Las Vegas plastic surgery today offers more hope for image improvement and self-confidence than could have even been imagined a generation ago.
But it is still surgery, and never a decision that patients can or should make lightly.
The most critical piece of that decision is getting the right doctor - something Dr. Shah's patients feel they did, as you will discover in the stories that follow.
These are real people using their real names without any compensation. They're doing it to benefit you, the potential patient, as you make your own decision about cosmetic or reconstructive plastic surgery.
So read their stories, appreciate their honesty and courage, and learn more about plastic surgery procedures from the most important perspective there is - the patient's.
Jump to a testimonial:
BREAST ENHANCEMENT (Augmentation)
When D.S, 38, of Las Vegas, decided to have breast augmentation surgery almost a year ago, to enhance and correct disproportionate-sized breasts (one was significantly smaller than the other).
"I was nervous, like anybody would be, but he is a person you can really trust,” D.S, said. “He takes the time with his patients to really explain things. And he gave me his honest opinion. When I told him what size I wanted, he said he didn't think I should go that big, that I should have what looks most natural for me. He helped me all the way through it."
D.S, said he was also honest about the pain she would experience following surgery.
"He said I’d be sorer on the side that was smaller, and he was right about that," she said.
"But my recovery was pretty quick. I had it done on a Thursday and was back to work on Monday."
And D.S, is still thrilled with the result.
"I am very happy," she said. "He did such a good job and it does look and feel natural. No one would ever know."
D.S, said she got what she hoped for in terms of appearance and increased self-confidence. But what she didn’t expect was the level of personalized care she received from Dr. Shah.
"I was so surprised, because when I went in, I was getting married, and when I went back for the follow-up, he remembered that and even the day. Most doctors can hardly remember who you are. When I had the surgery, he called me that night to make sure I was doing O.K. and the next day he called to make sure. I think it definitely makes a difference and he’d be the first I’d recommend to anybody else."
E.A, fought breast cancer and won, and if there can be any upside to that experience, it’s knowing that she is precious and unique, never to be taken for granted, and that her life matters, to herself and those who love her.
E.A, 57, said she feels fortunate to have had a doctor who also understood that when she opted for breast reconstruction after mastectomy four years ago.
“Dr. Shah is very compassionate, very caring,” she said. “After having cancer, it was a scary thing for me. But he was just great. He was there for me for every little thing.”
E.A, said he never failed to ask along the way if anything was bothering her, or what her preference was. He thoroughly explained breast implant options (E.A, ultimately chose saline) knowing that she needed control and input into further decisions made about her body.
“It was up to me what I wanted,” she said. “A lot of doctors try to push something on you that you don’t really want. He gave me advice and he explained the differences between saline and silicone implants, what to look for, but he never pushed me. It was whatever I wanted. He knew exactly what I’d been through, and he never treated me like I was just another job to be done. I didn’t feel I was on an assembly line, like, “Oh, here’s another one.”
E.A, said she is proud of the decisions she made with Dr. Shah.
“I was most definitely happy with the outcome,” she said. “And I’ll have you know I was not ashamed. I pulled my shirt up and showed my friends, look, this is the job I got. They look natural, not funny or lopsided - he did a very good job. He’s very knowledgeable, very friendly. I really like him and I would recommend him to anyone.”
I would like to thank you so much for taking good care of me.
faced with an otherwise frightning experience of having breast cancer, you were very compassionate and caring and you made me feel at case.
your words of ancoragement and surgical expertiese have brought back my self-image and self-esteem.
i have become a stronger, more confident person.
Thank you again. Do continue to touch peoples lives with your great work!
TUMMY TUCK (Abdominoplasty)
M.T, thought long and hard before deciding to have a tummy tuck. After two pregnancies and successful weight loss left her with loose abdominal tskin and muscles that dedicated dieting and exercise did not improve, she cautiously decided to take action.
“I called it my skirt,” she says with a laugh. “It wouldn’t go away and it looked like a skirt, with the skin hanging down. No one saw it - it’s not like I was out there wearing bikinis, but I knew it was there and it bothered me. I had done all the exercising and I had lost the 50 pounds - it wouldn’t go away. This was the final piece.”
M.T, 41, of Henderson, Nevada, works in healthcare and is the kind of person who takes responsibility for herself.
“I was very concerned about safety,” she said. “I have two younger children and I worried that something could happen because I had made a decision to do something that wasn’t medically necessary.”
She did a lot of research, learning all she could about abdominoplasty and looking at several physicians. She first heard about Dr. Shah through a co-worker who had gone to him and was very pleased with the results. She decided to question people she knew who had worked with Dr. Shah during surgeries, and seen quite literally exactly how he operates.
“I asked them, if you were going to have this surgery, would you want this doctor?” she said. “And they all told me yes, he’s very meticulous, he’s very skilled, he makes patient safety a priority. When I decided to go for a consultation, he was very non-threatening and gave me a lot of good information. When I finally decided to have it done, he explained exactly what was going to happen and how I would feel, which was right on target.”
M.T, said Dr. Shah checked on her personally the day after surgery, which really surprised her. She was well prepared for the pain she felt following surgery, and had a quick recovery, returning to work in about 2.5 weeks.
“I wore a binder but nobody could tell,” she said. “It was about 6-8 weeks before I could stand up totally straight without some discomfort. But I knew what to expect, and really, my recovery went well.”
It’s now been four years since M.T,’s tummy tuck, and she doesn’t regret her decision.
“I don’t what he did it, but it worked,” she said. “My stomach is flat. It’s something you really have to want for yourself. It requires commitment and it’s not a miracle cure - weight is still a struggle for me sometimes. But I do have a flat stomach, and if I gain some weight, it goes somewhere else. I like the way it looks now and I think it increases my self-confidence. That’s a big thing.”
And she doesn’t regret her choice of Dr. Shah, saying she would recommend him to others and return to him if she decided to have another procedure in the future.
“I have dealt with surgeons who have outstanding skill, but their interpersonal skills are those of a rock,” she said. “Dr. Shah has both, the surgical skills and the personal skills to help you with your decision and make you feel comfortable. He is very skilled and very ethical.”
TUMMY TUCK (Abdominoplasty) Panniculectomy Post Massive Weight Loss
“I can say this to Dr. Shah honestly and in my heart,” J.K, 61, said. “I would lay down my life for you, because you basically gave me a new life.”
J.K, of Las Vegas, has had a long and sometimes painful journey back to himself. He lost 180 pounds, 100 pounds on his own before having the bariatric surgery that helped him lose the rest.
J.K, went through a lot in his commitment to losing the weight, but as often happens in cases of massive weight loss, found he had a significant amount of excess skin afterwards that interfered with the pleasure he deserved to take in his new, healthier body. Excess skin after a huge weight loss is not necessarily a small problem - folds of hanging skin can interfere with hygiene, chafe and sometimes lead to soft tissue infections, or make it difficult to exercise or wear ordinary clothing.
“He was with me every step of the way, while I was losing the weight and afterwards,” J.K, said. “He was very forthright and honest, that’s what I like about him. He said this tummy tuck wasn’t essential, that I really didn’t need it except for appearances sake. We live in a culture that judges you by how you look, but I think the key to the whole thing is what’s best for you and to heck with everybody else. And the key is also Dr. Shah, because he talks you all the way through it.”
J.K, decided to move ahead with the surgery and a year later, he’s happy he did.
“I’m very glad I did it,” he said. “It’s something that definitely lifts you up, and as far as hygiene and everything else, it’s a lot better. You can’t even see the scar and he had to go so far around me, he only lacked eight inches of cutting me in half. I went from a 67 waist down to a 36. Everybody said I’d be down 6-8 weeks. I was only down for two weeks. I feel real good now.”
J.K,’s investment in himself comes with a lifetime commitment to eating right and taking care of himself, but he says he got more from the experience than a new body - he was treated with care and respect along the way and it made all the difference.
“Dr. Shah was just a total godsend,” he said. “He wasn’t worried about getting it done, he was more worried about the patient, about how I felt about myself. He was concerned and he called me on a regular basis. He answered all my questions and if he thought I needed to talk to somebody else, he’d recommend someone. I’d recommend him to any of my family or my friends and I’d definitely go back to him if I needed any more surgery.”
“You can use my name - because I’m proud of what he did.”
F.G, lost 140 pounds after gastric bypass surgery about three years ago, something that made a tremendous difference in his overall health.
F.G, 62, of Las Vegas, said he was on oxygen 24/7, could barely walk and experienced swelling in his legs while he was carrying the excess weight, all things that have since changed dramatically for the better.
But he didn’t lose “the excess skin and droopy lines on my tummy” so he turned to Dr. Shah for help.
“I figured I may as well do it and finish it up,” Glbert said. “I had about six-eight pounds of skin removed. He did a good job and it looks pretty good. After I had mine done, I referred other clients to him. One of the guys I know, he did a fantastic job on, he took the skin from all around his waist and he looked like a new person.”
F.G, said gastric bypass and body contouring are not a quick fix, and patients need to practice good nutrition, have solid psychological support and get all the facts if they want to be successful. If anyone asks, he says it has to be their decision - but if they’re looking for a doctor for body contouring, he recommends Dr. Shah.
“He comes right to the point and does what has to be done,” F.G, said. “He really knows his business about the body.”
R.L. is 74, but has yet to reach a point in his life where he’s ready to give up on being the best he can be.
“I had this done more for looking good than anything else,” he said. “I like to dress nice, and I’m very well-groomed. You can cut your finger on the creases in my pants and my shoes are so shiny you could use them to shave with. I keep my car waxed, my house like Better Home and Gardens and myself like the men in the magazines. The only thing missing was to get a better body contour. I got tired of wearing an oversize jacket to cover the fat. I live in the desert south of Las Vegas - if I ever wore a suit in this town, somebody’s gonna call the cops.”
Although R.L. was once 348 pounds, he lost a large amount of weight over 24 years ago after having his stomach stapled. But during a more recent visit to his regular doctor, she suggested he have something done to correct the abdominal drooping and folds he still had.
“She noticed I had this apron from all the weight I’d lost 24 years ago, just hanging there,” he said. “She suggested it would be a good thing to remove, because it was covering the skin underneath and could cause skin problems. To tell you the truth, I was tickled to death when she suggested I have it done.”
R.L. said he was even happier when Dr. Shah became the doctor who would do it.
“I was very fortunate that I got Dr. Shah,” he said. “He was no-nonsense, very professional and very caring. I have nothing but praise for him.”
R.L, who has deep vein thrombosis and is susceptible to blood clots, said he was ready to be wheeled into surgery when Dr. Shah saw that one of his legs was swollen and sent him to the emergency room instead.
“That showed me that he was very professional, knew what he was doing, and cared about my safety,” R.L. said.
When the time for his surgery with Dr. Shah came around again, R.L. found it went very well for him. Every patient is different, and while many experience discomfort right after surgery, R.L. said he never felt any pain at all.
“I’m very happy with the results,” he said. “And I’m very grateful to Dr. Shah.”
If anybody could resolve all their problems through sheer determination, patience and toughness, it would be B.G.
B.G, 55, is a veteran, had a gastric bypass in 2004 and lost 225 pounds, was in a serious car accident in 2006 that shattered his face, and spent months in the hospital this year with an MRSA staph infection after a knee replacement surgery. He’s overcome it all.
But B.G, couldn’t make the severe excess skin and separated stretched muscles from being over 400 pounds at one time go away, and in his case, it was another health concern.
“It was important because I was getting sores,” he said. “My primary care physician say that, and she recommended me to Dr. Shah.”
B.G, required a total body lift, removing excess skin and tightening the muscles to lift and realign the entire abdominal regional from the front, back and sides.
Dr. Shah removed 15 pounds of excess skin, and B.G, went from a 60 waist to a 32.
“It hurt for about 10 days,” he said. “But after that, it was fantastic - he was fantastic. His beside manner was incredible. I missed one of my follow up appointments when I had the knee replaced, and he called me up and asked where I was. I was really impressed.”
B.G, said he opted for the body lift for health reasons - to stop the soft tissue infections - but it has been a big plus for his appearance.
“I was always confident, but once you do this, it really brings back the confidence,” he said. I’m normal for my size, not out of proportion. I always carry a picture of me from when I weighed over 400 pounds. I take it out and say, “Look at this - I don’t look the same anymore.” It’s nice not having the infections anymore, and when you lose the weight, the fat, the skin, it does a lot for your confidence. The scar is no big deal - it’s already about 50 percent gone and you can always cover it up with a bathing suit.”
B.G, advises patients considering a total body life to read and research the procedure, and then get the best doctor available, and the one you feel most comfortable with.
“I figure at least 30 percent of it is the doctor and another 20 percent is your own mental well-being,” he said. “And a doctor like Dr. Shah helps you with the mental well-being too. He is very meticulous in what he does, a hell of a nice man, and I wish him all the best.”