Failed Breast Cancer Reconstruction Surgery - Leawood, KS

I came to this doctor after being referred to him...

I came to this doctor after being referred to him by my oncologist. I was told he was top notch. What I got was not top notch! I had a bilateral breast reconstruction, with tissue expanders, after a previous failure, Almost immediatly I had trouble breathing. When I told Dr. Cannova he told me that he wasn't aware of why that would be happening but that he would only take responsibility for his reconstruction portion and to go see my primary. I suffered for 3 weeks of hard to breath, severe fatigue and ill health. I didn't make it that far and ended up in the ER with a c/scan showing my tissue expander had tore away from my chest wall and was in my abdomen cavity. Dr Cannova had then put in my reports that my doing gardening caused the failure!! (Any woman knows that after a bilateral mastectomy with breast reconstruction and a collapsed lung could not do anymore than the advised walking that the Dr recommends post surgical). After that he had to acknowledge the issue and took me back into surgery to correct the tissue expander failure. Many months later when my next surgeon retained my medical records to try to correct this poor standard of care, Dr Cannova's operative report showed "compromised sterility". Not understanding this I asked my new Surgeon to clarify this for me. He then showed me the report in which Dr. Cannova had made a choice to reuse my tissue expander after just rinsing it off. This decision set me up with failure and severe infections, which he denied on my reports. I continued to have problems with fills, swelling, redness, pus, fever and general decline of health related to his care. Eventually he told me he would have to remove the expander and we would have to retry again in 4-6 mos. So a 3rd surgery to remove the expanders was done and left me very disfigured with softball sized holes in my chest wall. It was was a nightmare from hell. I will say that I had a prior failed surgery from a previous surgeon when I was referred to him. At first, I thought highly of him for this willingness to help me to a good result, but after learning that he made a choice against the recommended medical rules to never reuse an implant, and he chose to do it still, my opinion of him changed. I went suffered so much, and I will say even though he offered to do it again in 4-6 months, I choose to consult with a top surgeon out of state-which was successful for me. Dr. Cannova left me feeling rejected, isolated, and horribly disfigured. I should have caught the warning signs when I experienced the "guard dog mentality of his Nurse Christine. When I had questions or issues she was his front defense and guard. He would allow her to answer my questions when he was right there in front of me. She was somewhat confrontational, not friendly and spoke for him, when he should have been answering the questions. He was following surgery, not a hands on doctor, lacking in empathy and instead having the nurses do most of my rechecks. Several times he was out of town during rechecks and another doctor refused to do my fills. This is a doctor I would avoid at all costs and not worth a chance of failure on your Breast cancer reconstruction needs. When I went to another state to get care, that state required MRSA testing before surgeries, and I had MRSA. Prior to his last surgery, the repair surgery, I have pictures showing severe infection. I also learned that my summer of multiple IV's of Vancomyacin is used to treat infections, although he consistently showed me that blood tests did not find infections. I now know the truth. He was not the Top Doctor he has been advertised to be. Please be advised that this doctor turned out to be my nightmare doctor. Be very wise in choosing a surgeon, it could cost you your life. I will be filing a complaint to the Kansas Board of Doctors, so that other patients will have the information to make a real informed choice not only for their surgery needs but for their choice in a good doctor.


what a nightmare !! and reusing and expander ?!!! this idiot should have his license pulled !!!
  • Reply
Heartbroken for you Dwana and so sorry for all you have endured. Most important is that you have endured thus far, are of strong spirit and are getting the assistance you need to support your continued recovery. Your Informative, brave review shines a light on areas the med community glosses over. My stomache turns everytime I see the ads to the right of reviews in which Dr's self-proclaim themselves to be a "______Expert". You've educated us as to why we must ask the hard questions re/ # of infections, MRSA's, disasters, fails, do-over's, and # of less than desirable results the MD's have incurred. My thoughts are w/ you.
  • Reply
These horrible stories make me sick!! After we have gone through everything we've gone through, we have to deal with these surgeons who think they are bigger than GOD! I just wound up in the hospital myself with a severe bacterial Cellulitis in my right breast and implant. No one, including the infectious disease team could figure out what or why caused the infection! I had my implants in 1 year ago and was planning to have my nipples done in October. Besides that, I was seeing a second opinion PS About the corrections that needed to be made because my PS was being cocky about my weight and I felt like he had lied to me about being able to repair some divots in my breasts. All of a sudden, he said they can't be fixed!!! But he can do the lipo that " I will never forget because it's gonna hurt really bad!" He is just a very pompous surgeon who for some reason, treats u nice one minute and the next he is insulting you about weight which has nothing to do with the implants currently!!!! He is one of the top surgeons in Boston.... Beware and if you are sensitive, don't use him!!'
  • Reply
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon

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