FINALLY: Successful Revision Surgery After a Bad Reconstruction - Scottsdale, AZ

I had a bilateral mastectomy in August of 2013 and...

I had a bilateral mastectomy in August of 2013 and immediate reconstruction with tissue expanders, followed by exchange to implants in late December of 2013. Unfortunately for me, Dr. Parson was NOT my original plastic surgeon. As time passed, I found my original plastic surgeon to be very aloof and condescending which did nothing to assuage my fears. I was continually told to ‘wait and see’ and after several months it was quite obvious that nothing was going to change no matter how long I waited. My implants were asymmetrical and one was distorted. My left breast appeared to be huge, even though the implants were exactly the same size, while the right side was small and never migrated into the pocket. The left had dropped a little below the IMF and the distortion on that side was painful and getting worse as time passed.

Thus, I began a search for someone to help me put the pieces back together again and feel some semblance of normal. I knew enough about reconstruction revisions - thanks to the wonderful women of Breastcancer.org - that I wasn’t hoping for perfection, just a pain free result that I no longer had to camouflage each and every day.

Just let me save everyone in or around the Phoenix, Arizona area a lot of time and trouble, and tell you that Dr. Shaun Parson is that guy. It is difficult enough to find someone who still specializes in reconstruction, let alone someone who will attempt to correct another plastic surgeon’s surgical ineptitude. From our first consultation, Dr. Parson was kind, considerate, and listened to me and my concerns. Together we worked out a plan to resolve the asymmetry, the flat spots, the rippling and a resolution to the internal scarring that we assumed was causing the pain and distortion issues. For the first time, I felt as though my needs were relevant and I was very much involved in my own revision surgery.

The procedure was early on a Monday and I was home by mid afternoon with minimal pain and discomfort. I was heavily bandaged and was told that I must remain so until my post op appointment on Thursday. I tried not to have my expectations set too high, and was just hoping for a decent outcome this time. As soon as the dressings came off, I was delighted to see that I had ended up with AWESOME!

Today is the anniversary of my bilateral mastectomy and for a very long time I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about that. But now that the date has arrived, I am finally and undeniably happy. After an incredibly long year of pain and disappointment, I’ve been resurrected by Dr. Shaun Parson. I’m finally at peace with my own body. Do yourself a favor and call his office now. You will never be sorry.
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Parson’s empathy and concern are only surpassed by his exceptional surgical skills and perfectionism. I am eight weeks out from the revision surgery and I have been pain free since the first week. I look and feel wonderful, and no longer have to think about my foobs every day. I would highly recommend Dr. Parson to anyone and everyone. My only regret is that he wasn’t my initial plastic surgeon - but then hindsight is always 20/20. I’m still very grateful that Dr. Parson was willing to accept the rather daunting task of cleaning up someone else’s reconstruction fail, and making me feel whole again. He is kind and caring and even took the time to personally call to check in on me the evening of my surgery.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (20)

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Wow, they look amazing! I'm still in the tissue expansion phase, but would be ecstatic with results like yours!
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Thanks very much, miatbt! I'm really pleased with how things turned out, as my results far surpassed even my wildest dreams. (After all, look where I started...) Wishing you the very best possible results on your journey as well!
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You look great !!!
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Thanks, Trinalll! I saw your pictures and your results are gorgeous! Hope you’re doing well!
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I am, thank you.
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In May 2013 I had BILATERAL MASTECTOMY with expanders under muscle. Then smooth, round silicone implants. I had asked about tear drop shaped silicone implants because my friend in Indiana had that done and they looked beautiful!. My surgeon said they didn't do the shaped silicone implants under the muscle but, maybe in the near future? My friends weren't under the muscle and were held in place with mesh. As with your implant problems, mine were uneven and the right implant (the one that had the cancer) had a pocket at he bottom that didn't get filled with the implant, even though the plastic Surg promised that he could do some "fat grafting" to fix that. I also had such a tight suture on the side of each breast that I had what looked like "A Major Line of Bra Fat" that ran from the bottom of my breast all the way along under my arm to just before my back!!! It was not there before I went to sleep and it was there when I woke up! The worst part is that my Plastic Surg is blaming my 10 lb weight gain on all of the imperfections!!! (Like I said, it wasn't there when I went to sleep and it was there when I woke up)!' Plus, he met me at chemo weight when I was so sick, I couldn't eat anything. So, of course I gained a few pounds over the next year. Anyway, now I have been referred by my breast surgeon who did the mastectomy to another Plastic for a second opinion. He believes that my implants are too high and too wide for my body (which I agree with but am nervous about changing my implants and surgeons!). They now make, and he believes that a "Tear Drop Shaped Gummy Bear Silicone Implant" would be the best size and shape for my body. The wider and heavier shape at the bottom of the tear drop " Gummy Bear" will fill in the extra space in the mastectomy pocket and the risk of the implant turning sideways in the "Gummies" has been 0%!! I was planning on going for either my nipple surgery and liposuction on the "bra fat" with my original plastic Surg. In October or, possibly going for new implants with the new Plastic Surgeon in the same month. But, I had a set back!!! I wound up getting sick with pneumonia or the flu which then lead to a very severe Bacterial Cellulitis in my right breast! (The breast that had the cancer 2 yrs ago but is missing lymph nodes now!). I had to be admitted to the hospital in Boston for 5 days on IV Antibiotics plus oral and we found this during my routine 4 month Oncology appt. So, found that my potassium was extremely low so "let's go blow my veins some more with, not only Vancomycin but, bags and bags of potassium as well!!! This was long and I know I have to wait a while now because of the infection, but could someone give me some advise about the "Gummie Bear Implants" I hate the look of my breasts but I don't want to make a huge mistake!!! It just makes me so mad that the first thing that comes out of the surgeons mouth is " So, how many pounds have you put on? And I haven't even put that much weight on!!!
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I think most plastic surgeons only do the procedure (and use the implants) that they’re most comfortable with and never venture very far from either one. Unfortunately, breast reconstruction just isn’t one-size-fits-all and sometimes you have to get creative to remain relevant. I’m sorry for what you’ve been through and what you continue to go through due to the infection. I actually have no firsthand knowledge of gummy bear implants as mine have been Mentor rounds both times. I do know that a lot of what will be the best ‘fit’ for you is determined by your particular body type and height, as well as your medical history. I hope that your infection has cleared up and that your wait for resolution won’t be any longer than medically necessary. Good luck to you!
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research as to wether the gummy bear implants are textured..i think they are. and that adds a lymphoma risk because of the texturing coming off..view dr kolb on utube about it..there is so much to learn about this reconstruction stuff it is overwhelming...I would be terribly upset if my ps treated me like you have been treated..sure hope you can find a more compassionate doctor
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Do not get shaped implants... Mine are flat and I've read that other breast recons with shaped implants got the same result as I did... Unfortunately I did not know this before and I am aslo looking for a revision...
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Ps. They look so much better now! Good for you!
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Thank you! I really hope you find someone to help you as much as Dr. Parson has helped me. Don't give up, there's always hope. ;-)
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I too, have several unacceptable conditions one year post mastectomy and reconstruction. My right breast had a reduction and lift, my nipple, although,y real nipple, has no sensation, lays flat constantly and the scar underneath the breast is awful. My left breast had an expander and silicone implant 12 weeks later. My left breast is painful, hard, flat, has a large fold of fat from the top to the middle, many flat area, rippling and divot like holes. I can't even lay on my belly due to the pain. My left chest is sooo tight still despite stretching and exercises. It looks awful. When I saw the PS last week, she said she could try some fat grafting again, ( last time almost no fat remained after four weeks) but. Other than that, I would have to live with it? This is not acceptable to me. She is very matter of fact about it and basically doesn't care. I asked her, " if in this day and age, you can take a MAN and give him a vagina and great looking brests, you expect me to believe this is the best you can do!" I made an appointment with a different surgeon for a second opinion. If he says the same, so it is, but I'm hoping I can find someone in the Boston area who can help.
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I know what you mean, Nanamama. You start to wonder if looking ‘normal’ is too much to ask. After my former PS said, "There's only so much that can be done with reconstruction… what did you expect?” I wasn’t sure what to think. But that wasn’t an acceptable answer for me either and I moved on from her… So don’t give up; they aren’t all that narrow minded. There’s someone out there unbiased enough to help you – and with both the experience and the surgical skills to back it up.
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Made an appointment with a new PS next month. I am just looking for someone who will give me hope that I can get a better result. We shall see. Thanks for the support.
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Glad to hear it! I had a couple of ‘not very promising’ consultations before I found just the right surgeon, so don’t get discouraged if this one doesn’t pan out - the right one is out there. Wishing you the best of luck! I'd be interested to know how it goes…
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"They" look excellent. I had a double MX 2012 . I'm somewhat unhappy with my 600 cc replacements,I have that similar shelf or bump on my left side and hate it everyday, my PS also had that same !!! Attitude after the surgery....and 1 failed nipple reconst ion....so I figured I should just deal with it and move on...I'm now considering revision looking at you;) do you know if your surgeon used teardrop implants or smooth round? They look really really great.
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Thanks very much, arak131! 'The girls' are Mentor high profile rounds. ;-) He used two different sizes to attain symmetry. The right side is 650ccs and the left is 550ccs - I know, odd but true. So make sure the PS you choose is willing to 'adjust' things to fit your body shape. He also used fat grafting during the revision surgery to address any rippling or flat spots, and that has made a big difference in the end result. I was a little leery about the fat grafting at first, but I am now a huge proponent of the procedure. I thought long and hard about going through a revision; but once I found Dr. Parson, it was much easier to take that leap of faith. I’m living proof that you don’t have to settle for whatever your former PS deemed to be ‘adequate’. After all we’ve been through, I don’t think it’s too much to ask to be able to look in the mirror and be happy with what you see. ;-)
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Thank you for that response!!! I needed to hear that! I always said, any of the movie stars that had mastectomies, I guarantee you, they didn't look like mine for sure!!!!! Like you said, all we've gone through, we deserve to have the best turn out with our surgery! And, I had 2 opinions before I had the original surgery. It's bad, living in Boston with one of the very best Cancer Centers in the US, that I'm going through another opinion because my surgeon is sooo busy and a bit tooo Cocky!!! He was very good, known as one of the very best, but, just tooo much EGO!!! Too bad !
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I am so happy for you. Your results are gorgeous ! And your doctor is fabulous. Your review is one of the top, well written posts that i have read ! Good news for you and a great recommendation for your Doctor. Awesome. :) *jeanie
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Thanks, Jeanie! As you know, trust is key on the emotional roller coaster that breast cancer becomes. There are so many aspects of it that are completely out of our control; and sometimes the only thing we can do is seek out that one surgeon who’s on the same page you are - someone who gets it - and then put your faith in him. ;-)
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