Editor's Note: This is a long story about a woman whose initial 2 surgeries were performed by unqualified doctors, in one case someone with a suspended license. She eventually had to have the augmentation repaired by a board certified plastic surgeon that she found on this site. Stories like this are why you should only trust board certified plastic surgeons like the ones listed here
for your breast surgery.
I debated for a long time whether or not I should share my story and experience with breast augmentation. After months of visiting this site I became more convinced that it is important to share, hoping that by doing so, maybe I can help other women considering BA not to make the same mistakes that I have.
I got married when I was 18 years old and by the time I was 23 I already had a son and a daughter, my kids at the time where 3 and 1 yr old. I was blessed with a boy and a girl so early in my marriage I knew that I wasn't having anymore kids. I breastfed my kids for a year each, (I suppose that's when I first considered Breast Augmentation.)
I'm a thin woman 110lbs, 5'2, (originally a size B prior to BA.)
When I was breastfeeding my kids I went from a size B to a small D; unfortunately once I was done with that period in my life, my breasts went back to their original size. One of my friends at the time was considering BA, and she scheduled an appointment with a well-known Plastic Surgeon. Her results were great, so without doing any research I made an appointment with him also, and I was sold on the first visit. I will never forget how excited I was, I knew that by having bigger boobs I was going to feel more confident about myself; I was tired of padded bras and not being able to wear all the cute styles of clothes for lack of bigger breasts.
Ten years ago, there weren't any sites like this one, so I went into this completely innocent, naïve, I had no idea what to expect, what my choices were, what questions to ask, etc, etc, etc. It would be unfair of me to start saying bad things about my first PS, "he was very informative and he explained to me a lot of things that I was ignorant about", his advice to me was to go with smooth silicone, over the muscle, transaxillary incision, (later on I found out from several doctors that "overs" were not the best choice for me) anyway, he was the expert, so I listened to his advice.
I went from a size B to a small D, I was in heaven! The pain that I went through was nothing compared to the thrill of having big breasts. As the months went by I started noticing that my breasts were getting firm and I was also experiencing a lot of pain, when I went back to my PS, he informed me that it was necessary do a "closed capsulotomy", (is an intense physical manipulation and compression done to the breasts by the doctor in order to break the capsule that has formed around the implant,) he told me that this was very painful and I needed to be sedated or under general anesthesia again for the procedure.
When I woke up I was in a lot of pain and I felt like a truck had ran over my chest, the doctor assured me that the chances of getting CC again were minimal, I went home with the idea that I was going to be fine. As time went by I started noticing that my breasts were not soft at all, they were getting firm again and also distorted. I was constantly in pain and they also felt hot all the time. Once again I went back to him and this time he told me that it was necessary to remove the implants and replace them with Textured silicone. He explained to me that textured implants had a small incidence of CC and that the only problem with those would be ripples, but he insisted that I had enough breast tissue to cover the implants and that my chances of rippling were very small, (later on I found out from several doctors that "overs" and especially textured overs" would never work for me because I don't have enough breast tissue,) anyway there I was again under the knife for the second time and experiencing general anesthesia for the third time.
This time around I was really hoping that I'd get the results I was hoping for, without any complications. The recovery was faster than my first BA and I was feeling fine three days post. About 2 weeks post, I started to notice ripples everywhere on my breasts, they looked horrible and I was devastated!!!
I went back to my PS and he told me that I needed to wait and that sometimes they disappear, which I thought it was a stupid thing to say because everyday more ripples were surfacing, anyway there wasn't any choice for me than to WAIT at the time, I already had spent so much money and I was driving my husband straight to the poor house with so many procedures, nothing was done for free (not even the repairs!)
I waited for about 6 months and nothing improved. Around that time I received a letter in the mail from a District Attorney indicating that my medical chart with this surgeon were in the hands of another "plastic surgeon;" my original PS had declared bankruptcy!
This whole ordeal was like a nightmare. I guess my poor husband saw how sad and frustrated I was all the time and we decided to go see this new surgeon that supposedly had my medical records. When I went for the consultation he was as sweet as apple pie, and told me that he knew of this new approach for women like me; he explained to me that behind the muscle was the placement of choice, (especially for thin women,) and that instead of silicone, he would use textured/saline…I'm talking about 1991, that's when silicone was banned from the FDA, so a lot of surgeons switched to saline.
AGAIN without doing any research, only with the knowledge that he was someone that had my medical chart. I scheduled an appointment for a redo. When I went for my redo I had lots of ripples and also by then I had developed severe capsular contracture. This doctor implanted me with textured saline/behind the pectoral muscle, using the same insicion as my prior PS, (transaxillary). This time I was in a lot of pain, I felt like someone had beaten my entire chest, my arms were numb for many days. Even now, after all those years I don't remember how I made it thru that week. Having implants behind the muscle is a totally different experience, (I have since learned that it is more painful than overs, and also the recovery period is longer,) BUT HAVING THE SURGERY DONE BY SOMEONE THAT IS NOT EVEN A SURGEON, besides being painful it can be devastated!!!
Having the procedure done by someone that is not a plastic surgeon, someone that is not even Certified by the Board, can be the "NIGHTMARE" of your life, well that's what happened to me with this last surgery…I'll explain this later!!! Like I said earlier, it's very important to do research, to ask questions, to investigate your PS before you decide to do any surgery, I FAILED to do that back then, and that's the main reason why I ended up with bad results; I truly believe that!!!
My "first" Plastic Surgeon did his best to give me a good result, unfortunately my body rejected the implants in front of the muscle, there was a small percentage of complications with this placement and I happened to fall on that percentage, I can't say that he didn't try, because he did. He was always nice and those three times that I went to him with complications - he tried to fix them. Around that time, there was a lot of controversy with silicone, lawsuits going on, etc. and lots of plastic surgeons declared bankruptcy in order to protect themselves from future lawsuits, and my PS was one of them, that's why I ended up going to this new, supposed "plastic surgeon", the one that deformed my breasts!
Well, with my last surgery done by this doctor, immediately I saw the BAD RESULTS. I was bruised beyond recognition, I had hematomas all over my breasts down to my hips, he made a pocket sooo low that it felt like one of the implant was sitting on my ribs. Also he failed to remove the scar tissue from my previous BA, so my real breast looked like it was sitting on top of the implant, therefore giving a huge double bubble result, the other implant was sitting higher. They also were placed like under my arms, they just felt so weird. They were a mess!!!
My husband was in shock when he saw me, we couldn't believe what this doctor had done. In a couple of days, I had an appointment for a checkup and when this doctor saw me, even he was surprised to see how bad my breasts looked. He started telling me that I needed to wait, that I was swollen, and that eventually they will look better, blah, blah, blah.
Two weeks went by and they looked HORRIBLE still. I was in tears everyday!!! The time came again to see this doctor. When he saw me he told me that in order to fix this problem I needed another operation because he needed to do an open capsulotomy and make one of the pockets lower; and the whole procedure was going to cost me "just" $5000 . After hearing that and seeing his results so far, there was "NO WAY" I was going to let this man ever touch me again!
Seven years went by and I learned to live with the ugly results from his surgery; I never went back to him, eventually I received something in the mail indicating that this man had declared bankruptcy also. Emotionally and financially I was ruined by this experience, till I started visiting this site, that's when I realized that BA can be a rewarding, beautiful experience and I have learned so much from every girl that visit and post in this site, especially from Nicole, she truly is the "pioneer" and I will always be grateful to her for creating such an informative site and for giving me hope again.
Thanks to this website, I found my new plastic surgeon, Dr. Frederic Corbin, this doctor in a short time has been able to fix all of the deformities and mistakes this prior man did to my breasts. You could NEVER tell now what my poor breasts have been thru, (all the trauma that they've been exposed to) under the hands of an incompetent man. It is so important to do research, to investigate who your doctor is, how many years has he/she been doing this procedure.
I found out that my second PS was not even a surgeon, that he has a delinquent license since 1998 and supposedly NOW continues performing plastic surgery in California. I'm not here to do doctor bashing, because that's not my intention, unfortunately in this profession, (especially plastic surgery,) there will always be people that are not satisfied with their results. Good doctors being sued by unsatisfied patients, etc. But, I don't think is fair for just "ANYBODY" to open up a clinic and start butchering patients when he's not even prepared or educated in this field.
Plastic Surgeons have earned the right to display the distinctive ASAPS logo, they prepare and trained for years to be certified by the ABPS. I just want women to learn from my mistakes. Before a woman submits herself to any kind of surgery, THEY MUST consult several doctors - I didn't do that!!!! Check for Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, check for malpractice lawsuits, also find out how much experience this doctor has doing this type of surgery… DONT SETTLE FOR LESS!!!
After 10 years and several of thousands dollars poorer, I finally learned my lesson, I still believe that plastic surgery, (especially breast augmentation,) can be such a great, satisfying experience and I know that this time around it will be for me.
I chose my PS (Dr. Frederic Corbin) because he was very straightforward with me, he told me exactly what my chances were if I did the explantation (removal,) and redo at the same time, there was no way that I was going to ended up with good results, there were too many imperfections that he needed to take care of before considering on putting new implants on me. A few of the other doctors I consulted with, wanted to do everything at once, which it was unrealistic. Dr. Corbin removed both of my implants, removed all the scar tissue that was in there from previous surgeries, removed also some scar tissue that had formed under one of my incisions, (under the arm, that was also giving my breast an ugly appearance), and finally stitched back those large pockets that this man had done; (it took him about 3 hours to repair all the damage done to my breasts.)
I can honestly say that my breasts look almost like I had them before any BA, with the exception of the scars, (not very noticeable, they are under the arm pit.) I'm very happy and grateful with what my PS had done so far; hopefully I will be having my redo before the year ends or whenever he thinks is the right time. I will keep on adding to this story when the time comes, BUT please LEARN from my experience, RESEARCH IS THE KEY!!!! And Nicole's site is the most complete source of information, too bad it wasn't available years ago, it would've saved me from making so many mistakes!!!
Thank you Nicole for such a great site and hopefully soon I will update my story with pictures and everything, I'm in the process of recovering my medical chart from this "supposedly" plastic surgeon, that's where most of my before and after photos are!!!