Shellie’s Medical Malpractice Nightmare

and her

Fight for Freedom of Speech

Medical Problems

At the age of 13 I had developed large breasts. I was experiencing problems with breast lumps, requiring biopsies frequently. At the age of 22, after years of breast lumps and biopsies, I was told by my surgeon, Dr. Edward Zucker of Merrillville, Indiana, that I should have subcutaneous mastectomies.  That means that my natural breast tissue would be removed and I would have implants placed. Dr. Zucker stated that that would end my breast lump problems, the endless biopsies, and the risk and fear of one of these lumps being malignant. I trusted my doctor and agreed to have the plastic surgery performed.

After the surgery my breasts looked completely normal cosmetically. The breast lump problem did end. However, I had a whole new world of problems with my breasts and endured many surgeries over the years to change the implants.  Having had subcutaneous mastectomy surgery and implants placed would later become one of the biggest regrets of my life.

About a year after the surgery it was determined by a different plastic surgeon that the implanting surgeon had chosen an implant that was too small when he removed my breast tissue.  The implants were literally moving around abnormally and they did not fill out my skin properly. They were replaced by a larger implant to make my breasts the size they were before the mastectomies. Later I had a suspected rupture, an actual rupture, an implant that had flipped over with a valve becoming painful to my breast and several times the implants hardened by scar tissue building up around them.

After approximately 14 years of having implants, I developed Lupus symptoms.  A rheumatologist that I had been seeing for my symptoms suggested removing the silicone implants from my body and replacing them with saline implants. I went to see Dr. Robert S. Kagan in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, to discuss the recommended surgery.  At the time Dr. Kagan operated on me he had been sued for malpractice one time.  However, I was not aware of that lawsuit.  I was then the second person to sue Dr. Kagan for medical malpractice.  According to the Chicago Clerk of Court, as of November of 2008, Robert S. Kagan had been sued TEN (10) times for medical malpractice.  That is an extreme number of medical malpractice suits to be filed against a doctor.    That fact should be a big red flag to anyone that is considering this doctor for surgery.  If  I researched a doctor and found that many lawsuits against him/her I would be running as fast as I can to a different doctor.  Little did I know that this doctor would destroy my health for the rest of my life.

Dr. Kagan was recommended to me by a woman that he had performed surgery on. I called the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation to check whether Dr. Kagan had ever had complaints filed against him or had ever been professionally disciplined. They said that he had not. I later learned that the Department of Professional Regulation would only tell you that a doctor had had a complaint filed against him if he were found guilty. They would not tell you if the doctor had had twenty complaints filed against him if none were sustained, which is often the case. Doctors are rarely found guilty of any charges by their governing board.

Dr. Kagan agreed that I should have the implants exchanged. Dr. Kagan offered me a procedure called a Benelli to have at the same time. I had never heard of a Benelli and Dr. Kagan explained to me that it was a breast lift that leaves the patient with minimal scarring. I did have rather large breasts that were somewhat sagged. After having the procedure explained to me by Dr. Kagan, I told him I would think about it.

When Dr. Kagan walked into the exam room on my last visit before the plastic surgery, he said "what are we going to do." I said I don't want the Benelli and I have more questions about the implant exchange. He said "okay." I then asked my questions and he answered them. My plastic surgery was scheduled for one week later. I did not have medical insurance, as after my divorce I could not find an insurance company to cover me due to the fact that I had breast implants. I paid Dr. Kagan for the breast implant exchange surgeon's fee, the new implants, the hospital stay, and other charges related to my plastic surgery and left the office.