Isn’t it interesting how we place blind faith on doctors? They are the highly educated and trained professionals; our health can often depend on them. Here was this specialized doctor going around the United States educating women on the effects of silicone and claimed to be one of the few doctors that would remove the scar tissue along with any silicone left behind. I certainly trusted him.
Southern California wasn’t that far for me to travel and once my insurance company approved it, I sent him photographs of my breasts along with a few medical records. When I got to his office, he introduced me to one of his students from UCLA. Not only did he introduce us, but he said the student would be performing the surgery! I was so upset after traveling so far for this “great” surgeon. I explained my concerns and his reply, “wouldn’t you feel safer knowing there was someone else in the surgical room in case I had a heart attack?” Right then and there, I should have walked out. I cried until the anesthesia kicked in. The surgery took 3 hours.
When the bandages came off and the healing of my scars began, I knew it a minute the student performed at the very least, the suture part. I ended up with terrible scars and there was nothing I could do, the damage had been done, but at least I didn’t have the implants or the hardness, and I was hopefully silicone free. Yes the hardness was gone, the implants were gone, but now I had to deal with the embarrassment of these horrible scars. Every scar we have tells a story doesn’t it?
I share this story with you to educate you so this never happens to you. Don’t blindly trust someone because they have M.D. after their name, do your research. He did have a prior patient travel with him in support of his work, and I did personally talk with her, but he did her surgery and didn’t leave it up to a student. The original augmentation cost $1600 (yes it was the 80’s. things were much cheaper, plus I got a deal), the removal and reconstruction…$14,000! Let’s rake the insurance companies while we are at it!
I also share my story because it lead me to my decision of where I am today, choosing to have a double mastectomy to hopefully ensure cancer doesn’t have a chance to get to my breasts or ovaries. I have lived with these horrible scars for 23 years. Call me insecure or whatever you choose, but being a single woman, I was not ever anxious for a man to see my breasts and more often than not, I always went to bed with something on to cover them. Talk about a lack of self-confidence! For most men, their identity is tied to their careers, but most women, it’s about our bodies and for me, I felt like I was damaged goods for sure.