Should Have Been a Simple Implant Replacement - Los Angeles, CA

Pros: seems to have a very good internet watchdog...

Pros: seems to have a very good internet watchdog keeping his presence up and policing people's ratings. What doctor has NO ratings of less than five stars?

Cons: I came to him with a simple need of replacing a deflated implant. A relatively simple procedure: Open me up, pop out the old (10 year old) implants of moderate 270 cc smooth, round, saline, pop in new ones of smooth round silicon. I told him I LOVED my old implants, had enjoyed ten years of B+ cup bliss, and didn't want any major changes. My wonderful, original surgeon was across the country and for something this simple it didn't seem worth the inconvenience of flying back to her. I told Stevens that I wanted the new ones to be as close to what I had as possible -- to keep them feeling natural, unobtrusive, able to move freely within the pocket. I specifically told him I did not want more than the moderate profile I had had, that I LIKED that they slid to the sides like real breasts when I lay on my back rather than pointing up towards the sky at attention. I had had no capsular contracture with the original implants so that was not something that needed to be taken into consideration. Dr Stevens and I seemed to be on the same page and, though he came off as rather aloof, he seemed to have stellar ratings from his patients so I went ahead and had the procedure.

Big Mistake. I woke to find that he had done what he felt like. He had used MODERATE PLUS profile TEXTURED implants and REWORKED my perfectly good pockets to bring them closer together and create the cleavage he was sure I wanted (but hadn't asked for). I now had implants that because of the texture, unnaturally stayed fixed to my chest, my new cleavage pointing upward when I lay on my back. Because they were Moderate Plus Profile, they projected further out than my previous implants. I could have just lived with it, chocked it up to my stupidity of not going back to my original surgeon but things got worse.

After the swelling came down, I noticed what felt like a crease in the bottom of one of the breasts, like a ridge in the implant. At my first follow up I asked about it and Stevens denied there was anything of consequence there. That it would all work itself out, give it time, nothing to be worried about. The crease got worse and along with it was a feeling that one of the breasts was firmer than it had been the first couple of weeks. At the next appointment, this was also dismissed as my premature worrying, that these were two breasts, two separate operations and you can't compare the two as each heals at its own rate (normally a very valid point). I said, "but this same breast used to be softer right after the operation, when it was SWOLLEN and should, if anything, have felt firmer..." As he turned to go, Dr. Stevens said, "Stop worrying. We'll see you back in a year for the annual exam and if you then FEEL YOU WANT me to go back in to take a look around, I will. You'll only have to pay the facility fee (his facility) and the anesthesiologist's fee."

Basically, his demeanor struck me as a little burned out and bored with the whole situation. But I tried to trust him and waited... and waited as the wrinkle got worse (could be seen and not just felt) and not just one but both breasts got firmer... and one of them dropped, as its fold started to drop. Time for a second opinion. When the second p.s. told me that I had bilateral capsular contracture, a lowering of the breast fold and something "odd" going on in the bottom of the breast, I decided it was time to fly back and see my original surgeon. She examined me and was AMAZED at the virtual trifecta of augmentation complications I had from what should have been such an easy procedure. And as for the mysterious crease in the bottom of my breast -- she said, "he cut your muscle (not good) and didn't repair it properly -- and what you feel IS A FOLD IN YOUR IMPLANT BECAUSE IT IS FALLING THROUGH THE MUSCLE BREAK. It's particularly obvious because he used textured implants which have a thicker wall so you feel the edges a lot easier. Textured implants are not used by most breast surgeons anymore." I asked why he would have used them. She said, "textured implants bond with the breast tissue so they don't move in the pocket which makes them feel less like real breasts but they make the average surgeon's job easier and more predictable cause they know that once they place the implant, it's staying there." This summer I had my breasts repaired by her -- capsulectomies, fold fixing, etc. It was a four hour operation to repair everything! They look fantastic so far and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that none of the complications comes back. So my advice is this: learn from my mistake and don't compromise for convenience. Educate yourself and accept nothing less than the best surgeon (wherever they are) that you can find.

5 Comments

Thank you for sharing your story. I went in for fat transfer consultation about a month ago at his office. but ended up making decision on having Breast Augmentation instead. My surgery date is next month, but i'm glad that I read this ..your experience with that doctor's office. such an eye opener for me. because I just read all the 5 star reviews, all the reviews made me believe that he was the top surgeon in Los Angeles. I don't doubt that he is the best for breast lift, and mommy makeover, and many other procedures . ..but clearly, not the breast augmentation expert. It made me realize that I need to research and study more about implants company he uses, and before & after pictures on his website. I didn't really looking into the details of the each case# and photos before. But i now found out that more than half of the before & after pics aren't done by him. If you read carefully for each case#, the ones that looking fake (boobs has volume on center, or asymmetrical), are done by him. I can totally see how you described the cleavage he created without listening to your wish. I don't want my boobs to look fake either! I want the natural look & feel. I'm thinking about cancelling my surgery. Thank you!
  • Reply
Hi Jeanne, Just seeing your review 11 mos later. I had the same PS as you and had the SAME UNFORTUNATE experience - twice. Yup. Even though a dr has more good ratings than bad doesn't mean his office mgr is editing them. First time despite he and I agreeing on natural sloping "soccer mom" breasts his stuck in hi profiles that made me look like a stuffed turkey on xmas day every day - ugh. I even got unkind comments when I wore a snug turtle necks or low neck tops. He also gave me the ribbed implants. As a result I never got used to the implants as I could always feel them despite him saying they will feel like my own. 2nd op - within the first 5 years one implant deflated so he replaced both for me (my mistake to go back to him). I asked to go a cup smaller. I ended up with the same cup size but lower profile implant - still ridgey, yuck AND this time for kicks he messed up my nipple. He said that is just what the skin did. Hmmm. Within a few months I experienced a fold in one implant - he told me the same dang thing as you - it should work itself out in 6 months as he was turning and walking out the door before I was done with him. I kept asking my questions as though he wasn't abandoning our post op appt which forced him to stay. He said to contact him for the same deal as yours if the fold was still there in 6 months - I did, several times. No one in his office would talk to me or return my calls or emails. Today - I am facing a 2nd revision in only 10 years of having implants due to the fold and now painful scar tissue building up from the fold. I've decided to go a different route. Explant and internal breast lift. I don't see myself on the operating table for elective surgery every 5 years as I head into my "golden" years (49 now). I'm confused as to how to select an honest, skilled dr - Stevens had and has so many excellent reviews but I'm sure the average and below average reviews are quickly deleted. He's rich he can afford staff to do it. He was even listed as one of the "top drs of America". The only red flag I ignored was when I asked how many BA's do you do weekly the number sounded way too high. Like the conveyor belt of a fast food shack. "Micky D breasts anyone?" You are right Jeanne - he must be burned out and bored. PS - I wonder if he had a female intern do my 2nd op as he included her in my last post op (didn't ask my permission). I wish they had to video our operations for us to review afterwards - gross I know but that's how little trust I have after my experience with the burned out Dr. Stevens. Sorry you had to go through what I did with the same subpar dr (stinks that he botched up your perfectly good BA). I hope you are still doing well now!
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Jeanne,

That's really too bad that you had such a frustrating experience.  I am glad you were able to get them how you wanted them despite the complicated journey you had to get there.  This is just a guess but maybe your doc has a developed a certain style based on the kind of requests in that area.  Being in L.A. he is likely used to hearing "I want better closer cleavage w high profile".  That sounds about right to me.  Most women I hear complaining of their cleavage being too far apart and the movement of their implants too far into the armpit direction.  But even if your requests were a little different, I am surprised that the communication didn't get through and he didn't pay attention to what you were emphasizing.  So where did you fly back for your original dr?  I feel like there is a huge difference between some of the Ohio breast augs I've seen compared to the Arizona ones I see now.  You are very right, I have said the same - You can never be too educated about all the details and possible complications that may come with a potential surgery and always go with your gut and make sure your dr is on the same page as you up to until the time you are on the operating table.    I hope everything continues to work out with your new revision!
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Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

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