to want a refund - cosmetic surgery?

(24 Posts)
RoonilWaslibb Thu 20-Oct-16 18:32:36

This is mortifying, so naturally I've name changed. Not a troll.

Just over a year ago I chose to have cosmetic surgery. It's not a choice I'm particularly proud of and whilst I don't regret it, I probably wouldn't make the same choice again. I'm a very reserved person and not a lot of people know about it, I find discussing it and thinking about it really really embarrassing. I'm not 100% sure why, but perhaps in part because I feel guilty for spending so much money on vanity.

I had liposuction done on a common problem area and a popular facial surgery.
I did a HUGE amount of research and chose to use a surgery abroad, for lower costs. I deliberately chose a country that is under EU jurisdiction and also has very strict (more strict than ours actually) laws on surgery. (Czech Republic)

The surgery itself was fine, I was very uncomfortable before and afterwards (not during, as I was knocked out!) and the recovery period was long - 12 weeks in a compression garment in the height of summer, I'm an idiot and a wait of six months to see any results, a year to see end results. All of this is completely normal for the surgery.

But here's my problem - there are no results! My before and after pictures are practically identical, a few close friends have looked (cringe, cringe) and agree.

I contacted the surgery extremely politely with the before and after photos and told them there were no real results.
They replied saying that I had consulted with the surgeon on the procedure.
I replied saying that I was aware, and the surgery that was performed was the right surgery - but that the results were not satisfactory.
They replied saying that I had consulted with the surgeon on the procedure.

This has been going on now for over 4 months. They reply the same thing every time. I have quoted EU legislation to them.
I don't want compensation, I simply want my money back.

I was ready to give up as I felt that it was my fault for being so vain in the first place, but my friend said it was the same as if I had bought any service and not got what I paid for. It was not cheap (over £4k). She also pointed out that I underwent a significant amount of pain and inconvenience to be £4k worse off and "still ugly" grin

AIBU to pursue a refund?
They have now said (after I said I wanted to resolve it without a solicitor) that they are "happy for your solicitor to get involved" so are clearly pretty confident.

TBH I have no idea what to do now anyway, as I've been very clear and firm over email.

RoonilWaslibb Thu 20-Oct-16 18:35:08

That was long and boring sorry!

chowchowchow Thu 20-Oct-16 18:37:07

Was it the lipo or the facial surgery that hasn't been successful? If it was the lipo did you see the fat they ha taken out? I know some surgeries leave it in a container by your bed when you wake up for some sort of weird shock value so you can see exactly what came out ick!!
I guess lipo results vary hugely but you would expect to see some difference surely! Did you take measurements before and after?
I'm sorry for you because I'm sure it wasn't a walk in the park flowers

RoonilWaslibb Thu 20-Oct-16 18:39:51

chowchowchow the results aren't present for either surgery! Which in my mind kind of "confirms" that the surgeon was far too light handed I don't want to complain too much, better light handed than heavy handed
I don't have before and after measurements unfortunately but to be honest, it is really clear with the photos.
The amount he took out (ew) was about half what would be considered normal but he was quite stubborn about it at the time

LIZS Thu 20-Oct-16 18:41:32

Did you return to follow up the surgery and aftercare? Did you follow the post op instructions to the letter, modify exercise and diet? Were the risks that it may not work as you hoped explained? Are you sure it isn't your perception of the problem areas before and after that is skewed rather than it surgically didn't work. Unfortunately I suspect that this isn't as well regulated as you think and may be difficult and expensive to pursue.

RoonilWaslibb Thu 20-Oct-16 18:45:20

LIZS I was really meticulous about all the after care and follow up, as I'd spent out so much money. I kind of took it as a kick up the arse to live healthier. Any change in the before and after photos is actually from my improved lifestyle.
I thought I may have been skewed but others have seen the photos and agree. Unfortunately I couldn't cope with posting the photos here!

I suspect you are right though, it could end up costing me more money to pursue a case.

Sovain Thu 20-Oct-16 18:45:44

It sounds disappointing.

I don't know how or to whom you would complain other than the clinic.

toastytoastbear Thu 20-Oct-16 18:45:52

I'm sure they write the equivalent of 'results may vary' into whatever you signed before the surgery

RoonilWaslibb Thu 20-Oct-16 18:48:45

sad such a horrendous waste of money. I have no sympathy for myself though.
I really wouldn't recommend it, it was pretty damn painful.

Bruce02 Thu 20-Oct-16 19:09:40

I think you need to go through the paperwork. I had cosmetic surgery about 11 years ago. They were very clear that results may vary and that they can't guarantee what the end result will be. It was made clear in the paperwork.

The surgery went ahead, that cost them money. I can't see how a full refund would be given because you aren't happy with the results. I think you would have to prove he didn't do what was agreed and that there was no reason for him not to do as you agreed.

Perhaps he didn't take as much out because he felt it wasn't the best thing to do while in the operating room.

It's very complicated, only further complicated by the fact that you are in a different country. I am sorry you aren't happy with your results.

papayasareyum Thu 20-Oct-16 19:14:11

I suspect it would be really difficult trying to prove that there was no change whatsoever. I bet if you uploaded before and after photos here (not suggesting you do) there would be people saying it looked the same and people saying it looked different

bumsexatthebingo Thu 20-Oct-16 19:40:16

I doubt you will get far with the.complaint about the lipo. After a year who's to say you haven't had a really poor diet and put the fat back on? The facial surgery could be easier to dispute though if it's a nose job for eg and theres clearly no difference.

FailingandDrowning Thu 20-Oct-16 19:55:47

I'm sorry you had such a experience. FWIW I really wouldn't feel embarrassed about having had cosmetic surgery. It is really common now and if it offered you the chance to fix something which bothered you and you could afford it then why not? I can see I'll be sorting my eye bags within the next 5 years and I won't feel embarrassed about that.

I agree you need to have a careful look at the paperwork and see what you can get by continuing to complain. Are you talking to the most senior people at the hospital or just low level complaints handlers. Also, is there a supervising professional body you can complain to? Did you travel overseas with a UK based package organiser who you could also complain to?

Beyond this I honestly think that the costs of bringing proceedings would far exceed your £4k with no guarantee of a refund. (I'm a lawyer though not personal injury litigation). You'd have to bring them in the Czech Republic for a start as that will be the governing law of the contract with the consultant. You'd also need to pay for an expert's report from a high level consultant experienced in carrying out that type of procedure to support your case. Don't let that stop you making enquiries of Czech lawyers as they may be remarkably cheap in comparison to the UK, but don't be surprised if the costs risk isn't worth it.

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Thu 20-Oct-16 19:58:14

Check your paperwork and consent forms, it is likely they have listed poor results as one of the 'risks' of the procedure

So you would need to prove that the poor result was due to negligence, e.g. the surgeon not performing the procedure properly, rather than it being an unlucky outcome of reasonable care

I think that unless there was a barn door error it is going to be v difficult to prove that in a foreign country

I'm sorry your surgery was unsuccessful

RoonilWaslibb Thu 20-Oct-16 20:02:24

I suspected as much, thanks everyone sad

I may appeal to them one last time, the surgeon did say that we could "add more" filler (it was a chin "implant" - filler used instead of a plastic implant) as I said at the consultation I was concerned it wouldn't be enough. They recorded the consultation so I may have something there.

Ginkypig Thu 20-Oct-16 20:25:08

If you were meant to get a chin implant and what you actually got was filler then you have every right to get a refund because that is a completely different operation!

Bruce02 Fri 21-Oct-16 06:38:34

Did you agree to filler?

Dontyouknow2016 Fri 21-Oct-16 06:42:02

Filler doesn't last long anyway. Is that what you agreed to have?

RoonilWaslibb Fri 21-Oct-16 09:10:25

Yes, the filler was agreed. He said he was putting in less to begin with and we could build on it. He said itd last 10-20 years.

That was more than half the cost

Bruce02 Fri 21-Oct-16 15:10:25

I have never had filler (do have botox) buy I have never heard of a filler lasting that long. Do you know what the product is called?

The issue is that you agreed to filler not implant, we're aware you would need it building on, the liposuction went ahead, you or they can't prove that lifestyle or after care has been properly done

Which is why they are probably confident that they wouldn't have to refund you.

Again I am sorry you aren't happy with the results, but I don't think there is much you can do.

starboyz Fri 21-Oct-16 17:16:15

I suppose you can try op Don't give up.
On another note I had lipo suction in the Dominican republic they use aggressive lipo the results were immediate. Had it in January and I am going back to do other areas. Whole thing cost 4k, surgery, flight, aftercare, recovery house, taxi.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 21-Oct-16 17:27:25

Filler lasting 20 years??? I'm very sceptical!!!! If that was correct then why would everyone only be having the injections that last 12-18 months.

Also do you know you can get any good consultant to do your chin with fillers now? Well re-shaping is what they call it.

You could get Vaser Lipo for a decent price in the uk and have the protection that comes with it

QuiteLikely5 Fri 21-Oct-16 17:28:31

Star boys what is aggressive Lipo ? Never heard of it and how is it different?

toastytoastbear Mon 24-Oct-16 15:50:16

Filler wouldn't last 20 months! Are you sure it was filler he was talking about?!

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