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Women choose to obtain and remove breast implants for a variety of reasons. Some reasons are cosmetic. Women may feel more confident in their bodies with certain size breasts. Other reasons are purely health-based. When breast implants cause women harm, or women feel their implants take away from their ability to lead a healthy life, then they often choose to go through an expensive and painful surgery to take them out. An Atlanta-based physician took advantage of women’s health concerns in relation to their implants in order to perform numerous unnecessary surgeries. Dr. Susan Kolb faces multiple medical malpractice lawsuits from patients who allege she misdiagnosed ruptured breast implants.
If you experienced a similar situation and underwent an unnecessary surgery, you should call the Alabama medical malpractice attorneys at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. at (205) 933-1500. Contact us today to schedule a free and confidential case consultation.
In June 2016, Pamala Weems, 58, began to feel ill. After researching her symptoms online, she worried her silicone breast implants were making her sick. She then found Dr. Kolb online. Kolb was considered an expert in her field. She has taken part in documentaries regarding breast implants causing illness and was featured on the television show The Doctors. Weems felt she could trust Kolb due to her credentials.
At Weems’ appointment, Kolb performed an ultrasound on Weems’ breasts. Kolb told Weems’ her implants had ruptured and were leaking into her body. Weems was given the impression that it was a life-threatening situation. Kolb did not perform any diagnostic tests to confirm Weems suffered from silicone poisoning.
In August 2016, Weems’ underwent surgery to remove her breast implants. Her implants were sent to pathology, which found there was nothing wrong with them. Neither implant was leaking. Weems’ went through an expensive surgery that left her with scars and took months to recover from for no apparent reason. She also suffered from lymphedema because Kolb removed a number of her lymph nodes.
Weems is not the only one affected by an unnecessary surgery performed by Kolb. Tracy Parker also went to see the physician regarding her breast implants. After an ultrasound, Kolb informed her that her implants were torn, leaking silicone, and were infected with mold. Parker spent close to $9,000 on the implant removal, yet pathology found no evidence of mold, tears, or leaks in her implants.
A medical malpractice claim relies on the injured party being able to prove that a physician did not behave as they should have. In general, a physician’s standard of care means they should act as a reasonable medical provider would under similar circumstances. Alabama law states a physician must exercise the same reasonable care, skill, and diligence as other similarly-situated health care providers in the same practice area would ordinarily have and exercise in a similar case.
In regards to Kolb’s surgeries, another physician – Dr. Donen Davis – has been called as an expert in the lawsuits to support the claim Kolb did not meet the standard of care. Health care expert witnesses are necessary in medical malpractice claims to compare the defendant physician’s actions against what another physician in the same practice area would do. This other physician in Kolb’s case stated he believes an ultrasound is not a reliable way to determine if a patient has defective implants. He further stated that Kolb performed these surgeries without any signs, symptoms, tests, or diagnosis that would have supported it.
To diagnose a ruptured or leaking breast implant, most physicians rely on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), according to the Mayo Clinic. Mammograms may identify ruptures, however, they do not always catch ruptures or leaks, making them a less reliable test than an MRI. CT scans may also be used, yet their effectiveness has not been studied as much as MRIs.
If your physician quickly diagnosed you with ruptured breast implants without diagnostic testing and you went through an unnecessary surgery, call the Alabama medical malpractice attorneys at Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. right away. Breast implant removal is a serious surgery. It can leave you with scarring and painful complications. The procedure can take you months to recover.
You should never be subjected to careless medical care and unnecessary surgical procedures. At Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C., we are prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve under the law. Contact us online, or call (205) 933-1500 to schedule a consultation.