Response to Real Self Review Feb 25th, 2019
You have made quite a few claims. I will address them. You say my suturing is rushed and horrible. This is a lie. I have included your pre and 2 month post pictures. The suturing is meticulous. The lines are perfect. Every detail of scar placement is impeccable. Not sure what you mean by rushing you in but you might be accurate. We do not make people wait for hours before going into surgery. We respect the time of out patients and families and do not make them come hours earlier as is typical in many centers. Rushing you out? Well that is a lie. You spent an hour and a half in recovery. Much longer than typical and not because you were not ready to leave but rather because you refused to let us discharge you. It is not that we mind keeping you longer but extended stays in recovery are not a positive thing. Any recovery room nurse will tell you. You say you had a “hole” for 4 months. In the 2 month pictures I see no “hole” and if you had a stitch contamination it would not close at all which clearly it has. You say I do not want to deal with you after surgery. That is a huge lie. We asked you to come for follow up and planned a scar revision for the vertical scar. You did not keep your follow up appointments and chose not to revise the scar. I wanted to deal with every issue but we cannot force you to come and see me. You say I do not suture properly a second time and mention the belly button specifically. That is again a lie and I refer you to the 2 month post op pictures. Everything is closed meticulously including the belly button. You say you had a hernia. You did not. You had a diastasis which is why your abdomen protruded on the side view. Compare that at the 2 month pictures where you are still swollen and it is clear to see i corrected the diastasis and likely 4 months after that it would be flatter still. Your comment about other surgeons taking 2-3 times as long to do the surgery is odd. As a surgeon it is the goal to decrease anesthesia time because it lowers the complication rate. If it takes someone 3 times as long to do this surgery they should probably not be doing it at all.You say I assured you that there would be no vertical scar and that it should have been done right the first time and that I perform many revisions. All lies. It is never my intention to leave a vertical scar and it is something I rarely have to resort to. Maybe 5 out of 100 and it is only because I place my scars so low. Lower than any other surgeon I have seen. Doing it right, in your case, was leaving a vertical. To place so much tension on your skin to avoid it would have been dangerous and would have placed you at unnecessary risk. I do revisions rarely and it is never because of a fault in the surgery. It is nearly always due to a scar that did not heal well, some leftover fat that could not be addressed in the surgery initially or the rare vertical as in your case. I do these as a courtesy to my patients and I always do it for free. The anesthesia cost is in the case that anesthesia is necessary which is not always the case and it is done to optimize the result. The fact is that most plastic surgeons would put your pictures up as a huge success but i wanted to do even more. I wanted the best result possible for you. I do not suture lipo incisions so i have no idea what you are talking about and if your pain pump was not attached you would be the first person to have that happen. Let me now address your last point about negative reviews because that is equally untrue. People write negative reviews. In nearly all cases it is people like you. People who for whatever reason feel that their experience did not live up to their expectations and certainly not because of poor results that I could help. I think the pictures speak for themselves. Although I often disagree with what is said and usually respond I understand that it is a part of my job. We do not try to prevent you from writing these. What we do ask is that you not lie about your experience and even when people lie about a few things or exaggerate I leave it alone. But the same laws that give you freedom to post this also gives me rights too. You see there are laws about lying and defamation. You have never signed anything that takes away your right to leave a negative review. You signed something that you would not lie or defame something that is already the law. The question is what do I do about it. I never want to sue a patient, even when the reviews are less than honest. It just that you have lied about nearly everything
Leonard Hochstein, MD.