Alison Ellington

I went in July 20, 2017 for what I thought would be a routine breast augmentation with the adjustable implants. At the time I was so concerned about pain management I didn’t even think that oh geez I may get an infection from this. According to him, it was a 3% infection rate that he had seen with his patients. So everything was fine and dandy I was happy with my breasts until about one-week postop when I developed a surgical glue rash that developed around my incision lines. I saw the PA at the office at my one week appointment and was told that I look like I was having a reaction to that surgical glue and I was put on a topical cream to use for that. A short few days later I begin to notice some drainage coming out of my right breast. Since I work at an emergency room I had one of my doctors take a look at it and she definitely said that the fluid needed to be cultured to go ahead and call Dr. Jeneby‘s office. They got me in the same day and went ahead and sent a culture out and started me on doxycycline and Cipro until we waited to see what the culture results came back as. I also had a couple of stitches that seem to be pulling away so he re-sutured my left breast and there was a couple of areas on my right incision line looked like it was popping open so he sutured those as well so I left the office with both incision lines being re-sutured in a couple of spots.

A couple of days later I got a call from the office stating that it was pseudomonas bacteria, which is a very very drug-resistant bacteria that’s hard to fight. The only thing that could fight it orally would be Cipro and Levaquin. This type of bacteria I was familiar with because my grandmother contracted the same bacterial infection while she was in the hospital. Dr. Jeneby told me because I work at an emergency room and I’m in healthcare that I probably contracted this infection at work.

At my two week postop appointment my right breast incision line then started with the same drainage as the left side. The stitches that were placed a few days earlier popped open and I had a nasty hole in my incision line. He had to suture me back up again for the second time and said to continue with the anibiotics. He did inform me that if it pops open again that the implants would have to come out because there’s just no saving the implants after an infection like this. I had high hopes that I wouldn’t have to lose my implants. I was praying every day that there would be no drainage on my gauze pads because that was a sign that the infection was not clearing up. The drainage did not stop and my incision line popped back open again for a third time and so it was time to make the decision to take the implants out. I was scheduled for explanation four weeks after the original surgery. I was awake for that procedure and it was not fun. The feeling of the water and suction, while he cleaned out the breast pocket, it was quite painful. I was placed with JP drains that were in for about a week. It was very uncomfortable and very painful experience to have these things just hanging from my boobs….. I was humiliated. I was disgusted. I was in pain and I thought I was the only one that was dealing with this type of infection. He made me believe that I was just in the 3% and I had bad luck.

I went back for my one week postop after explantation and since the drainage amount have been less than 25 mL they went ahead and took out the JP drains. I was on a course of Cipro and Levaquin for six weeks. I didn’t want to go to an infectious disease doctor and have a picc line placed and have to uproot my whole life and miss time from work so I just stayed on the antibiotic for the full six weeks. I was told I had to wait three months before we could try again with the implants. Had I known then what I know now I would not have gone through with it. My gut told me something was not right. My medical director at work, my mother, and my husband all expressed concerns that most likely this infection came from his operating room, not from work. The type of facility I work at is not an inpatient facility where you can catch Pseudomonas just by walking around. I also am not involved in direct patient care. I manage the front office so I do admin work.

Three months after this horrible ordeal I went ahead and went through with having implants placed back in. What he left me with was worse than what I went in with so I felt like I had already invested in this so I was going to finish it. I requested to be the first surgery of the day so that the OR was sterile and clean. My surgery was November 22, 2017. I am currently almost 3 months postop and so far have had no other issues. I’m scheduled for the “fill” on 2/22/18, and seriously reconsidering this appointment. I still have ports in because I have the adjustable implants. Now that I know there are others that are fighting the same battle, I will not be going back to Dr. Jeneby to finish. I will be scheduling an ultrasound appointment to make sure that everything is OK in my breast pockets, and also be reaching out to other plastic surgeons for consultation on how to proceed.

I pray for all the other victims and just know that you’re not alone.

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