Editor’s Note: This story is part of the series A Plastic Surgeon Sexualized My Exam** How I Became His VictimI underwent post-bariatric body contouring with one of the finest plastic surgeons in the nation. Let me be clear that he is not** the plastic surgeon who sexualized my exams. Here is my story.
ll That Glitters is Not Gold**
It first happened during my abdominoplasty 6-week post-op exam. When I arrived at the medical complex, instantly I was struck with the glamorous environment: lux water fountains, a grand atrium, and two doormen to greet me as I entered this suburban luxury hospital.
The plastic surgeon’s practice was run from his posh state-of-the-art medical spa. Just like his website and his social media presence had been heavily professionally polished, no detail was overlooked in his private cosmetic surgery practice. I was asked to remove all my clothes and provided a plush robe in which to dress. I was served a glass of lemon mint water and asked to wait in a large exquisite exam room that had relaxing nature sounds piped-in.
The plastic surgeon entered the room with his nurse. Immediately he was attentive and conversational. His bedside manner exhibited the kindness one seeks in their doctor. Every detail about him was impeccable. He was knowledgeable and well-rehearsed.
I was star-struck by the sum total of the package. However, in the weeks following my appointment, I would come to feel like the fly that had been caught in the spider’s cleverly laid trap.
Indeed, all that glitters is not gold.
The Man Behind the Curtain
It was after my second examination by the plastic surgeon that I had the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had been fondled repeatedly under the pretense of a proper exam. It was then that I looked more deeply into the surgeon’s background, past the marketing hype on his website and social media.
When I drew back the curtain I found not a great and powerful surgeon, but rather an impulsive thrill-seeking man with abject disregard for morality who used superficial charm to manipulate and exploit patients. During the course of my exam, he came to tell me that the "best" plastic surgeons were not necessarily those who were the best at surgery, but rather did the best marketing. In retrospect, that was very telling.
Too late I would learn his well-played charade disguised a cunning and calculating man. There were multiple malpractice suits - some cases had been settled and some were open - as well as civil and criminal complaints against him. Negative patient reviews were equally grave: There were claims of wrongful death, disfigurement, and a few allegations of sexual impropriety. I read a court transcript of the surgeon’s lawsuit against a patient whom he had maimed. He calmly denied all claims and sued the patient to silence her and everyone else from speaking out against him. The legal document was irrefutable and in it I saw a physician predator who was remorseless and entitled, relentless and deceptive in getting his way.
I have a strong personality and I am an independent woman. So it shames me to admit that now that I know what I know about this man, and in light of the surreptitious way in which he violated me, this man scares the "H" "E" double "L" out of me.
A Word of Advice
Thoroughly research the physician before making an appointment. Look beyond the marketing hype and use Internet search engines to find if there are complaints or sanctions against the doctor. As for me, I simply was to see this local plastic surgeon for one post-op examination in lieu of travelling out-of-state to my real plastic surgeon who had performed my tummy tuck. I did not research the local surgeon beyond his impressive website and engaging social media presence – that is to say, I did not thoroughly research him until after he sexualized my exams. By then significant damage had been done to my well-being.
Cheryl Ann Borne, writing as My Bariatric Life, is a contributing writer and Paleo recipe developer for HealthCentral’s Obesity Community. Cheryl is an award-winning healthcare communications professional and obesity health advocate who has overcome super obesity and it’s related diseases. She publishes the website MyBariatricLife.org and microblogs on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Cheryl also is writing her first book and working on a second website. Watch her transformational video on Vimeo.