On June 25, 2010, I had breast argumentation (475cc) and abdominal liposuction around my mid-section. Prior to this surgery, my husband and I met with Dr. Gerald Truesdale for a consultation. During this consultation, we discussed what I wanted to achieve by the augmentation. At that time I voiced one of my greatest concerns which were the best method for not leaving scars on my breasts. This was because I was greatly concerned about the possibility of keloids. I was also concerned about recovery time (I wanted to be completely recovered by my birthday on July 18) and having a very natural look. I told Dr. Truesdale that if I had to be cut on my breasts then I did not want the implants. Upon examination, Dr. Truesdale said that I would not need a breast lift because it was his opinion that my breasts would line up after the implants were in place.
We were told that there were several ways the implants could be put in place. I asked about going under the armpit to prevent the possibility of scaring on my breasts. Dr. Truesdale confirmed that going through the armpit and under the muscle will achieve the above results. He assured us that he had done this method many times and it would give me the best natural look. He said that he had performed this procedure many times and that I would have a very natural looking and feeling breast post procedure. He also said that going under the muscle is better for cancer screening. With his recommendations, I chose the method of going under the armpits because he assured me that I could accomplish all my personal goals as I outlined to him during the consultation. We set the appointment and the procedure was done.
I was given instructions which included wearing a wrap on my chest and doing specific exercises that was prescribed. I followed these instructions implicitly. After nearly two months, my implants were sitting very high on my chest. They were extremely hard and my nipples and breasts were sagging and hanging downwards. They looked deformed. I had scars on my stomach, my underarms and on the right side back. The scar on my back occurred from the bandages being wrapped too tight. I had 4 scars from the abdominal liposuction on my stomach from the incisions and from bandaging. Both my husband and I were very concerned about my appearance.
I did a routine follow up and brought my concerns to the attention of Dr. Truesdale and his nurse. Upon examination Dr. Truesdale suggested that he go back in again to remove scar tissue that was preventing the implants from dropping into place. I asked him if this situation was normal. He said it was not normal. I also asked him if it was safe to be cut again in the same place. He said it was safe. He said that because of my athletic build my muscles were two times thicker than most women and that these muscles were preventing the implants from dropping into place. I was very disappointed that I would need surgery again to correct this problem.
I asked what this would cost and he stated there would be no charge for this because he was ultimately concerned for my satisfaction. I asked him about the abdominal liposuction scars and the knots that had formed under my skin. Dr Truesdale said he would go in again and get the lumps out with another abdominal liposuction on the right side and that the scars would then fade away. Because Dr. Truesdale was so convincing that he could correct the problem we agreed to the second surgery even though my trust and confidence were now shaken. We scheduled the corrective procedure for October 1, 2010.
While I was being prep for the second surgery, I told the anesthesiologist that I wanted to speak with Dr. Truesdale before I was put under. I wanted to go over what we had previously discussed about what was to be done, what I could expect, and to be reassured that this procedure would correct the problems that I now had. Frankly, I was very scared of this procedure because of my loss of trust. I had an idea in my head that I may not even go through with it at that point. The anesthesiologist said he was not in the building yet but he would be in to talk to me before the surgery. She put me under and I did not have that chance to talk to him before the procedure was done.
After a few days of recovery from the second surgery, I remove the wrappings to change the bandages. I was shocked to see that my breasts were just hanging toward the floor; the implants were still very high on my chest, they were not in the lower breast! My husband had told me later on the day of this second procedure that Dr. Truesdale had told him that the surgery had gone well. My husband had been really concerned because I was the first patient that morning and was in recovery for a very long time.
Dr. Truesdale also told my husband that he had stood me up while I was on the table to look at the implants and make sure they were in place. He also mentioned that he had removed about 25 cc of saline from the implants in order to help them descend. I was shocked upon hearing this because he had done this without my knowledge or my consent. The implants were still in the same place and I now had two set of cuts under my armpits, more scars from the wrapping, hanging breast and now my back was badly bruised.
I returned after five days and was very concerned about the appearance of my breasts. I relayed my displeasure to the nurse and to Dr. Truesdale. I was also very angry about not having been afforded the opportunity to talk with Dr. Truesdale prior to being put under for the procedure. Dr. Truesdale reassured me that the implants will drop in place, and that I should just give it awhile. He also said I should continue the exercises. I told him that I was not happy with the way things went the day of my surgery. I told him that I had specifically told the anesthesiologist I wanted to speak to him BEFORE the procedure. Dr. Truesdale was very reassuring even though at this point I felt that I had a serious problem going on. He calmed me down and I left after setting a follow up appointment for October 20, 2010.
I returned for my scheduled appointment on October 20, 2010. There had been no improvements or changes in my condition at all except that now I had a very hard lump on the side of my left breast that is painful. When he looked at them I could tell he was concerned and this frightened me. He said that I was a rare case and that he had spoken with a colleague in Atlanta about my situation. He told me that he wanted to go in again and that I would have a procedure where he would make an incision under each breast about one inch long and that he would be able to release scar tissue that was preventing the implants to descend into place. This “release of scar tissue” sounded exactly the same as I had been promised on the last procedure. My husband asked Dr. Truesdale a very pointed question. He asked Dr. Truesdale if he could give us his opinion of what percent of likelihood that this procedure would correct this problem? He answered 100%! My husband was surprised by this answer because in these types of surgeries, he could not see how anyone could guarantee a 100% chance of success. My husband repeated to him, “100%?”. He stated again emphatically that he is 100% sure that it would correct the problem. I had made it perfectly clear on our very first consultation that I did not want any scars on my breasts.
At this point, I had lost all confidence and trust in him and I told him so. At this point, I felt like I was a person being used to practice on. Dr. Truesdale then suggested that I speak with another doctor at Baptist Hospital to see what he would have to say about my condition. He said that he would speak to him first and give him back ground on my case and that I should go see him to see if I would feel better about him performing yet another procedure. I scheduled a consultation with Dr. Malcolm Marks who is the department head and a teaching doctor at Baptist Hospital. I also scheduled appointments with two other doctors to get their opinions of what could or should be done to correct this. These doctors were Dr. Willard and Dr. Kirsch. These consultations were all done at my expense.
At my consultation with Dr. Willard, I was told by him that to achieve the look I was seeking he would not have gone under the armpit and under the muscle together. He also said that he would not have tried it without doing a breast lift. He said the only way to correct it would be to do a lift. My second consultation was with Dr. M. Lee Kirsch. He said that he would not have attempted going under the arm pit in my situation because of the difficulty in getting a good placement. On my consultation with Dr. Malcolm Marks, I was again told that he would not have gone under the armpits because of the difficulty in placing the implants. Both Doctors Marks and Kirsch said that they would have done it by placing the implant through the areola.
I was scheduled to have the third surgery on November 19, 2010 with Dr. Truesdale. However, after hearing from three other physicians (one of whom is and esteemed teaching doctor and department head of the plastic surgery division at Baptist Hospital) I canceled because all that I heard from these three other plastic surgeons only cemented my fears further. I was also very concerned that I would have to be administered anesthesia for a third time in such a short period. I am Hepatitis C positive and I was told that the liver must clean this out of my system and that this is hard on a person’s liver. I advised Doctor Truesdale of this fact on our first consultation.
We had an appointment with Dr. Truesdale to discuss him doing the third procedure. This time I had made up my mind to ask for a refund or as another solution he could pay for the procedure to correct my situation with another surgeon. I was/am completely afraid of him doing another surgery on me and I am also afraid of anesthesia again. Dr. Truesdale declined my offer and said he would not refund the money. Even with my extreme fear of being operated on a third time, I want to have this corrected because I am repulsed and appalled at my appearance when I look into the mirror.
This has affected every aspect of my life and the lives of my family members. I am severely depressed and my marriage is now suffering as a direct result of this. I have a hair business that has required that I close down already for about three weeks and now it is likely that I will be closed down another week. These has cost me greatly in expense and in mental anguish not to mention the pain I now have to live with, the disturbance to my sleep from the hard implants and the bruising that is recurring over and again on my left breast.
I am currently in the process of pursuing this through legal channels. I feel that although my request for a refund will not compensate me for the pain and suffering that I now endure, I am willing to settle this with Dr. Truesdale. Else, I will then be forced to pursue this legally. I am currently talking to two different attorneys about this case. I also would want to warn other prospective patients that would consider using Dr. Truesdale’s services through other means available to me such as media.
I know that it was my choice to choose cosmetic surgery, but it was to enhance my appearance, not the opposite. I have before and after pictures of my breasts and stomach if you would care to see them. I am disgusted by their appearance and – if the truth be known – so is my husband although he will not say anything to me. I can tell because he no longer wants to touch