I have always been very obsessed with my looks. I began to exercise at age 12 to stay slim and have always been into the latest fashions. No matter how much I worked on making my body look good, there was nothing I could do about the size of my chest. With my athletic build, my A cup chest just wasn't proportionate to the rest of my body, and I always felt I didn't look womanly on the top. After 5 years of wanting implants, I decided to get them, at age 25.
I went to a few consultations, but I decided to go to a woman doctor in Newport Beach, who I felt comfortable with because a close friend had used her. I knew I couldn't afford it, but I didn't care. I was between jobs and moving to a new city, so figured it was a good time. I financed the whole thing.
The exciting day came, and I was ready to transform my pretty but tiny A-cup sized breasts into beautiful, bodacious D's. I got saline implants, 500ccs, under the muscle, through the armpit. The doctor and her staff had me sign a stack of paperwork that I didn't really read. They explained to me that complications such as deflation and capsular contracture do occur, but are unlikely. I wasn't worried. I was in perfect health and almost all of my friends had undergone the same procedure and never had a problem.
I came out of surgery with the "elephants on your chest" feeling and a lot of soreness, but it seemed to go smoothly. I stayed with a friend for about five days, and then felt good enough to drive home to San Diego where I had just moved. After about ten days, I started to feel worse. My right breast was dropping beautifully and barely hurt but the left one wasn't dropping and was so sore that I had to sleep sitting up and could barely move. I called the doctor and she told me that this was normal and that I needed to give it time. A month passed and I hadn't made any progress. I still could not lie down and I was in so much pain that I couldn't even walk to the mailbox. I was very frustrated because I had just moved to a new city and needed to find work but I couldn't interview because I could not drive far due to the pain I would feel at any bump I hit in the road. The doctor agreed to examine me, but found nothing. I asked her why all my friends had been fine after a month and I was in so much pain and she lectured me that all people heal differently and I shouldn't worry. I begged her for more pain medication but she denied me. I resorted to taking about 20 Advil a day. About 3 weeks later, still in excruciating pain, I noticed a strange mark forming on my left breast, in-between the crease and the nipple. The area was hot and tender, and my whole left side of my torso was throbbing. I rushed to the doctor's office where I learned I had an infection. They put me on Augmentin, an antibiotic and sent me home. The next day I awoke to find my implant popping through my skin where the mark had been, puss pouring out. When I called the doctor she informed me that the implant needed to be removed.
I went into a panic. No one had even mentioned infection to me, and although I did find a clause about it in the paperwork I had signed, it had never been discussed nor had I ever heard of this happening to anyone else. The horror of losing my new implants which I had financed money for absolutely horrified me, despite the fact that I didn't know how mangled my chest would look now. The doctor calmed me though, explaining that we could leave the right one in and replace the left in 3 months. She removed the left one in her office, after giving me a shot of Demerol and some local anesthetic. I couldn't feel any pain, but I could feel the tearing sensation of the implant that had been attached to my skin. I watched my full breast deflate to a raisin-looking form as the doctor yanked it out of me. She told me that was a cup of puss inside of me that came out, and that the infection must have been going on for a month. This upset me because I wondered why did she not catch this earlier. I began to speculate that if she would have listened to my complaints maybe we could have saved the implant. I really didn't want to go back to her for more surgery but my financial situation was not good, and the doctor promised me a free second surgery. She sent a sample of whatever was inside of me to a lab and when it came back she told me that it was an infection but they didn't know what caused it. She blamed it on something else in my body. She said that I must have an infection lingering somewhere else and because I put a foreign object in my body it the infection was carried there through my blood.
Over the next 2 months I kept positive attitude. I was upset with the fact that it was summer in San Diego and I couldn't wear a swimsuit, but I just kept thinking of how great I would look when this was all over. There was doubt in my mind about the doctor though, which forced me to get a second opinion.
When I went to a get a second opinion from a male doctor, he told me that it was absurd to replace the implant until at least six months, which is the time it takes for an infection to leave the body. This made me think even less of my doctor, who I then had remove the right implant. I was left with two terrible scars underneath my tiny breasts, which wouldn't be noticeable for a woman with a B cup or bigger, but because I was so small and had no "crease" the scars just lay there on my chest.
I let seven months pass just to be safe, and then went back to the same doctor. Even though she had promised a free surgery, she charged me for anesthesia this time, which cost 700 dollars, which made me very angry. I also upgraded from saline to silicone implants, which cost about 1,000 dollars. I really wanted to go to another doctor, but I just couldn't afford to. My doctor assured me that it wouldn't happen again. She tested me for infection and lots of diseases but everything came back negative.
Round two was very easy. I hardly had any pain this time because my muscles were already stretched. I was back to work as a substitute teacher and working out after two weeks. I felt great and looked fabulous. The silicone implants had a softer feel and didn't look so fake under my thin skin. I was happy, and had more confidence than ever. I bought new swimsuits and pranced around in them under the sunny June sky.
There was a slight problem with my right breast though, I must admit. There seemed to be a dent in it, which the doctor told me, was from scar tissue. When I went to her office to see what she could do, she opened me up in the exam room, not the operating room, and pulled around inside my breast to move the scar tissue around. She went through my incision, which was in the crease. It gave me qualms that she just opened me up in an environment, which seemed not exactly sterile, but I let those feelings go when I looked in the mirror and saw the dent gone. I was happy, for a while.
A couple weeks later after my daily jog, I noticed that my breast was red and hot around the incision area, which the doctor had gone through to fix my "dent". I called her immediately and she told me not to worry and that it was probably from my bra. In the mean time I was on the "implantinfo.com" site, where I met a woman that had seen a female doctor from Newport Beach on the ABC news 2 weeks prior. She was on the news for having a woman die after surgery with her, and for misrepresenting herself as an M.D. My stomach dropped when I did some web surfing and my doctor's picture pop up. I will never forget that feeling of horror, looking at the doctor who I had trusted with my body, there in the media for causing a death and lying about her credentials. It felt as if a bowling ball dropped through my body. I immediately vowed to never speak to her again, and when puss started pouring from my incision that night, I went to the Emergency Room.
In the E.R. I was assisted by Dr. Batra, a plastic surgeon that is on call for cases like this. He removed my right implant right there, explaining to me that my life could have been in jeopardy if I had waited to see my doctor in a few days, which was what she had suggested. He was very helpful to me by taking the left implant out in his office a few days later for a discounted price, which avoided the extra emergency cost. He gathered my medical records from my doctor and tested my present infection. He told me that both times I had contracted staph aureus, an infection that grows on the skin. I had tested positive for it during round one, which he learned from studying my medical records, but my doctor did not reveal this to me. She had told me that she could not determine what kind of infection I had, and she was lying. Dr. Batra also told me that staph does not grow in your body, it is most likely transmitted by a dirty instrument, which is the only way it could get inside one's breast. This made me extremely angry. I immediately sought legal advice. After about 10 visits with reputable lawyers, I gave up. I learned that by signing all those papers in the beginning I covered my doctor's butt. There was a clause somewhere in there saying that if I got an infection from her office, I could not sue. I could have tried to sue for negligence, but it was highly unlikely I would win so no lawyers would take my case without money upfront.
Dr. Batra also helped me research my doctor. We found out that she is a D.O. and a Plastic Surgeon, not an M.D., which is still a doctor. I contacted the medical board and found out that they reprimanded her 7 times for mis-representing herself as an M.D. instead of a D.O. on advertisements such as the phone book. Again, I was mortified that I trusted a liar to operate on me. I don't know much about medical degrees but from what I've heard, it is less difficult to become a D.O. than an M.D.
For about two weeks after my second set of implants were removed, I was devastated. I didn't eat, sleep, or work, I just sat around contemplating what I was going to do about the situation. I knew I had to wait it out, and if I decided to try the surgery again I should wait a very long time. After getting shut down by all those lawyers I decided to forget about it for a while. I was now in major debt from all of these surgeries and the emergency room costs, totaling 12,000 dollars.
It's been two years and I haven't had any more surgeries. Each day I look in the mirror and see two large scars. I see two different sized breasts from all the tearing out of scar tissue on the right one. From the side my right breast looks pinched, is not in proportion with the rest of my body. When wearing a bra everything looks normal, but what happens when it comes off? I avoid dating now because I feel like I have to explain myself to each man, as if I have an STD.
The experience has made me appreciate the other things I am blessed with, such as my health, my pretty face and toned body. I do want to have another surgery but at this time I can't afford it. I would really like to go on the Howard Stern Show and try to get him to pay for my third surgery, or possible something less crude such as Dr. Phil! I have been unsuccessful in getting their attention though, unfortunately. I am not giving up though. I will be fixed someday. I loved my implants and they made me, for once, feel completely happy with my body.