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Hopeless In Seattle

Denied dermabrasion

I went in for my consultation back in October and filled out all the paperwork (wrote down what medications I'm taking etc.) and since I'm HIV+ I devulged that as well. So since then I've been saving up my money (the surgery costs $4,000!) and I made my appt. for January 25. So yesterday I went in for my pre-op appt to pay the money, and discuss the surgery that is supposed to happen tomorrow. I went and got my prescriptions and blood work done and was waiting for tomorrow since this has been something I've needed to have done for a long time. I just got a call from the doctor saying that since I'm HIV+ they won't do the surgery but offered to possibly look into doing it another time at a hospital which would cost me about twice as much! I'm so pissed off I'm shaking right now! He knew my HIV status long ago but waits until the day before the surgery to tell me this. It's just not right. What am I supposed to do now? :cry:

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Oh, I'm so sorry sweetie. He HAS to reimburse you for the lab work and prescriptions since he didn't tell you until the 11th hour. It seems a little unethical to me that he would give you the green light, rather explicitly as he obviously wrote out prescriptions & scheduled the procedure, etc. and then back out the day before! I've had a dermabrasion and I must say it was messy - blood and stuff flying around - but that's just the nature of the procedure; for an HIV+ case I can see how his little on-site office might not be equipped to deal with the special precautionary measures, but that's really not YOUR problem at the moment - he's had 4 months to read your chart & let you know all of this BEFORE you took off work, had blood work, bought prescriptions, etc. I think at the very least he should look into the other hospital with NO extra cost to you since he didn't tell you until the last minute. The best thing to do right now is stay calm and not get too emotional or depressed (I know, easier said than done) - there are other avenues to explore and other doctors to consult. When you feel strong enough, call the office and let them know how upset you are and that you fully intend to be reimbursed for EVERYTHING! You will feel better once you voice your frustration & do something proactive - it will make you feel less victimized.

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I'm so sorry to hear that.

I think you should definitely take legal action. If they knew a couple of months in advance that you were HIV +, they should have had everything ready for your big procedure. I think you were discriminated big time for being a transmitter of the HIV virus. In some states HIV and AIDS patients are protected by the American Disabilities Act. I THINK THAT MEAN AND WORSE-THAN-SHIT-DOCTOR SHOULD FACE THE CONSEQUENCES. Talk to a lawyer and analyze your possibilities. One of my best friend's cousin was granted 2 million dollars in an age discrimination case.

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I'm not so sure about a lawsuit. What really gets me is that it took alot of courage,time and money for me to even get to this point, just to be turned away the day before the surgery. Of course the doctor said he would refund my money but when I brought up the fact that I wanted a refund on the prescriptions and the cost of the bloodwork he said he would have to get back to me. I can't believe he would even question that at all. Unfortunatly I can't find any other doctors that do deep wire brush dermabrasion in Seattle.

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I also forgot to mention or remind you certain things. I don't mean to put you down, on the contrary, I really want to offer my help in some way. I don't know for how long the HIV virus has been in your body, and how well you take care of your health in general. But you have to remember that people with HIV are usually very slow healers. Their antibodies are in constant fight which weakens the inmune system. And a weak inmune system is an easy target for many other complications such as infection, bacteria, low healing rate, etc. I don't know if you've ever had a dermabrassion before, but it's still considered to be one of the most barbaric and riskiest scarring treatments. At the same time, I think dermabrassion "performed by a super skilled and experienced professional " may offer better results than any other treatment. Your scars are moderate~severe and I really understand your pain from the bottom of my heart. However, when I saw your pictures, I was able to see your scars accompanied by redness. To me, that's a big red flag. It could mean that your skin is still undergoing a healing process or there is moderate inflamation or infection going on there. Even if your doctor is so skilled and experienced, it may take a while for your skin to heal ( it has even taken 3-5 years for some healty people with no other complications) and nobody can guarantee you the final product. Just imagine this scenario: you with acne scars + post dermabrassion scars + hyperpigmentation or severe redness + chronic infection or imflamation + permanent rosacea. That's something that doctors don't tell you until you experience it. And you were talking about undergoing 3 or 4 dermabrassions. My estimated friend, that's way too risky! Don't spend your hard-earned money on something very risky with unexpected results especially if your inmune system is compromised. It may take your skin forever to heal. I've seen some pictures of people who have obtained good results with dermabrassion, but I also think dermabrassion is just not for everybody.

Another aspect to consider is (FACIAL) FAT or COLLAGEN LOSS in some HIV patients. I can't remember the correct medical term, But if you undergo dermabrassion, it may represent a serious complication. After all pain and suffering, your skin may sink. Have you considered permanent filler injection? It has helped some people fade their scarring and it's one of the best cosmetic procedures for HIV/AIDS patients with collagen loss problems.

Sometimes things happen for a reason and if you were turned down by that unhappy doctor is because God wanted to prevent you from a nightmare. But that doesn't justify the way this doctor handled the whole situation. If he knew about your condition, why the hell he gave you a GREEN LIGHT at the begining to turn you down just a day before the procedure?????? Not only has he to refund all your direct and indirect expenses, but psycological damage and in real life terms it costs a lot of money. As I said before, talk to a lawyer and find out your posilbilities. Some states provide free legal advice. There is nothing to lose.

Good luck

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That's really fucked up, I'm so awfully sorry for what happened. He has to give you a refund on prescriptions/bloodwork; even if you don't intend to you should be aggressive and threaten a lawsuit.

Also, maybe you could consider going to another state to do your dermabrasion.

I'm sorry I can't offer much else except sympathy.

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I think you should surely threaten a lawsuit, even threaten contacting the local TV/Newspaper, protest in front of his office etc. I did this with Jiffy Lube when they at first did not want to replace my engine (they "forgot" to put on the oil filter!) and it was so fucking obvious. OBVIOUS! I went to them SUNDAY, my engine blew on Monday and my car was a 2000, and the year was 2003. Anywho, all the threats worked, and they replaced my engine. It took some work to show I was not bullshitting though. I called the INDY newspaper, who called them, but after that they were sweet as honey. SWEET AS HONEY!!!! Threaten and follow up, and if all else fails, call a lawyer, you definately have a case, and can get your dermabrasion, and maybe even funding for your HIV treatment forever with the lawsuit payment. Sorry Im not usually so money grubbing, but what the doc did was fucked up. I mean he has the choice to turn you down, I can respect that if he was upfront, but to lead you on and be an asshole is totally different.

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Guest seanna

Hi ya, what a crap dr. surly he knows how much acne and bad skin effects us, it like the end of the world to us. i really think this dr. has no shame, he should be booking you into the special clinic with some big discount, to let you think that treatment was going ahead and then not do it must of been a reall downer.

i think that some good advice has been wrote so far, really do look into other option. i had isolagen injection and i thought they were really good for box and rolling scars, its over and done with in 20 mins, i stated a topic on it, so have a little look and see if it might be a good idea for you. im in the uk, guys from the USA have told me it is still be tested over there so fingers crossed that its available for you to have the option soon.

good luck, hang in there.

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I agree with fighter05, but I am very sorry that this happened to you at the last minute. You must be very frustrated after anticipating a procedure that you think may help you. My immune system is compromised as well and my doctor cancelled the surgery 24 hours before it because he was worried about infection as a result of my immunodeficiency. I don't have HIV, but I have a genetic immune problem which cancells out approximately 1/3 of my immune system. Anyway, if he had gone through with it, and you became seriously infected, you probably could have sued him if you wanted. I don't know if you would have won, because I don't know if it would be considered malpractice to perform dermobrasion on an immunocompromised person, but I bet you could have found a lawyer that would have taken the case. So he is kind of damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. I'm just trying to look at it from his perspective.

On the other hand, he could just be a jerk that is afraid of HIV patients.

Either way, he should have told you months ago, why he didn't review your chart until yesterday is beyond me.

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Thanks fighter05 for all the info. It gives me alot to think about. I'm thinking about looking into Fraxel laser or Laser resurfacing which has alot less down time and less risks then dermabrasion. Allthough I don't think I have any facial fat loss (Lipodistrophy), I do know that my immune system isn't what it should be as I had a low t-cell count when I first found out I was + last Febuary. I've been on meds and I'm totaly healthy now all my counts are way up and have a undetecable viral load but the risks are still higher for me I realize. :doubt:

By the way the doctor's name is Curran Smith, just to let people know what kind of person he is in case someone is thinking about go to him in Seattle.

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yeah I hope it gets sorted out for you, thought I imagine it would be due to the rate to which you heal. For example I cant have certain procedures as I am diabetic which would make me a slow healer. I guess its also the risk of infection not to others but you yourself I mean your immune system is already low.I guess the point is thought not why they cant yt wy they didn't tell you. Good luck.

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Thanks fighter05 for all the info. It gives me alot to think about. I'm thinking about looking into Fraxel laser or Laser resurfacing which has alot less down time and less risks then dermabrasion. Allthough I don't think I have any facial fat loss (Lipodistrophy), I do know that my immune system isn't what it should be as I had a low t-cell count when I first found out I was + last Febuary. I've been on meds and I'm totaly healthy now all my counts are way up and have a undetecable viral load but the risks are still higher for me I realize. :doubt:

By the way the doctor's name is Curran Smith, just to let people know what kind of person he is in case someone is thinking about go to him in Seattle.

Any time buddy! It's a pleasure for me to share my humble knowledge and try to help you in some way.

Regarding traditional Laser Resurfacing, I think you should stay away from it. It does absolutely nothing for scarring. It just burns your skin, but your scars will be there. Laser resurfacing wasn't meant for acne scarring, it's used to improve wrinkles, fade pigmentation, maybe freckles and tattoos. And don't ever think it's a simple procedure. Laser resurfacing is a hardcore procedure with many side efects. And sometimes it may worsen your scars completely. Some people have reported that redness and imflamation is persistent even 12 months after the procedure. And scars left by lasers are very difficult (if not imposible) to treat. Also, a traditional laser resurfacing burns a lot of healthy skin and you can (easily) end up with additional scars. So becareful with those doctors who BS about Laser Resurfacing. They may try to convince you that it's a controlled procedure, blah, blah, blah. But its results are way beyond any expectation. It's just a waste of time and money.

Fraxel Laser on the other hand, is one of the newest member of the laser family. I think it's still in its preliminary stage. To be honest with you, I can't not advice wether it's a good or bad procedure. I've done a lot of research about it. Some of the pros is that it offers a very high level of control and accuracy. In other words, it allows the physician to treat only affected areas leaving your healthy skin intact. It means that it may take less time to heal. Price could be another advantage. Some of the disadvantages is that many doctors are not very familiar with it. Some of them are just learing. And in order to reach to an acceptable level, they are going to screw up some faces and i wouldn't like to be their guinea pig. But if you happen to know of a good and experienced doctor who performs fraxel laser with great results, you may wanna give it a try.

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ugh. that totally sucks. i hope fraxel works out for you. you were so close and had your hopes up really high i'm sure which makes it even worse. i'd be so pissed.

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H in S,

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE look into scar revision BEFORE resurfacing procedures! I just looked at your pics again & you look like a PERFECT candidate for subcision - a little needle breaks up the tethered scar tissue that is quite possibly bound down so tightly that no amount of expensive resurfacing will completely level it out. It's relatively inexpensive (comparitively speaking) and, if it works for you, priceless in the results. I know whereof I speak - I've had a dermabrasion and an exoderm & wish I'd had scar revision first - if I had, I'd probably be done with all of this by now! Tomorrow I'm getting punch floats for ice picks (I didn't see any ice picks in your pics) & after they heal I'll attempt the subcision, if needed. This is COMPLETELY ass backwards & I don't want you to make the same frustrating, exorbitantly expensive mistake of putting the cart before the horse! In fact, depending on how the punch floats heal, I might have to have YET ANOTHER resurfacing procedure to even things out! Ugh! Honey, God often works in VERY odd, mysterious ways and sometimes our greatest blessings come cloaked in disappointment...I'm glad for you that the dermabrasion fell through, I'm just sorry about the way it happened....

p.s brilliant post by fighter(!) by the way....I was just about to voice my concerns, but he beat me to it! :)

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Just imagine this scenario: you with acne scars + post dermabrassion scars + hyperpigmentation or severe redness + chronic infection or imflamation + permanent rosacea. That's something that doctors don't tell you until you experience it.

Not being informed of the real long term risks is one thing. Being told that the redness takes about 3 months to go away, and that it ALWAYS goes away, is another.

I had full face dermabrasion with Dr. Y almost 1 year ago. I suffer from hypopigmentation and there is still no sign of resolution to my redness and flushing.

Thanks fighter05 for all the info. It gives me alot to think about. I'm thinking about looking into Fraxel laser or Laser resurfacing which has alot less down time and less risks then dermabrasion.

Hopeless, I feel sorry about the way you were treated, but in a way I feel relieved to see you are out of harm's way. I'm just curious if all doctors withhold the real risks. What long term / permanent risks did Dr. Smith mention to you? Thanks.

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H in S,

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE look into scar revision BEFORE resurfacing procedures! I just looked at your pics again & you look like a PERFECT candidate for subcision - a little needle breaks up the tethered scar tissue that is quite possibly bound down so tightly that no amount of expensive resurfacing will completely level it out. It's relatively inexpensive (comparitively speaking) and, if it works for you, priceless in the results. I know whereof I speak - I've had a dermabrasion and an exoderm & wish I'd had scar revision first - if I had, I'd probably be done with all of this by now! Tomorrow I'm getting punch floats for ice picks (I didn't see any ice picks in your pics) & after they heal I'll attempt the subcision, if needed. This is COMPLETELY ass backwards & I don't want you to make the same frustrating, exorbitantly expensive mistake of putting the cart before the horse! In fact, depending on how the punch floats heal, I might have to have YET ANOTHER resurfacing procedure to even things out! Ugh! Honey, God often works in VERY odd, mysterious ways and sometimes our greatest blessings come cloaked in disappointment...I'm glad for you that the dermabrasion fell through, I'm just sorry about the way it happened....

p.s brilliant post by fighter(!) by the way....I was just about to voice my concerns, but he beat me to it! :)

I've been told that scar revision is best to do before as well, but I can't seem to find anyone in the Seattle area that does any. Also it seems that every procedure I happen to look into there seems to be just as many people that are for it as against it. It makes it hard to try and decide what to seriously look into when there are so many people with horror stories about every procedure. I realize that everyone is different and some things work well on some people and not so well on others but that is what makes this so difficult! :wall: I mean this is a big decision to try and decide what to do that you really do want to go by "trial and error" either.

Of course every consultation I seem to go to they just want to get my money so whatever they happen to offer allways seems to seem the best way to go as far as they are concerned! It's all very frustrating. But I do apprecitate everybody input as well.

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H in S,

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE look into scar revision BEFORE resurfacing procedures! I just looked at your pics again & you look like a PERFECT candidate for subcision - a little needle breaks up the tethered scar tissue that is quite possibly bound down so tightly that no amount of expensive resurfacing will completely level it out. It's relatively inexpensive (comparitively speaking) and, if it works for you, priceless in the results. I know whereof I speak - I've had a dermabrasion and an exoderm & wish I'd had scar revision first - if I had, I'd probably be done with all of this by now! Tomorrow I'm getting punch floats for ice picks (I didn't see any ice picks in your pics) & after they heal I'll attempt the subcision, if needed. This is COMPLETELY ass backwards & I don't want you to make the same frustrating, exorbitantly expensive mistake of putting the cart before the horse! In fact, depending on how the punch floats heal, I might have to have YET ANOTHER resurfacing procedure to even things out! Ugh! Honey, God often works in VERY odd, mysterious ways and sometimes our greatest blessings come cloaked in disappointment...I'm glad for you that the dermabrasion fell through, I'm just sorry about the way it happened....

p.s brilliant post by fighter(!) by the way....I was just about to voice my concerns, but he beat me to it! :)

I've been told that scar revision is best to do before as well, but I can't seem to find anyone in the Seattle area that does any. Also it seems that every procedure I happen to look into there seems to be just as many people that are for it as against it. It makes it hard to try and decide what to seriously look into when there are so many people with horror stories about every procedure. I realize that everyone is different and some things work well on some people and not so well on others but that is what makes this so difficult! :wall: I mean this is a big decision to try and decide what to do that you really do want to go by "trial and error" either.

Of course every consultation I seem to go to they just want to get my money so whatever they happen to offer allways seems to seem the best way to go as far as they are concerned! It's all very frustrating. But I do apprecitate everybody input as well.

I absolutely agree with butterflies74. I myself did medium depth obagi chemical peels ( 5 !!) , micros ( 18 )and IPLs ( 10 ) which didn't do much to scarring and then after wasting so much time and money did dermal grafts ( grafting skin from behind ear into scars ) for 2 of my deep and around 10 medium depth scars. I was extremely happy and satisfied with the results. It was far less expensive, safer and gave me almost 95 % improvment ( I have only mild indentations left from them ) And as they were spot treatments ( against whole face ), downtime was reasonable.

I don't think even deeper resurfacing would have given me those results.

All resurfacing techniques work much better on shallow scars and risk is then less than deeper resurfacing.

So, HopelessInSeattle, I understand it must be very disappointing / frustrating experience but consider it as a blessing in disguise.

This is my experience...atleast here in SF-bay area, surprisingly most of the dermatologists ( there are exceptions ) don't offer scar revision but many plastic surgeons who also perform dermatologic procedures, offer scar revision.

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I think you should consult a lawyer immediately and see if you have any possibility of getting a good amoun of money.

if thats the case go with it and with the money you will make out of the law suit you should be able to get the best scar revision surgery performed

take this as a blessing in disguise..god help you

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Since u are HIV positive I would definately suggest Fraxel since u might heal slower than u would before. Dont think that beign HIV + is the end of the world either. I have two friends that have HIV and live very normal healthy lives together. Keep your head up with or without the scars. Your doing good for yourself by taking steps to improve your skin and overall life. I wish u luck with whatever procedure u try.

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Since u are HIV positive I would definately suggest Fraxel since u might heal slower than u would before. Dont think that beign HIV + is the end of the world either. I have two friends that have HIV and live very normal healthy lives together. Keep your head up with or without the scars. Your doing good for yourself by taking steps to improve your skin and overall life. I wish u luck with whatever procedure u try.

Thanks... That's actually what I'm looking into, subcision then Fraxel. I have a consultation next week. As far as the HIV goes I know people that have had it for 20 years! So I'm not to awful depressed over it, the meds they have now work really well.

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