looked at and drained that day. Was I on the schedule? No. Did the staff and Dr. Z bring me in anyway? Yes.
No matter how busy Dr. Z's waiting room is, when he walks into your exam room, he makes you feel like you are the ONLY patient in the entire world. He is happy to see you. He spends time with you. He, and he alone, does the Botox (etc) injections. And he is a perfectionist. I saw him this afternoon and he came into my room three times to check on me. I never mind waiting to see him because I know that he is giving his full attention to the patients who are currently in the exam rooms. And when it is my turn, he will give me his full attention. If the schedule gets blown up because of a minor (totally expected / normal) post surgical issue, just know that he will give every patient his full attention.
Obviously, I can not say enough good things about this physician as a doctor, a surgeon or a human being. FWIW, I will happily meet any (female) patient who wants to see my results in person at Dr. Zienowicz's office if you are considering abdominoplasty, lipsuction or a brazilian butt lift. Just tell Alex at the front desk to give me a call. She will know who I am.