Cannot Regret It More - Vancouver, BC

I decided to go for rhinoplasty as I was not happy...

I decided to go for rhinoplasty as I was not happy with appearance of my nose. It had never crossed my mind that it would be the worst experience in my life. This procedure ended up with very serious complications and caused very serious breathing problems that affected my life for so many years afterwards. Also, everything that went along with those complications and dealings with the surgeon caused so much emotional pain.
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon

This is my story about my experience with Dr. Andrew Denton. Being patient of Dr. Denton I consider to be the worst and the most damaging experience in my entire life (this is not exaggerating). My nose surgery (rhinoplasty) performed by Dr. Denton ended up with very serious complications that caused very serious breathing problems. It took multiple surgeries and many years to fix my breathing problems. This affected my life on so many levels. This also includes an extremely unique situation, extreme to the point that according to legal experts this is the only one time known that something like this happened. It happened that while Dr. Denton concealed identity of one participant in my botched surgery (who was involved in the surgery without my consent), another person (doctor) accepted responsibility and claimed that he had been involved in my surgery even though he had absolutely nothing to do with it. This situation went very far as this doctor accepted to be sued for participating in my botched surgery without my consent (that he had nothing to do with), had lawyer to represent him and was acting as a defendant in the Court proceeding for a period of time until I suspected that this doctor might not have anything to do with my surgery and raised that issue. Then this doctor responded to the Court that he indeed did not have anything to do with my surgery and that he even was not present at the clinic at the time of my surgery. After it turned out that doctor who was acting during legal action as someone who had participated in my botched surgery actually had nothing to do with my botched surgery Dr. Denton and his lawyer took another course of action. They wanted to obtain court order to take me to psychiatrist of their choice who would check my mental state to see if it might be that “because of my mental state” I was just “imagining” that another man had been involved in my botched surgery along with Dr. Denton and they started saying that it might be that actually no other man was there besides Dr. Denton. Dr. Denton’s lawyer was even talking in the Court about me alluding that I might have some psychological problems since I came to Canada from country that was affected by war and that it could be the reason why I had “impression” that some other man had been involved in my surgery. Of course, Dr. Denton and I knew very well that another man had been involved in the surgery. Dr. Denton did not leave any record or any kind of evidence of that other man’s presence and involvement in my surgery. What Dr. Denton and his lawyer were not aware of was that I had secretly recorded conversations between Dr. Denton and myself from the time when we talked about details of that other man’s involvement in my surgery. Dr. Denton and I especially argued a lot about lack of my consent for that other man to be involved in the surgery and about disclosing identity of that other man. It’s all on tapes. Tones of our voices prove that we both (Dr. Denton and I) knew very well who and what we were talking about. The audio recordings prove not only presence and involvement of that other man in the botched surgery, but also that Dr. Denton knew very well about that other men’s involvement in the surgery. So, even though Dr. Denton knew very well that another man had been involved in my surgery he and his lawyer wanted to get court order to take me to psychiatrist of their choice to check my mental state because I claimed that another man had been involved in my surgery with Dr. Denton. Obviously, Dr. Denton and his lawyer believed that the only evidence about presence and involvement of that other man in the surgery that could be presented was my testimony and they wanted to fight it (they did not know about secretly recorded conversations at the time). I believe that Dr. Denton and his lawyer wanted to find some psychiatrist who would accept to write down something as psychiatric assessment of me that would depict me as a not reliable witness. I believe that the purpose of that would be challenging my testimony about presence and involvement of another man with Dr. Denton in my botched surgery which would help Dr. Denton avoiding disclosing identity of that other man. There was history of Dr. Denton’s avoiding disclosing identity of man who had operated on me with him during surgery that ended up with very serious complications. For the whole time Dr. Denton was acting like disclosing identity of that other man would be extremely disastrous for him, so he had to do whatever it takes to avoid disclosing identity of that man. I wanted to know who that other man was and if his involvement in my botched surgery was legal (if he was properly licensed to practice in BC), but Dr. Denton was doing everything he could to avoid disclosing identity of that other man. Authorities were strongly against questioning doctor who falsely claimed involvement in the botched surgery for the court why or how it happened that he made those false claims and was acting as a defendant for the court. This situation was mostly treated as a taboo subject by authorities. Authorities also showed strong resistance towards investigating professional situation of this doctor at the time to compare it with his false claims made for the court. This investigation would help concluding if those false claims made for the court could be result of some innocent mistake/ confusion or because of his professional situation at the time this doctor would have to know every second of the time that he could not have anything to do with the surgery, but in spite of that he falsely claimed involvement in the surgery for the court and participated in legal action as defendant. This situation became the biggest obstacle for the case to be resolved as authorities showed unbelievable resistance towards it. Authorities simply collapsed in front of this situation. My story also includes my experience of trying to resolve issues with these people through authorities and find out identity of person who was involved in my botched surgery with Dr. Denton. Because of enormous amount of resistance of authorities towards this case it was not possible to be resolved by authorities. Therefore, I decided to publish my story. MY STORY I had my nose surgery(s) done by Dr. Andrew Denton at a private clinic – Willow clinic (the address was 205 – 777 West Broadway, Vancouver) years ago, where he was working at the time. During the consultation for the surgery Dr. Denton asked me a lot of questions about my personal life circumstances at the time, which was strange to me, but still I did not pay much attention to that at the time. For example, he asked me what I was doing for my living (I had a low paid job), he asked me who I had in Vancouver (I told him that I did not have anyone and that I had come to Canada alone not knowing any person in Canada). I was a fairly new immigrant at the time and it was my very first encounter with a surgical facility in Canada. After this consultation my surgery was booked by receptionist within couple of weeks ahead at 9 am. It happened that after that Dr. Denton rebooked the surgery and put it at the time when the clinic was supposed to be closed, two hours before the opening time of the clinic (the surgery was rebooked for 7 am and the opening time of the clinic was 9 am). On the day of the surgery when I arrived at the clinic (before 7 am) I first met one nurse. Since, there was no receptionist at the clinic yet, the nurse did paperwork before the surgery. Then Dr. Denton came. Dr. Denton took me to one of the offices to have pre-op consultation. While walking along hallway we passed one office where I saw a man sitting at a desk. The man had shoulder length dark wavy hair and I could not see his face well, only small part of it as I saw profile of his face only, while his face was mostly covered by his long hair. Dr. Denton and I entered the next office and Dr. Denton asked me if I saw the man in the other (the next door) office. When I replied that I did Dr. Denton told me that the man was a resident (medical trainee) and asked me if it would be OK if that other man would only watch my surgery. I agreed. Then Dr. Denton and I talked about the surgery. During our talk Dr. Denton would go back and forth from the office where we were having discussion about the surgery to the next door office where that other man was. Under these circumstances there was no chance for me to meet that man or see him face to face. Then Dr. Denton took me to the operating room and placed me on operating table and positioned my head back with my nose being up. Then I heard Dr. Denton talking to some man. That man told Dr. Denton that I was good looking. At that moment I moved my head up and forward in attempt to see that man and I saw a man with shoulder length dark wavy hair standing by the operating table close to my feet. Just for a moment I saw his face and then put my head back down. I remember that the man had a bit unusual face features. Then my surgery started. I was aware that the other man was also involved in the surgery despite Dr. Denton’s promise that he would only watch. I was aware of that as I was not under general anesthesia. I was under so called “twilight anesthesia”, meaning that I was slightly sedated intravenously to be relaxed and for pain control I received freezing in my nose area. So, being under that kind of anesthesia I was aware what was going on during the surgery and that that other man was involved in my surgery along with Dr. Denton and that they were talking all the time during my surgery. When my surgery was finished that other man was already gone, so I did not have chance to see him after the surgery. Dr. Denton did not make record in my chart about presence and involvement of that other man in my surgery, so officially it looks like that the other man has not been there at all. My surgery ended up with extremely serious complications, for unknown reason my bone on left side of my nose was broken all the way up until bellow my left eyebrow. It happened that the bone was cut all the way up on my left side and then one part of the bone shifted (overlapped) over the other. That shifting went all the way up until bellow my left eyebrow and the edge of the overlapping part of the bone could be felt under fingertips all the way up until bellow my left eyebrow. That very long break probably caused that two parts of the bone shifted one over the other and my nose collapsed. I believe that since the break was so long that bones were unstable and could not hold on in proper position. That was the beginning of my health/breathing problems. These complications caused problems with my breathing and I also had heavy nose bleedings. After this problematic surgery I would have five more surgeries over the course of several years in attempt to fix my breathing problems. Two of the following surgeries did Dr. Denton and three other did some other surgeon at a hospital. After three surgeries done by Dr. Denton (initial one and two following surgeries) I was still having breathing problems and I had hard time finding a surgeon who would be willing to do any procedure on my nose since I had four surgeries already done (one before coming to Canada and three done by Dr. Denton). I was told that I would need someone from the top of the field. Then, finally, I found a surgeon who was willing to fix my breathing problems. This surgeon fixed it with another three surgeries as there was so much work to do on my nose after surgeries done by Dr. Denton. The other surgeon completely reconstructed the whole nose. He used cartilage from my ear for reconstruction. After each surgery he did there was a significant improvement of my breathing. So, after these three surgeries he did my breathing is very good now and I believe that I am finally done with surgeries. Therefore, altogether I underwent seven nose surgeries (one before coming to Canada, three done by Dr. Denton in Vancouver and three done by some other surgeon, also in Vancouver). With Dr. Denton I paid only first surgery and two other surgeries he did free of charge. The last three surgeries (done by the other surgeon) were done because of health issues (breathing problems) and in hospital, so covered by MSP, and I did not pay for them. Another big problem while dealing with Dr. Denton was his resistance to disclose identity of the man that he brought and involved in my initial surgery. That was a big issue. During my follow up visits with Dr. Denton I would ask him questions about that other man who had been involved in my surgery, but Dr. Denton did not like talking about it, and was refusing to tell me name of that man. The more I was insisting on disclosing identity of that man, the more Dr. Denton was resisting disclosing that man’s identity. I also noticed some nervousness and inconsistencies in Dr. Denton’s talking and that he was trying so hard to convince me that it was ok for that other man (that he called resident) to be there and to be involved in my surgery. I had a suspicion that something was wrong about bringing and involving that other man in my surgery. Taking into account strange circumstances of the surgery and the way Dr. Denton was reacting, it all looked suspicious to me. For example, it was odd to me that Dr. Denton told me that the man he brought was a resident (medical trainee), but that man was not in the office with Dr. Denton and me when we had pre-op consultation, instead the man was in the next door office and Dr. Denton was going back and forth from one office to the other. If that man came to learn something why he was not in the same office with Dr. Denton and me to listen what Dr. Denton would be doing on my nose during the surgery? This way I did not have a chance to meet that man or have close up look at him. I was struggling with thoughts that there was something wrong about that other man being involved in my surgery and I decided to secretly tape conversations between Dr. Denton and myself. I was thinking if my instinct was right and if Dr. Denton did something wrong by involving that other man in my surgery it would be better to have some evidence. So, I started wearing hidden small audio recorder on me to secretly record my conversations with Dr. Denton. I was recording our conversations during follow up visits and also our phone conversations. On the tapes I recorded we (Dr. Denton and I) were repeatedly talking about details of involvement of that other man (that Dr. Denton called resident) in my surgery, lack of my consent for that other man to be involved in my surgery and we argued about disclosing identity of that other man. We had those issues about identity of that other man and his involvement in my surgery going on for a long time. When Dr. Denton could not resist my insisting to know who that other man was any longer, he gave me name of a doctor he claimed that was the one who had participated in my surgery. That was name of Dr. Noah Massa. Dr. Denton sent me a letter saying that the name of the resident who had been in attendance during my initial procedure was Dr. N. Massa and that he was a resident in the Division of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of British Columbia. Soon after that, I had phone conversation with Dr. Massa and, to my surprise, Dr. Massa did not even know where the clinic was located (Willow clinic – at 205 – 777 West Broadway in Vancouver, where the surgery was performed) and sounded completely in shock how he could be linked to my surgery. Even after I told him address of the clinic and explained where it was located and that it was a private clinic where Dr. Denton was working, still Dr. Massa sounded shocked how he could be involved. Dr. Massa’s reactions made me decide to look for him and meet him in person to talk to him. Few months after that, I found out where Dr. Massa was working and I met him in person and I talked to him. First thing that I noticed when I saw him was that he did not have long hair, but very short dark hair and that there was something strange about him and his acting. I thought it was about the haircut as I remembered very well long dark hair of the man who had operated on me with Dr. Denton. But, this time conversation was different (from the one that we had over phone) and Dr. Massa was talking like he had been involved in my surgery. So, soon after that and after the third surgery done by Dr. Denton turned out to be unsuccessful, I started legal action against Dr. Denton, Dr. Massa and the clinic, where the surgery was performed (Willow clinic). I sued them mostly because of lack of my consent for that other man to be involved in my surgery (that I was told that it was Dr. Massa), because of complications after the first surgery and because the two following surgeries were also unsuccessful. They all had the same lawyer to represent them. I did not have a lawyer, so I represented myself. Their lawyer submitted response letter to the Court explaining, in regards of Dr. Massa’s involvement in my surgery that Dr. Denton was assisted by Dr. Massa during the septorhinoplasty performed and that at that time Dr. Massa was a fourth-year resident completing his rotation in facial plastic surgery at the Clinic (please see the defense’s response to the Court – 4th page of the file, paragraph # 6). Later, I wanted to obtain Dr. Massa’s records about his rotation at Willow clinic, so I asked the lawyer for it, but the lawyer answered that Dr. Massa checked his records and could not find anything about his rotation at Willow clinic at the time of my surgery. He also confirmed in writing that Dr. Massa did not have such document. Several months into legal action and after having some doubts about Dr. Massa and doing some research I reached conclusion that would conflict Dr. Massa’s involvement in my surgery. I learned that residents actually did not go to private clinics and that type of license that residents had, including Dr. Massa, (educational/resident’s) license did not cover private clinics. I decided to challenge Dr. Massa’s presence and involvement in my surgery. So, I wrote a letter to their lawyer requesting confirmation that Dr. Massa really was the one who had been involved in my surgery with Dr. Denton. Several days after that, I called the lawyer and asked him if he had received the letter I had sent him. He answered that he had received it, but that he could not answer my questions as he did not represent any of the defendants any longer. It was shocking to hear that their lawyer left the case after I asked him to confirm Dr. Massa’s involvement in my surgery. For me that was a very strong indication that it was not Dr. Massa who had been involved in my surgery with Dr. Denton. I realized that something strange about Dr. Massa’s look that I noticed when I talked to him in person was not about haircut, as I thought, but that it was actually a different person. I had a very hard time accepting possibility that Dr. Massa, who I sued for being involved in my surgery without my consent actually had nothing to do with my surgery, but still accepted notice of claim, hired a lawyer who provided response to the Court explaining Dr. Massa’s “involvement “in my surgery and participated in legal action just like he had been involved in my surgery. I heard later from some lawyers that I consulted that it was not recorded or known that this kind of situation had ever happened anywhere else. After that Dr. Denton and Dr. Massa were represented by different lawyers from different law firms (please see the Court documents dated June 1, 2005 and June 13, 2005 – 6th and 7th pages of the file). I talked to both new lawyers over phone asking them to confirm if Dr. Massa was really the one who had been involved in my surgery, but they refused to either confirm or deny Dr. Massa’s involvement in my surgery. After some time I sent a letter to Dr. Massa’s new lawyer asking him to make it clear if they still claimed that Dr. Massa was the one who had been involved in my surgery. It was only after that letter that Dr. Massa’s new lawyer submitted amended reply to the Court denying any presence or involvement of Dr. Massa in my surgery and claiming that Dr. Massa had been at BC Children’s Hospital at the time of my surgery (please see amended reply to the Court submitted on July 21, 2005 – 8th page of the file). It took more than two months from the time I challenged Dr. Massa’s identity as of someone who had been involved in my surgery until it was finally officially confirmed that Dr. Massa had nothing to do with it and was not even physically there. Later, Dr. Denton’s new lawyer started theory that maybe no other man had been present or involved in my surgery beside Dr. Denton. Dr. Denton then started saying that he could not remember if anyone else had been involved in my surgery. During period of time when I was seeing Dr. Denton at Willow clinic, he had never questioned or denied presence and involvement of that other man in my surgery; we both (Dr. Denton and I) knew very well that the other man (that Dr. Denton called resident) had been present and involved in my surgery. Dr. Denton has never disclosed true identity of that man with long dark hair that he had brought and involved in my surgery, so I do not know who had operated on me with Dr. Denton. Also, I am not aware of any Dr. Massa’s or his lawyer’s explanation on how it happened that he (Dr. Massa) claimed for the Court involvement in my surgery having rotation in facial plastic surgery at Willow clinic even though, in fact, he had nothing to do with my surgery. Having hearings at the Court after it was officially confirmed that Dr. Massa had nothing to do with my surgery was my extremely bad experience with Judges that drove me to the point that I completely lost my faith in Judges and the Court and decided to discontinue legal action. Judges in the Court looked very uncomfortable with this situation that Dr. Massa was going through legal proceeding as a defendant who had operated on me with Dr. Denton while, in fact he had nothing to do with my surgery. I had impression that they (Judges) were helping these doctors out, mostly by rejecting my every single request for court order for obtaining evidence I needed. After we had four hearings in the Court, I completely lost my trust in Judges. At the very last hearing I asked the Judge to order Dr. Denton to get statements from all at the time of my surgery male Otolaryngology residents asking each of them if any of them had been at Willow clinic at the time of my surgery, which would not be many people to ask since Otolaryngology residency program was enrolling usually two people per school year and they were not all men. I believed that those statements would prove if any resident had visited Willow clinic and if some resident indeed had been involved in my surgery, then that resident would be identified this way. At that moment Dr. Denton’s lawyer looked at the Judge and with his raised voice said to the Judge “NO, NO, NO”. Then the Judge stood up and said that we were finished for that day and left the Courtroom without responding to my request. I could not say anything as I was sitting like frozen looking in disbelief what happened. Soon after that I discontinued the case as I completely lost trust in Judges and the Court. Also, Dr. Denton’s new lawyer was talking in the Court about me alluding that I might have some psychological problems since I came to Canada from country that was affected by war and that maybe that’s why I had “impression” that some other man had been involved in my surgery. He was talking about their need to obtain court order to get me to psychiatrist of their choice to get professional opinion about me as it might be that I was “imagining” that another man had been operating with Dr. Denton and that it might be that, actually no other man had been there with Dr. Denton during the surgery. This lawyer talked to me about this over phone and in writing pointing out that psychiatrist would be of their choice. He also talked about their need to check my mental state with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. For me it sounded like a threat and I believed that they were ready and capable of getting some psychiatrist who would write down something bad about me as an expert’s opinion making me a not reliable witness. At that time Dr. Denton was already saying that he could not remember if another man had been there during the surgery. It was shocking to me that Dr. Denton and his lawyer would go in this direction and choose this strategy since Dr. Denton and I knew very well that another man had been involved in my surgery and that lack of my consent and disclosing identity of that other man were huge issues. They did not know at that time (when they talked about taking me to psychiatrist of their choice) that I had secretly recorded conversations between Dr. Denton and myself when we were talking about that other man and his (that man’s) involvement in my surgery. The Judge already issued Court order for me to sign that I consent that some of my medical records should be given to them, which I signed. So, they did not have any problem obtaining Court order, but on the other hand, I could not get any Court order at all to obtain any evidence. I saw this strategy with a psychiatrist as a serious threat because in case they find some psychiatrist to write down something bad about me as an official document that it would affect my life and my employment ability. So, that was also a reason for me to discontinue the case and prevent them doing it. I was afraid that I could end up with some bad opinion of some psychiatrist or even with some bad diagnoses all for the reason that I claimed that some other man had operated on me with Dr. Denton when, in fact, some other man had operated on me with Dr. Denton. It was obvious that this situation could not be resolved in the Court. I was hoping that I would resolve it through other avenues. But, unfortunately authorities showed unbelievable resistance towards this case. I went through few avenues in attempt to resolve those issues. It took many years and authorities showed a lot of resistance towards this case. Especially, the most resistance was applied to this situation with Dr. Massa being defendant who had been involved in my surgery in the Court proceeding for a period of time even though he had nothing to do with my surgery. Most of the time this issue would be treated as a taboo subject by authorities. Authorities would refuse to ask Dr. Massa or his lawyer to explain how that happened – that he (Dr. Massa) claimed involvement in my surgery having rotation in facial plastic surgery at Willow clinic even though he had nothing to do with my surgery and was not physically at the clinic at the time of my surgery. There was so much resistance towards investigating of this situation, especially towards contacting the residency program Dr. Massa belonged to (Otolaryngology residency program), to see how this claim that Dr. Massa had been involved in my surgery at Willow clinic having rotation in facial plastic surgery would fit rotations that he actually attended and teaching facilities he actually visited as well as policies of the residency program/postgraduate medical education. Also, authorities would even make questionable presence and involvement of that other man in my surgery even though they had tapes with recorded conversations between Dr. Denton and me and my detailed explanation about what happened. Authorities would disregard tapes and my explanation about what happened. They would rely only on my medical chart checking names of people involved in my surgery even though it was very well known that Dr. Denton did not leave any record about that other man’s presence and involvement in my surgery. It took many years of dealing with authorities, but there was no resolving of this situation. Behavior of people representing authorities was unbelievably frustrating. As for taped conversations I do believe that they prove beyond reasonable doubt that another man had operated on me with Dr. Denton. I believe that every person listening those tapes would be certain that Dr. Denton and I knew very well what and who we were talking about. It is not only about content of conversations Dr. Denton and I had about details of that other man’s involvement in my surgery without my consent and arguing about disclosing identity of that man, but more importantly it is more about tones of our voices that definitely prove that Dr. Denton and I knew very well what and who we were talking about. The fact that I decided to tape those conversations tells a lot. Also, it is important to know that all the recorded conversations between Dr. Denton and me happened even before Dr. Massa’s name was given to me as name of person who had operated on me. My instinct was telling me that something was wrong about that other man being involved in my surgery and I decided to tape conversations between Dr. Denton and me. Dealing with authorities was unbelievably frustrating experience. Because of enormous amount of resistance of authorities towards this situation it was impossible for this matter to be resolved by authorities. That is the main reason that I decided to publish this story. What would be a problem with identity of that other man and why I cannot know his identity? Would that be my very basic right to know who operated on me and for what reason? This whole situation I consider the worst and the most damaging experience in my life. For a very long period of time I had to put my life goals on hold and the main goal for me had been becoming able to breathe normally again (going through so many surgeries). It severely affected my life on many levels as my breathing problems took away many years of my life that were supposed to be the most productive years of my life. On emotional side I ended up feeling betrayed, mistreated, played, humiliated and degraded.

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
2 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
2 out of 5 stars Wait times
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