Brilliant, compassionate, gifted, talented and patient., April 17, 2009, 5:34 pm
I am scheduled for brachioplasty and breast lift/augmentation with Dr. Katzen on February 26, 2009 and I couldn't be more excited. Dr. Katzen and his staff (you know who you are -- Lieu, Diana, Raquel, Jane...) are amazingly supportive, patient and knowledgeable. His office is serene and accommodating (big chairs, waterfalls and calming music) and his examination rooms are huge. About the only thing he could do to make it better is install bigger mirrors so we can better ogle ourselves, once he's done with us!
I learned about Dr. Katzen on ObesityHelp.com, after attending presentations by two other surgeons at my weekly support group meeting. I was amazed (and impressed) by the sheer volume of positive reviews Dr. Katzen had amassed (158, at the time), especially considering the "number 2" surgeon only had 9 reviews! After reading some of them and learning about his qualifications, I immediately scheduled a consultation and -- interestingly enough -- ended up "running" into him beforehand (along with a few members of his staff, and several of his enthusiastic patients), at the Long Beach Walk From Obesity. Let me just say, Dr. Katzen is SO highly regarded by his former patients, he's achieved nothing short of rock-star status for his work. I'm not kidding about this -- his patients will show you their scars (and "amazingly perfect" belly buttons) at the drop of a hat! You couldn't PAY people for this sort of adoration, believe me!
Anyway, In October 2008, I got to attend his free (and exceptionally-informative) seminar, where I learned the caliber of the man -- not just the doctor -- through first-hand accounts of satisfied patients. So many had shown up to rave about his work (they are NOT paid for their time), he had to actually cut their talks short, just so he could get up and talk himself (!!!)
So, what more can I say about him? Dr. Katzen's knowledge and experience with post-bariatric patients are unbelievably impressive (99% of his practice is dedicated to WLS patients), yet he remains approachable, compassionate and concerned. He is not the slightest bit aloof, listens when you ask endless questions, and never makes you feel rushed.
Making the decision to put my body in his hands is a no-brainer. Basically, I call him Dr. Zen, because after I meet with him, my chi is just a little more balanced (ha ha). Of course, I'm still a pre-op, but based upon the endless stories of his post-operative care, I know I'll be even MORE thrilled about him once I come back as a post-op to update this review!
In Southern California (especially Beverly Hills) we have many, many reconstructive surgeons to choose from, so I'd encourage prospective patients to do their due diligence and interview other doctors BEFORE they settle on Dr. Katzen (it's just prudent). Like the Cadillac commercials say, "drive everything ELSE; THEN buy a Cadillac." Once you meet Dr. Katzen, you'll forget about everyone else.”
Now that I'm an official -- AND SUCCESSFUL -- post-op, I figure it's time to update my review of Dr. Katzen. Let me just say that I LOVE this man -- since the day of my surgery, he's made me feel that I'm his only patient. How, on earth he's able to accomplish this is beyond me, but he does it with compassion and gentle concern. Remember, I've taken to calling him Dr. "Zen" because of his amazingly calm, patient and comforting bedside manner. Whether he's returning one of my panicky calls on the way home from surgery, or visiting with me in one of my post-op appointments, he has NEVER made me feel crazy for my concerns -- never once. He is reassuring and very compassionate -- two things I cannot stress enough.
Now, for the quality of my surgery: This man is an ARTISTIC GENIUS! Even though I'm only 6 weeks out, my arms and breasts look incredible -- the incision lines on my arms are so flat and the "pleating" (where the very deepest sutures are still dissolving) is disappearing more and more each day -- exactly as he said it would.
It’s true that I have had PAIN -- but when you think about it, this is major surgery with major cutting, so why wouldn't it be painful? That's where pain management comes into play, and Dr. Katzen is incredibly supportive about it. He does NOT want his patients to be in any pain (if he can help it) and is very forthcoming in providing the best pain meds available.
I still have a ways to go before I'm "fully healed," but since day one post-op, I've had ZERO regrets in choosing Dr. Katzen to perform this surgery. He is my hero and I can't imagine that I ever considered anyone else for the job! His hands are gifts from God -- no doubt about it -- and I recommend him as highly as I can recommend anyone. If I ever have additional work done, you can BET it will happen with him (and only him!)
Thank you for giving me a new life, Dr. Katzen!