Should Have Been a Simple Implant Replacement - Los Angeles, CA
Pros: seems to have a very good internet watchdog...
- 26 Aug 2012
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.