What is my recourse with a botched implant exchange that the surgeon won't take responsibility for?

I am 5 months post-op on an implant exchange. Within 1-2 weeks of surgery I noticed the left side implant was hanging below my breast and the right breast is very hard and high. I discussed this with my surgeon and they said a revision would be necessary at full cost. I got a second opinion and that surgeon said the pocket size and placement was wrong and should be fixed at no cost. My surgeon won't even talk to me; rather, having office staff give the bad news. What is my recourse?

Doctor Answers 4

Surgeon's have revision (usually written) polices

and you should find out what yours is.  I don't understand surgeons that charge full fees again to fix outcomes from their prior procedure as it suggests they have no responsibility in your outcome, when in fact they do.  And they lack empathy.  But if you have a contracture on your hard and high side, that is beyond your surgeon's responsibility but still covered by my own policy of one year post-op for revisions.

If your surgeon sticks to his position, you should go on-line and find every site where you can rate your physician and cut/paste your story with one star.. this being said that your outcome is truly related to what what done and that you did not have some horrendous pre-op situation as there are situations that are truly beyond our control.  And you can also ask your surgeon if he will pay for a second opinion and see what his 'friend' says.  

Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

How to manage unhappy results

It sounds as though you have capsular contracture of one side only.  This can make that side seem fuller and higher than the unaffected side.  Unfortunately, capsular contracture can happen to anyone and is an inherent risk of having a breast augmentation.  Seek out some more opinions on how to correct this.

Christopher Costanzo, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

How to Manage Breast Problems After Surgery

Hello Susana,

It sounds like you have a disappointing outcome.   I am sorry to hear about your case.  Revisional breast surgery is difficult in some cases because patients often present with an element of capsular contracture or poor breast position or soft tissue support. 

You likely  have a capsular contracture on your right side.   This can cause an asymmetric outcome.  It would be necessary to evaluate the left breast to know more about what the condition of that breast may be.

I would start with obtaining several consultations from highly qualified board certified plastic surgeons who do revisions commonly.  This would include doctors who have expertise in capsular contracture.  I would obtain all of your medical records from your most recent surgeon.   Put together a plan based on your consultations of what needs to be done.

Once you know where you are headed, you can contact your doctor in writing and express your thoughts.  I suggest not being hostile or angry in your letter.  Ask for help.   Understand that complications can occur, often not based on your doctor having done something wrong.  Try to reach an understanding with the surgeon on how to move forward.  It would not be in your former doctor's best interest to have you unhappy.  Some professional courtesy on his/her part would likely be the ethical thing to do.  Hope it works out for you! 

Stephen Bresnick, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 32 reviews


Thank you for the question and sorry for your complication but complications can occur even in the best of hands and usually it is not surgeon's error but Mother Nature not being kind.  So go on some more complimentary consultations and get unbiased opinions

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.