Update - Dr. Shah performs scar revisions for local woman in need

Plastic surgeon helps local woman (Story originally aired on KGET 17 News 9-25-09)

A Bakersfield woman's plastic surgery nightmare has been turned into a dream come true. That's after a local cosmetic surgeon saw her story on 17 News and offered to help.

"Awful, it was an awful experience. If I had a choice on whether to do it again I would have never done it," said Louise Lopez. She is hoping her pain and suffering is about to come to an end. She says a local plastic surgeon left her physically and emotionally scarred a year and half ago, after she decided it was time for a mommy makeover.

She claims her doctor, Lawrence Birnbaum, offered her price cuts if she agreed to a tummy tuck, breast augmentation and liposuction all at once. Two months later, after experiencing excruciating pain, she says she went back to her doctor for help.

"He goes you get what you pay for. If you came into my office. I would fix you under my contract but you pay the cut rate service that's what you get," said Lopez.

Scarring after plastic surgery is not uncommon and can be more severe depending on genetics, ethnicity and whether a person smokes. Lopez' insurance would not cover the reconstruction and she thought she would be forced to live with the deep scars and pain until Doctor Darshan Shah saw our story and offered to help.

"We are going to be removing all the scars on her body all of the keyloids and what you don't see is the scars on the inside of her body. We're going to have to remove all of that," said Dr. Shah.

"Scared I have to go through all of this again," said Lopez. "I know it's not the same, but it's still scary." Lopez developed a condition called capsular contractor in her breast, which was causing the pain. After seeing the damage, Dr. Shah was forced to remove the implants completely and she will have them put back in at a later time.

As for the scarring on her abdomen; "We take the skin from the top and the bottom of the abdomen and resew it in muiltiple layers to take the tension off the wound that helps the scar heal like a fine line," said Dr. Shah.

How her body reacts to the scarring this time will also depend on Lopez. No smoking and attentive after-care, involving tape and a special scar stick developed by Dr. Shah will need to be used over the next few months.

Dr. Shah provided Lopez with his service free of charge under a charity program he started to help families who have no options in plastic surgery cases. Lopez, we are told, is healing very well and will have her implants restored once the internal scarring has healed.

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