One of the reasons I founded The NipTuck Coach, a plastic surgery consulting business was due to my own cosmetic surgery disappointment and my post-surgery emotional roller coaster. You can read about my facelift experience and disappointing surgery results here.
My plastic surgery journey included, poor post-op care, poor communications and a less than desirable outcome. This fueled my insight into the psychological aspects of going under the knife, as well as what’s wrong with the plastic surgery industry today. I’m hoping to make a difference in patient communications.
I’m not new to the world of plastic surgery or the beauty industry. I’ve worked in the industry for many years, have had dozens of procedures and have an understanding of plastic surgery beyond most lay people. Despite all of my knowledge and insider connections the outcome of my surgery did not meet my reasonable expectations or an agreed upon outcome. My experience with my plastic surgeon was less than stellar and I had no one to turn to for advocacy and support.
You are probably wondering why this happened and how I’m dealing with it. A plastic surgeon’s best referral is a beautiful outcome. No plastic surgeon wants to have an unhappy patient, or so you would think. The goal is to rectify a less than optimal outcome by good communications, acknowledgment from the surgeon that the results could be better, and finding the best resolution for the patient. If the surgeon feels he/she cannot meet the patients expectations, then its up to the surgeon to do whatever is in the best interest of the patient, including referring to a colleague, who may be more skilled for this surgery. Finally, working out agreeable financial terms.
My negative experience has fueled my passion for patient advocacy and patient education in this space.
Here’s my story
After doing my due diligence, I chose a plastic surgeon based on a recommendation from a trusted, well-connected colleague. To my chagrin, I later learned this recommendation was based on business arrangements.
I liked the plastic surgeon, who was board certified and well respected. It appeared he understood my expectations and my concerns. I was assured that I would have a “beautiful result”, and that my case was “easy”. In hindsight- the first red flag. No surgeon can predict the outcome or know if your case is “easy” before they cut you open. The second red flag was his brag book of old black and white photos of facelifts. There were no recent facelift pictures in the book. I spoke to a couple of previous patients who said they were pleased with their results. I did my online research, uncovering nothing that was relevant to my pending plastic surgery. I booked my facelift surgery.
Before photos were taken in the office, however for some reason, the surgeon did not have them the day of my surgery and new ones had to be taken in the OR. Consequently they were not market prior to my surgery.
My surgery went well, however I saw within a couple months, my neck lift was relapsing and my jowels begging to re-appear. My surgeon dismissed the laxity and recommended Botox or other non-surgical tightening procedures rather than a revision. I left the office that day, quite upset. My plastic surgery emotional roller coaster ride had officially begun. From that point on – my emails were not returned and upon my next pos-op visit my surgeon backtracked his story.
Before my six month mark, I sought the opinion of a world-renowned plastic surgeon who agreed with my assessment and showed me via an illustration how my jawline and neck could be greatly improved. Aside from the laxity in my neck, the area that was liposuctioned under my chin remains lumpy and too much fat was removed on one side.
It was during this journey, that I founded NipTuck Coach, hoping to prevent this happening to other patients.
In the past 4 years since my facelift I’ve
- Spoken to many skilled world renowned surgeons about my less than desirable results
- Attended medical meetings observing the teachings of the best in plastic surgery
- Have had revision consultations with several top plastic surgeons, who have agreed with me
- Have had many discussions with my plastic surgeon about my Facelift
- Contemplated facelift revision surgery
- Have had fillers injected along my jaw line and Botox injections in my plastyma muscles
The last straw was when my surgeon was snarky to my husband during a meeting about my revision. Under the circumstances, my surgeon should have offered a revision surgery at no cost, acknowledge that he did not get it right the first time during 3 month post-op visit, and at the very least be responsive to my emails and photos.
Every day it upsets me that I had a poor result and my neck looks like it did pre-surgery. Will I have a revision? Probably one day but never by the same plastic surgeon. Unfortunately, I have no trust left and don’t believe my outcome would be any better. Remember: Not all surgeons are equally trained or have the same skill set.
Download my free E-book, The 10 Golden Rules for Safe Cosmetic Surgery.