40's Mom with 255cc BA That Backfired. 7 Weeks Post Op, Seeking Opinions for Revision - San Francisco, CA

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I'm here to share the story of my botched BA,...

I'm here to share the story of my botched BA, hoping to share my lesson learned and get some professional opinions on where to go from here.

I got my BA in mid April. I’d never really considered plastic surgery and while unhappy with my lack of breasts throughout my teens and twenties, I found peace in my thirties, got married, had kids etc. I wore a 36A bra and while I could never fill it out it was ok.

Then last year one of my best friends decided to get a BA and it piqued my curiosity. She sought out one of the top surgeons in the area, her results were stunningly natural, and her surgery was a breeze. We were out to dinner a couple of days later and she raved about how excited she was to go swimsuit shopping.

And for the first time, in my forties I wondered what it would be like to actually feel good about my body for once. And so I decided to go for it and with the same surgeon.

My doctor went to a top school, has been practicing for twenty plus years, has a bustling practice, and has graced the pages of fashion magazines and best-of lists. I hit it off with her in my consultation and knew we were in sync on aesthetics and the idea of going small. She looked at my breasts and she said I was a great candidate.

A week before surgery I had my pre op sizing appointment and that’s when it started to go south. A nurse put me in a room with some disclosures to sign, a bag of implants, a sizer bra and made some suggestions. The doctor was running late and I was on my own for nearly an hour before she came in, rushed, and asked what I was debating. I told her I just wanted to be a B cup. She put the 255cc in the bra and said that would be a B and I said ok. She said she was excited to see me in surgery the next week.

The day of surgery I met with the anesthesiologist who explained what would happen and shortly after I was escorted into the OR and seated on the operating table. My surgeon wasn’t there and the nurse said she must be on her way. But she wasn’t. So they started paging her. The anesthesiologist left and the nurse said she’d call him when my doc showed up. More paging. Then the nurse said “She better show up soon. We have a hard out today.” I was filled with dread knowing my surgeon was going to be rushed. The nurses and I made awkward small talk about remodeling, the virtues of uber, rent control, and one’s own experience with a BA. I studied the trays of surgical instruments and got increasingly uncomfortable, missing the pre op lounge. More paging.

Finally she arrived and apologized and said she was on the phone. She flipped open my chart, confirmed my 255s and asked me to stand so she could make some markings and it all happened within a minute or two.

Post op I removed the ace bandage and I was confused. For one I still had an electrical lead glued on my torso which reminded me again what a hurry they were in. But my right side incision was at least a half inch below my inframammary fold and below my bra line. The left side incision was directly in the fold. My right side also felt weirdly lateral. To top it off I put on my 36A bra and I could just barely fill it.

I raised the concerns at my post op appointment and she said I had pre existing asymmetry and she had to drop the fold on the right side in order to make the distance between the nipple and the fold more equal. She said my breasts looked pretty big to her. I was surprised since this asymmetry stuff was new info but I was also relieved to hear it was her intent to mitigate it by dropping the fold, and glad she was happy with the size. I trusted her and agreed to wait and see.

Seven weeks post op (pictured) I went back to see her and said my left side is high and socked in. It’s firm and barely moves. My right side slides around and is quite low. My underwire bra rides up and cant seem to support it. There’s also no curve from the fold under my right nipple toward my medial line.

She asserts that my left breast is so firm because there is more original breast tissue there and the pockets are indeed the same size. She said there’s nothing she can do about my right side because of my pre op anatomy and breast tissue. She can’t dissect the pocket to allow for a curve under the breast because there is no breast tissue there and there is risk of a double bubble.

She said I'm early for a revision since my left could drop up to another centimeter but if I'm too anxious she can drop my left implant and possibly swap that side to a smaller implant to match the right.

She offered if I want her to, she will open up my right and can try putting a couple stitches in to tighten it up but there’s nothing that will move the implant toward the medial line. She said if the fullness under my arm is bothering me then I should get a smaller implant. I definitely don't want to go smaller.

I am lost and full of regret. I considered having them removed altogether but with the right side scar below my natural fold and bra line I feel like there’s no undoing it.

I don't love that my surgeon is asking me to decide whether to open up my right side or not. And the idea that she believes or pretends that this is an acceptable plastic surgery outcome has shaken my confidence. I just want someone to advise me on a course of action that will result in attractive breasts and am currently seeking second opinions.

And painful lesson learned: Its important it is to ask what sort of results to expect and how it will be achieved.

What I look like in a bra

Wanted to show share how my breasts look in a bra. No bras are comfortable because of the heavy pull and bulging on the right. I have a constant feeling of wanting to lift and move my breast into a bra but it won't stay there. That is regardless of whether I am in a soft bra or an underwire. In an underwire bra the breast pushes the underwire away from my skin and it sort of floats near the bottom of the implant. The top of my underwire bras pucker because there's no fullness in the right upper pole. Meanwhile I have cleavage on the left that I can't hide no matter what I do. In this tank bra you can see how the incision is well below the bra line too.

I cannot wear swimwear, v-necks or scoop necks, or anything that is cut lower than my collar bone.

Revision July 2015 - bad to worse

3 months post op, in July 2015, I went in for a revision.

I sought two additional opinions. Both docs said they didn't understand why she dropped the fold on my right as that breast was already lower to begin with, and said the pocket was overdissected. One doc wanted to operate right away and sent desperate follow ups which was off putting. The other doc maintained that I should go back to Chang and give her the opportunity to make it right. So that's what I did.

Dr. Chang, in a surprise development, diagnosed me with cap con on the left side and said that I'd need to replace the implant. At my pre op we revisited the conversation about revising the right and she maintained that the stitches may not hold but that she would try it if I wanted her to. I asked if my chance of cap con was higher having had it once and she said yes. I said then I just want to take care of the left. She could tell I was unsure and said I could think on it and decide on the day of surgery. She said she would get everything ready for bi lateral revision and that I could change my mind. The day of surgery came and in the OR she asked me what I decided and I said left only. Not worth the risk to revise the right especially with no guarantee it would hold. And she said ok.

Next thing I knew I woke up in recovery and my husband was there and said that Chang called him during surgery to tell him she had me sitting up and was going to proceed revising the right and she thought I would be happier. My husband, unaware of the conversations I had with her or the risks involved, acknowledged the update and that was that.

Within two weeks of surgery I could tell the right was getting hard and did not look normal. The left was dropped so low the scar was visible an inch above the fold, and a slight double bubble was evident. I went back to Chang and she said I had cap con on the right. I said that was why I didn't want to revise the right in the first place. And she said, well at least it is socked in now and it's not going anywhere. She was incredibly arrogant and rude. She told me my body just doesn't like implants.

I forgot to mention, immediately post op she also told me that because she revised the right and it took more time, it would change the costs. (Jaw dropping)

From there I returned to the other surgeon I liked and explained what had happened. He was shocked, supportive and compassionate. He said that it was cause for malpractice and what she had done was battery. I made a decision and she took that away from me while I was under anesthesia.

It's been so painful I haven't wanted to even post about it, much less take on a lawsuit. But it affects me daily and is a source of great distress. I am now more than a year post revision and cannot wear some dresses or swimsuits because it looks so bizarre. I took asthma meds and have massaged to no avail.

At this point I am saving for explant surgery and trying to find a good time to schedule it early next year. With a different surgeon of course. And I'm a little scared too. And upset and deeply ashamed. I haven't even been for my mammogram this year because I can't bear the thought of explaining my mistake to a stranger.

I just want to feel like my old self again. I didn't love the way I looked. But at least I didn't hate myself. And I felt like I owed this post to the community, hoping to save someone from Dr Chang or from a procedure at all. It's truly not worth it.
Dr. Carolyn Chang

My experience with Dr. Chang was a nightmare. I was convinced by her superior PR, minimalist glamour, and less-is-more approach to breast augmentation. But she was arrogant, greedy, sloppy, and profoundly insensitive.

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