Reconstruction Misery

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5 years post DCIS surgery and radiation, I decided...

5 years post DCIS surgery and radiation, I decided it was time to restore my breasts to a more normal appearance. I had implants from before that had gotten encapsulated, so I wanted implant exchange, and my right breast was considerably smaller due to surgery and radiation. I had an unfavorable experience with Dr Azar.
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon

I'm very dissatisfied with dr Azar. I went in originally to talk to him about a laser he does for face, and left his office signed up for breast reconstruction from DCIS lumpectomy, and implant exchange. Dr Azar said he was an expert at this, and I believed him. The end result of the shape of my breasts and the implants is actually ok. One problem was he made my left breast nipple about 4 times the size of my right nipple. He attempted to fix it twice in his office, but it was exactly the same after! He said my skin kept stretching. (I have since had my nipples fixed and the new doctor fixed them on first attempt.) I asked him if he could try to make the right one bigger then? He said he was afraid of necrosis because I had radiation in that breast, 5 years before, and wouldn't take the chance. (I had 4 consultations with other surgeons later, and all of them agreed the chance of necrosis after 5 years was very slim.) He also performed micro liposuction on my abdomen to do fat transfer to fill up my right breast more, and make it look more natural. Well I guess he took too much fat, I'm slender to begin with, and left me with horrible dents in my tummy. You could see them through clothes. On a side note, it didn't improve the look of my right breast either. He then said he would do a trusculpt on my tummy to try and get rid of the dents and bulges he gave me. That didn't work either. Then he did more liposuction to try and even out my tummy. That didn't work. I finally gave up and consulted 4 other surgeons. They all had a different thought on how to try to fix my nipples and tummy. I decided on dr Georgeanna Huang, and I'm very pleased with the results on my nipples and tummy. It cost me more money, which I really didn't want to have to pay after dr Azar's steep fee, but I was so unhappy and self conscious, and just wanted to get on with my life! I gave him many chance to correct his work, for more than a year, but ultimately he couldn't get it right. One more thing that really bothered me- when he gave me his price, I asked him if I went in network of my insurance company would it cost me less money? His answer was, "no. Because you only had a lumpectomy, insurance companies don't cover reconstruction usually. I'm giving you a really good price, and if I am able to get anything from insurance great, but I will not charge you more if they don't. His quote for surgery was for over $20,000.00, but charged me around 13,000.00. Subsequent to the surgery, way after the fact, I was talking to my insurance company. I was told that if I had gone in network, I would have only had to pay $2,500.00! That California had a law to require all insurance companies to provide reconstruction post cancer to both breasts. It's hard for me to believe that Dr Azar was not aware of this law. His surgery manager, reiterated all the same things Dr Azar said about insurance reimbursement. She even went as far as to say," don't call them to talk to them about this surgery. Let me handle it, it's the best chance for any reimbursement, and it might keep them from paying any of the hospital charges." So I listened to them, and believed them. What a sucker I was.

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