LA woman files lawsuit over 'double bubble' deformity from breast implants

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Thirty-three-year-old Vanessa has been performing music most of her life. But now the Los Angeles singer wants her identity disguised because of what she says happened last year.

Vanessa decided to get breast implants to improve her self-confidence, but she said what resulted from the surgery is known as "double bubble deformity."

A friend had recommended Dr. Martin O'Toole of Pasadena to perform the procedure.

After filing a lawsuit against the surgeon, Vanessa is claiming it was clear during her recovery that the surgery had gone horribly wrong.

"He was like, 'Yeah, this doesn't look right.' And this was after weeks of him telling me everything was going right," said Vanessa.

She claims she was not warned by the doctor that the surgery could entail the specific complications that she experienced.

In the lawsuit, Vanessa claims, "the implants that he selected were incorrect for her chest shape and structure," and that the doctor "misled plantiffs into believing no negligence occured."

"We have alleged that she wasn't given the information about the real risks about what could go wrong," said Vanessa's attorney Carolin Shining.

O'Toole's attorney sent ABC7 a copy of the consent form that his patients sign.

It does not mention "double bubble deformity," but says implant placement "can be accompanied by discomfort and/or distortion in breast shape."

In a statement, he said Vanessa "was advised as to the risks and complications of surgery, including but not limited to the possibility of deformity," adding that he "offered to correct the problem at no charge."

Dr. Debra Johnson, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, did not treat Vanessa, but said "malposition" is the most common implant-related risk patients are warned about.

"It's a complication I think almost every plastic surgeon has experienced," said Johnson.

There's also "implant failure" and what's called "capsular contracture" -- natural tissue scarring that makes the implant area firmer than normal.

"Sometimes it will tighten in one area and not in another. It can stretch and create a double bubble. It can tighten and elevate an implant into the wrong position," said Johnson.

Vanessa said she went to a different surgeon to correct the problem, and is now focused on returning to the stage.

"I hope that, you know, my story -- it makes other women, makes them really think about what they're doing," said Vanessa.
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