Laser and Dermatology Institute (LDI) / Unprofessional conduct
I would like to add my voice to the many who found the LDI Istitute unprofessional in both their buisness practices and bedside manner. I am an independent, not affiliated with any competitor practice but I am a vetran of a number of procedures, know the going rate for various procedures and am an instructor in anatomy & physiolgy who works with future members of the medical profession during their early education.
I, like others, heard the LDI advertisement on the radio and was drawn by the new "radiofrequency" treatment they spoke of, and I quote from their website: "radiofrequency - medical device is used for non-surgical face lift and skin tightening. The procedure is an advanced way to tighten skin with the touch of a sophisticated computerized treatment tip to the skin. It requires no incisions and no recovery time. Excellent results can be seen with just one treatment."
Upon my arrival to the Covina office, I found their office occupied the entire full floor with a large front desk similar to a hotel check in, an enourmous but dingy waiting room. The only forms I filled out asked my name, age, medical intrest and what my occupation was. I found this limited and odd.
I was called back quickly by a very rude female assistant who seated me in a small room. On the way back, I did pass the "fancy pants" suit guy on my way to the back but had no interactiion with him.
The assistant's only questions involved what I'd had done previously.
When I commented that I'd had a phenol peel in the mid 1980's and thought it was one of the best things I'd ever done, she snapped quickly " you nned to know that is an illegal procedure" I respsonded that board-certified plastic surgeons were still advertising it. and she just smirked in my direction.
When I mentioned that I had mico-droplets of silicone put into the croners of my mouth in the early 1980's she said "the Dr. will likely want to have nothing to do with you" It seems something about even the tiny drops (less that a pea-sized volume) causing major complications for the greater procedure.
I was with the assistance maybe 2 minutes. The doctor soon entered and
told me that my treatment of choice would not give me the result I was after and I needed this whole battery of assorted lasers treatments. He graciously agreed that he'd just avoid the 3mm. diameter areas on each side of my mouth to avoid what he called "crystalization of the silicone that happened when laser was applied to the surface. He also said excising the silicone was impossible. He left and within 30-45 seconds the assistant returned with my 4-5 part "treatment plan" that had been miraculously developed by the doctor in that same 30-45 seconds. Each treatment was going to be $5, 000!!. Easily a total exceeding $15-20, 000
I was on the verge of leaving this sleazy place based on the attitude of the staff alone but the quoted cost was the catalyst. I told the assitant that I was no dummy and that I knew what the standard price for the different procedures were and that I was not pouring $20, 000 into a face that I am regularly told looks 10-15 years younger than my actual age. She responded that "our office is very competitive and if you are not interest in paying it, I suggest you go see your medical friends".
My total involvement with LDI lasted a total of less than 15 minutes.
There are good people out there, professional, reasonably priced and with enough interest to spend meaningful time with their patients and not bully them into excessively priced procedures. All bet these folks get lots of walk-outs and the few that can be fooled into overpaying may or may not enough up with good results comparable to what could be found elsewhere at a fraction of the cost.
To top it off I got a voice message on my phone this afternoon from LDI with the caller noting that I'd "failed to make my sceduled consultation appointment and I needed to call them to reschedule"!!