October 12, 2015

To Future Patients:
I am a success story on two levels. In 1988, after successfully breastfeeding my two beautiful children, I was left with significant breast atrophy and decided to have breast augmentation at 36 years of age. At that time I had 300cc silicone implants placed under the muscle which restored my figure back to its pre-pregnancy look. I had a very positive outcome with no complications which lasted for 27 years. Then, I learned in 2015 that my left breast implant had ruptured...not because of any known trauma, but likely secondary to the aging process (they really are not lifetime devices!). Because my original surgeon was no longer practicing in California, I had to quickly find a new surgeon and mobilize for surgical explant.

While not a true medical emergency, I felt an urgency to have the implants and leaking silicone material removed from my body as soon as possible. I also knew at 63 years of age that I did not want to have them replaced. A family member had utilized Dr. Donald Altman’s services a few years prior and was extremely pleased with her outcomes both initially and many years later. She encouraged me to have my first consult with him and even accompanied me to the appointment. My first consult turned out to be the only consult I needed. I knew within that first meeting with Dr. Altman that he had the surgical skills, experience, and compassion to not only perform the explant, but because I had opted for a breast lift without implants, to put me “back together” in the best way possible.

Within weeks of that initial consult, Dr. Altman found the surgical time in his busy schedule to perform the explant and mastopexy (breast lift) in his Irvine outpatient surgical suite. He and his entire team (anesthesiologist, assistant surgeon, nurses, office staff) were absolutely “world class” in their medical skills/knowledge, interpersonal rapport, and on-going availability. Throughout the entire process, I felt guided and supported both medically and psychologically. And, part of their very thoughtful and professional process was to prepare me for the body image changes I might experience post-surgically given my medical decisions.

But when the bandages came off, this is where the second success story unfolds. Dr. Altman masterfully managed to reconstruct my breasts so that they closely approximate my pre-explant figure....using only my own remaining breast tissue and no implants! How he did this is nothing short of medical miracle and I believe only the most experienced and talented of skilled, artistic surgeons could accomplish this outcome. I am now two months post-op and and not a single person in my social or professional network has discerned that I have had a medical intervention, yet I have such peace of mind with the implants removed. My clothes actually fit better now, but, remarkably, there was no need for a new wardrobe since my breast size is only slightly smaller. In closing, I feel truly blessed to have been a patient of Dr. Altman’s in my hour of need. You will feel so cared for by him and his exceptional staff from the moment you make your first appointment. I unreservedly recommend his surgical skills to anyone in need of his speciality services.

A Very Grateful Patient-October, 2015

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