Dr. Todd S. Hewell, III — Outdated Techniques - UNSAFE!
I had a breast augmentation 10 years ago and decided it might be best to replace the implants with newer ones for safety reasons, so I had several consultations with Dr. Hewell and decided to go ahead with the surgery based on his recommendation. First, I think it's best to ALWAYS get a second or maybe even 3rd opinion just to be safe, and I really wish I would have in this case. In hindsight, I just think this particular surgeon's techniques are outdated and he's unwilling to change his methods or ways of thinking. I realize now, that he didn't really listen to what I wanted or the results I desired, and instead talked me out of them claiming "his way" was the better way or that I would be happier with the results. Of course, I trusted him because he is the surgeon and he should know, right?
I wanted over the muscle, he claimed that under the muscle was better (I later had another consultation with other surgeons who said that is not the case any more, especially for someone as thin as I am). I wanted a rounder, more pronounced look, and he said "I would regret it" and said the softer, more natural look is what I wanted. Etc.
Long story short, after allowing him to talk me into pretty much everything I didn't want when I came in (and I trusted him because of his "experience") I ended up with under the muscle implants that felt uncomfortable and looked strange whenever I used my pectoral muscles (I'm very thin and under the muscle is NOT a good idea for thin people because you can see your muscles' every move over the implant). PLUS I ended up with symmastia (basically a uni-boob) which he claimed for weeks that I didn't have - I had to do research online to see what it was actually called and then he finally admitted it (he just kept saying that most women would LOVE to have cleavage like that, and most women wish their boobs were closer together... um, what?! NOBODY wants their boobs to JOIN together in the middle).
ANOTHER SURGERY later to correct the symmastia and to go over the muscle, which I had originally wanted to do and he then admitted "well... come to think of it, of all the patients I've put the implants over the muscle, they were about your size, etc..." Frustrating. So, we went back in, put in new implants over the muscle (All of which I had to pay for all over again) and this time around I was so bruised on the one side, (with no drain for the fluid or blood, which is a common cause of encapsulation I later found out), I developed encapsulation severely on one side but to a certain extent on the other side too. He claimed it had to do with removing scar tissue from previous surgeries, and in my notes (which I read because they were left in my exam room during one of my 10's of post op visits) he didn’t even chart any signs of encapsulation at all until I complained of it being very hard and uncomfortable!
The cherry on the top is that he performed a "Closed Capsulotomy" several times on me (look it up, it's terrifying) which he didn't even prep me for, or ask me about, and I found all over the internet, that this is definitely NOT recommended at all, is an OLDER technique, and could not only cause bleeding and other problems, but it has been found that it rarely EVER works to fix the problem and can actually void the implant warranty! Basically, it’s just a bandaid to make the patient feel better in the moment to get the heat off the surgeon.
I am now looking into my 3rd SURGERY with a different doctor (of course). BUT BEWARE - I think Dr. Hewell is PAST HIS PRIME. I looked up his certification and he was certified in the 80's and has NEVER had a recertification!! Granted, plastic surgeons aren't required to do so if they were certified before a certain year, but this really concerns me especially since he claims to go to “many different conventions to learn about the latest advancements in plastic surgery.” I find that hard to believe, and if I would have known these things, I NEVER would have gone to him.
TAKE AWAY - Dr. Hewell, though I nice person in general and though he has decades of experience, has NOT been updated on the latest techniques, best practices, and latest technology. I asked him about Acellular Dermal Matrix (something that I learned about through all my research online), and he completely disregarded it - I've since been told by other plastic surgeons that it's a FANTASTIC option to use, especially for people who have had issues with encapsulation in the past, and that it has a GREAT record with preventing encapsulation. If you like old-school techniques and ways of doing things that may put you at risk, by all means... go to him. But I wouldn't if I had known all this before. I'm not trying to mess with someone's livelihood, and this isn't just a case of "I'm not pleased with my results, " I was VERY pleased with my initial surgery 10 years ago, this experience, however, was ridiculous... I just want people to be aware so they don't go through the nightmare that I went through. Do your research, ask all the questions, be firm on your wants/needs, and get a second opinion before deciding. Good luck.