I underwent a tummy tuck in April 2013 and wrote extensively about my experience with abdominoplasty surgery on HealthCentral. What follows below is my painful story of a physician's sexual misconduct related to that surgery, which I have not told publicly until now.
Trauma Inflicted by the Hands of a HealerI underwent post-bariatric body contouring with one of the finest plastic surgeons in the nation. Let me be clear that he is** not** the plastic surgeon who sexualized my exams. I refer to him as my "real plastic surgeon," so that readers do not confuse him with the bad plastic surgeon who harmed me. Here is my story from the beginning.
I am not gullible by any means. I am well-respected in my profession, a thought leader, college-educated, and secure in who I am. I have been married for 30 years and I am the mother of an adult daughter who has blessed me with a wonderful grandchild. So much for my resume because it concludes with the reality that I was fooled and used by a plastic surgeon who gained my trust only to use it as a tool for injury.
Before I underwent abdominoplasty with my real plastic surgeon, who is located outside my state, I had asked him to refer me for aftercare to a local plastic surgeon where I live. He told me that he did not know anyone and I should just find someone on the Internet. And that is exactly what I did.
Neither he nor I could have predicted the awful events that would transpire.
"What He Did to You Was Very Bad!"
As I sit down to write my story, the familiar feelings of lightheadedness and shortness of breath overcome me. I become incapacitated and have to separate myself emotionally from the trauma that is bringing on the panic attack.
I've never had panic attacks. Not until the local plastic surgeon sexually and emotionally violated me during my exam. Twice.
I take an anxiolytic and two hours later I am able to return to the task at hand. My story needs to be told. Physician sexual misconduct is severely under-reported and more common than one would think. That is not to imply that it is widespread, but rather to uncover the ugly truth that it does occur with some frequency in this noble profession.
The Ativan was prescribed to me by my primary care physician. When I told her how the local plastic surgeon performed my post-op exams, her mouth dropped open and she gasped. She wagged her finger at me, "What he did to you was very bad!" She wrote the prescription without hesitation.