I had breast cancer and was seeing a plastic surgeon for reconstruction. I had several problems with infections and had several surgeries to place expanders and take them out. During my second to last visit with him, and the day before surgery was planed, he told me he was retiring. He never told me before this. He took out one expander and left the other in my left breast. The expanders are only supposed to be in for about three months and I now have had this one in for a year and a half. I can't find a surgeon in my area to finish his work and can't afford to go out of town to have a another surgeon to finish this and get the expander out. The expander is getting very painful and uncomfortable. What should I do?
Do you have a primary physician, and what is their guidance?
If you have an infection, normally infectious medicine docs are consulted.
The standard of care is determined regionally, and this can make a substantial difference in practices. If you are having infections, and your physician has retired, your are faced with incomplete care for your condition. Often physicians try to avoid procedures where they see themselves at risk for a suit because they determine that there is a high risk of a poor outcome.
Did the ER/ED visits result in any referrals to a surgeon, or did one examine you while you there?
Bringing in an attorney might be a viable option if: 1. There was malpractice, 2. There is a denial of service for discriminatory reasons. Given your situation it would be a good idea to talk with a medical malpractice attorney. You might even get a pointer to a surgeon who can help you with your situation.
The attorney will be interested in how you were harmed, and what it is worth. You are interested in getting the situation resolved. The medical community is more likely to solve your problem than the legal community.
and the day before surgery was planned, he told me he was retiring. He never told me before this.
It sounds to me like he didn't know this in advance either. Maybe his medical license/malpractice insurance just got suspended. Maybe he started getting tremors in his hands. My point is. It may, or may not, be his fault.
Either that or maybe there is something wrong with the work he did on you and he didn't want to touch it for fear of making it worse. In which case, he may still be seeing other patients, he's just not seeing you anymore. Do you think that's the case?
In either case, you have to see another doctor, preferably another plastic surgeon. You can't wait. Even if you do choose to sue, you have to mitigate further damages to your body. And for that, you absolutely need a surgeon, even if it means taking everything out, or taking out a loan, or doing something else entirely. Only another surgeon will be able to tell you what needs to happen.
and can't afford to go out of town to have a another surgeon to finish this and get the expander out.
So you can afford another surgery, but you can't afford a plane ticket and you can't afford to rent an AirBnB for a couple of days? Seriously? How many surgeons have you called? You need to call as many places as you can. You need to contact your family and friends for help. You need to call your insurance (if you have some). You need to get this taken care of as quickly as possible.
If you really do assume there was malpractice, you need to contact your State's bar association and ask for a free referral to a medical malpractice lawyer. In theory, if a malpractice lawyer smells blood in the water, he may be able to get someone to front you the money. But do not think this is a given. Explore all your other options as well.
The expanders are only supposed to be in for about three months and I now have had this one in for a year and a half. [...] The expander is getting very painful and uncomfortable. What should I do?
The more you wait, the more expensive it will get.
You can't afford to wait. You really can't.