Bilateral Breast Reconstruction for unilateral cancer

Bilateral mastectomies for unilateral infiltrating...

Bilateral mastectomies for unilateral infiltrating carcinoma with immediate tissue expander placement. SEVERE pain and muscle spasms started immediately post op and were unrelieved with pain meds +/or muscle relaxants. Plastic surgeon was very aggressive in pushing forward towards swap out but I ended up hospitalized because of intractable pain. Had to have expanders with only 280 and 340 ml volumes removed because Neurology wanted an MRI to rule out a brain leasion as the cause. Plastic Surgeon insisted on doing swap out to implant "to keep what we have already gained" She place 13.5 base/ 375 cc implants ( I had been a 40 D) 5 weeks later one had to be removed elsewhere after she wanted to treat a draining MRSA infection with oral antibiotics only. Pain and spasms on that side FINALLY resolved. She refuses to take out other implant (which has no projection , is hard and has a deep crease in the upper pole) claiming it is perfect and my continued pain and spams MUST be due to some neurologic problem despite the negative Neuro workup and symptom resolution with removal on the other side.

I am so sorry to hear of your challenges. You've been through enough emotionally and then you have to deal with this. I witnessed a relative that used an expander during reconstruction...I empathize with your pain. Which part of your treatment was for out of network care? Are you going to get additional opinions and consults? I'm glad to hear you don't have any neurological problems, but hoping you can find some pain (and mental anguish) relief soon. Take care and keep us posted!

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Beth is there some way to link my review to the provider? If you search my providers name there are no reviews. I now know of 2 other women with breast reconstruction disasters done by Dr. Figura and would really like to warn anyone else considering her. Also reconstructions are often several steps or multiple procedures and sometimes we change providers. What is the best way todo those posts?
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I have linked your doctor for you...thanks for pointing this out! I will get back to about your question regarding the best way to post for multiple procedures and new providers. ;)
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Pre Op Photos

Ok, so I'm fat. Really fat. Those pre- op photos don't hide a thing. But at age 55 and with 4 breast biopsies behind me the girls looked pretty good. Even the right side biopsy site with steri strip looks great (Thanks Dr. Duchini...you are the best)!! I wasn't expecting miracles with reconstruction, and I was even looking forward to getting rid of the roll-y bit that crept under my arm...(it kept getting in my way when I was doing surgery), but even though I am a physician / surgeon I was in no way prepared for how I was going to end up.

Revision procedure #4

Getting really good results. I can't say enough good things about my new surgeon. We are hopeful that another 2 or 3 scar release surgeries will have my chest and arm range of motion fully back to normal
so who is your new surgeon and how did they fix your pocket? did the old surgeon have before and after pictures of her work for you to look at?
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Erie Plastic Surgeon

Please do your research prior to committing to a major procedure with this provider. I knew she had failed her Board Certification exam at least once, but as a professional colleague I believed her when she stated that in order to avoid muscular disfunction from asymmetry which would affect my ability to work as a physician/surgeon that I would need bilateral mastectomies with reconstruction. Unfortunately her reconstruction caused severe pain and pectoral muscle dysfunction that required months off of work and physical therapy. I was told by Dr Figura that she had never seen these problems before, but the physical therapist and second opinion plastic surgeon in Erie both indicated that they were treating multiple patients of hers with similar problems. I developed an infection that was suboptimally managed forcing me to seek care elsewhere, and then she refused to provide and further follow up care, instead blaming me for the poor results and complications. So far I have had an additional 4 surgeries to correct my complications and may require several more. The $100,000 figure above is the insurance reimbursement plus my out of pocket costs for these additional procedures. Dr Figura was paid in full by my insurance (and paid very well...she was reimbursed far more than the surgeon who actually did the mastectomies). Since the corrective procedures have finally eliminated most of my chronic pain and restored most of my arm mobility and ability to resume work, the follow up procedures have been definitely worth it, only the initial reconstruction was not. Please, please, please investigate your alternatives prior to proceeding. I can only blame myself for not obtaining a second opinion, and I live with that regret every day.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
2 out of 5 stars Wait times
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