A retail chain billboard that features a close-up of a woman's breasts in a green bra. The sales pitch reads, “Quality worth every penny.”
Botched plastic surgery is not worth every penny. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/poolski/Flickr)

Dinora Rodriguez wanted a few small repairs to her breast implants to improve the look of her cleavage. According to ABC News, when she awoke from the anesthesia, she had a large problem on her chest. The 40-year-old Los Angeles woman had conjoined breasts – a uniboob.

Check your plastic surgeon’s credentials

Rodriguez did not take the time to research whether she was doing business with a certified plastic surgeon. What she got was medical malpractice in the form of botched plastic surgery.

“A friend had recommended the doctor to me. I found out later that she had done really bad surgeries on some other people, too,” Rodriguez told ABCnews.com.

The surgeon is also accused of botching surgery on Rodriguez’s eyelids. Now, she cannot completely close her eyes.

While the doctor who performed Rodriguez’s plastic surgery was licensed to practice in California, ABC notes that she was not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Reconstructive surgery: A white coat deception

After a year of pain and a malpractice suit against the plastic surgeon that was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount that barely covered reconstructive surgery, Rodriguez discovered through research that the botched corrective surgery was unnecessary to begin with. The phenomenon to which Rodriguez fell prey is referred to as “white coat deception” in the medical community.

“(The doctor) told me that she needed to replace the implants because they were leaking, and I believed her. She gave me a good price on the surgery and I said yes,” Rodriguez said.

The original surgeon reportedly cut across two important pockets of supportive breast tissue that caused Rodriguez’s implants to touch, creating the uniboob. According to Los Angeles plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Teitelbaum, who corrected the original surgeon’s mistake, serious errors were made.

“I had to create two entirely new pockets beneath the muscles to fix it,” Teitelbaum said. “(The first surgeon) violated many basic rules of the way breast implants are done. (The surgeon) cut across muscles you should never cut across.”

Teitelbaum’s corrections helped eliminate the uniboob. Unfortunately, nothing can be done to reconstruct Rodriguez’s eyelids. They will never fully close again, which means that she must take medication for the rest of her life to keep her eyes moist. Plus, Rodriguez will experience pain in the surrounding area for some time, as the first surgeon cut through nerves and muscle.

What to look for in a plastic surgeon

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, prospective patients should check to make sure their doctor is board certified in plastic surgery. Board-certified doctors in plastic surgery have served a residency and passed both written and oral examinations. Plus, patients should make sure their surgeon has hospital privileges if needed.

The uniboob disaster

Sources

ABC News: http://abcn.ws/qmCR3l

American Society of Plastic Surgeons: http://plasticsurgery.org/

Jezebel: http://bit.ly/norJtQ

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