As we publish success stories, we think we should also publish those “failed” cases where patients lodge complaint against us. After so many years, we finally receive a complaint from a patient today! We will continue to publish more complaint cases whenever we receive one in the future. Complaint cases will receive priority to be published on our blog.

This young woman in her mid-20s comes to Dr Arthur Tjandra of Elixir de Vie ( complaining of tired-looking, sunken face, as well as “eye bags”. She had wanted to get eye bags removal surgery done. Upon examination, Dr Arthur Tjandra of Elixir de Vie ( explains that she does not have eye bags. What she has are dark eye circles, which can be caused by many factors, including late nights, alcohol, smoking and poor lifestyle. The appearance of her dark eye circles is made worse by loss of mid-face volume, which is often experienced by athletes and aging faces. Although she is only in her mid-20s, she appears so much older than her real age because of significant loss of mid-face volume. Had she gone for eye bags removal surgery, the areas under her eyes would become even more sunken, hence exacerbate her sunken look and make her appear even older! Therefore, Dr Arthur Tjandra of Elixir de Vie ( advises her to get autologous fat grafting to restore volume loss.

Nine days after her procedure, she sends us multiple emails complaining about the result of her surgery. These are some of the comments she makes:

“It looked very overly filled and vvvvv unnatural. When I smile, the fats moved up and make my eyes so small. The eyes are so uneven.”

“Now is really upset, everyone is telling me I looked so ugly like got punched in the face or a drug allergy face. These comments from friends and family is making me upset.”

“My mom can’t even stand look at my face. She said last time so pretty now just look weird.”

It is good thing that we take videos of all our surgeries, from beginning till the end. As Dr Arthur Tjandra reviews her surgical photos and videos and find nothing wrong, we ask her to send us most recent photo. She promptly sends us her picture, 9 days after autologous fat transfer to her mid-face. She has received a complete set of all videos taken before, during and after her surgeries on the day the surgery was completed.

Video 1: Pre-operative marking.




Video 2: Autologous fat grafting to left side of face. A comparison of right and left side of face, before and after autologous fat grafting.


Video 3: Immediate result of autologous fat transfer to mid-face.


As this patient also sends in the picture she takes herself 9 days after her surgery, we take the liberty to put it into a slide, so that we could compare her before and after surgery photos side-by-side:


What is your verdict? We do a poll in our own clinic. All our staff unanimously agree that she looks so much better after her procedure! But, we suspect that our staff may not be telling the truth because they are afraid of offending Dr Arthur Tjandra. So, what do you think, honestly?

Anyway, it is very important for a patient to be mentally-prepared not just for what he/she is going to encounter during a surgery, but most importantly is what follows afterwards. This is because a surgery typically takes just a few hours to complete, while the post-operative recovery which follows may take weeks, months, and sometimes even years! Ask anyone who has gone for upper blepharoplasty or rhinoplasty surgeries for instance. The final results can often be appreciated only after 1 year! No surgeon will even touch eye lids and noses which have been operated on, before 6 months! Liposuction surgery, for instance, takes minimum 6 months to heal! Nine days after a facial surgery, when all the bruises and swelling have not even completely subsided yet, this patient is already complaining about the result. There is not even guarantee that the newly-transplanted fat cells will survive. And she is already complaining of too much fat being injected into her face. Obviously, she has been day-dreaming during the lengthy pre-operative consultation, which often takes up to 1.5 to 2 hours in our clinic!

Here are some pointers to help patients prepare for a surgery:

  1. Always do a research well in advance. The clinic should provide all detailed information. There are also a lot of information on the internet which one can read up. Be mentally-prepared for what to expect after a surgery.
  2. Know what result to expect for a particular surgery. The surgeon’s own website is a good starting point, because it tells you what the surgeon’s taste is like. Each surgeon may have different taste, especially in cosmetic surgery. We have posted multiple photos of the result of autologous fat grafting to mid-face on our website:, as well as hundreds of videos on this procedure alone on our YouTube channel: Not only did we post pictures and videos taken immediately after the procedure, but we also posted pictures and videos of the result, months and years later!
  3. What is symmetry? No one’s face, body, breasts, hands, feet, or testicles are symmetrical. If your face is not perfectly symmetrical to begin with, do not expect to have 100% symmetrical face after a surgery, especially immediately after or just days after a surgery. Patients who have had double eye lid surgeries done, often find that their eyes only appear symmetrical after 1 year later. Why? Because after trauma of a surgery, the right and left sides of the body, or face, or eyes, may not heal at the same rate. The right side may heal faster than the left side, or vice versa. After all, the trauma inflicted on the right and left sides are not even the same. So, how could you expect the 2 sides to heal at the same rate and to be symmetrical just days after a surgery?
  4. Talk to other patients and ask about their experience. Talk to patients who have gone through the same journey and have fully recovered, typically months or years later. Not someone who just begins the journey with you, then you end up scaring each other!


For more Liposuction Case Studies, please visit our website:

More liposuction before and after surgery photos can be see here:

Combination of liposuction and autologous fat grafting to breasts or/and buttocks can be seen here:

A list of our patients’ blogs:

7 Comments on “Complaint No. 1: Doc, everyone says I look so much worse after what you did to my face!

  1. Well she certainly does not look like she was punched on the face. Looks like she put up alot of makeup on her post op 9 days pic so can’t really tell. I am thinking she needs more volume on her laugh lines. Still haggard!

  2. Pingback: Patient No. 427: Autologous fat grafting facial rejuvenation – L'Elixir de Vie, by Arthur Tjandra (曾华浚), M.D., FICS (Plastic Surgery)

  3. Hi Dr. Tjandra. I think her results was great. I am one of your male patient who undergone midface fat grafting last september 2015 due to deep tear trough and dark circles. We had a similiar complaint after few days of the procedure. Distorted face and severe bruises. Well different body responds differently. But after 6 months post op, the results was very good and satisfying after all the swelling and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation had subsided. But for me, the best part was after a year when the fat graft has grown and my dark circles had lighten. It really did improve the skin quality of my skin. Although it is uneven a bit, I am aware that our face and body are not symmetrical. I am really looking forward to have my second and final fat graft at your clinic. I am still saving money at the moment. Maybe I will email you again if I already have enough. Haha 😊

  4. Hi Dr. Tjandra. Your patient looks very nice but I can understand why she is complaining. After you’ve done fat grafting on my “skeleton” face ;), I had a lot of swelling and a big bruise on the left side. People asked me what happended and made comments on how uggly I was ( a week after grafting). It took me about 3 months to really appreciate the changes. As patient, we sometime forget that we need time to adjust and heal as it remains a surgical procedure.
    I will contact you soon for a fat grafting around my eyes and a second graft on my breast. I love your work!
    Happy patient !

    • Oh, yeah? And why is someone living in New York City trolling someone pretending to be a doctor in Indonesia? You must be a lonely pathetic New Yorker! Your IP address is:
      Decimal: 2584780142
      ASN: 396356
      ISP: RapidDedi LLC
      Services: Datacenter
      Assignment: Likely Static IP
      Country: United States
      State/Region: New York
      City: New York City
      Latitude: 40.712791 (40° 42′ 46.05″ N)
      Longitude: -74.006065 (74° 0′ 21.83″ W)

    • It must be hurtful to see patients from NYC and many other cities in US flying to a small city in Indonesia to get revision surgeries done after they had their primary surgeries done in US, right? We feel you. But, instead of trolling us, you should brush up your surgical skill! Practice makes perfect!

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