Darlene DS's Story

­Good Afternoon,

I was a patient of Dr. West in early 2001. I was referred to him by our then primary care physician for a leg ulcer repair.

I had a muscle flap surgery done by him in early 2001. The ordeal with my then primary care physician is another story. The doctor I reported to our health provider, Healthnet, who took action against the man. My primary care was located on Scripps Drive and so was Dr. West before he was fired. I really did not understand why a plastic surgeon but at this time my leg was grossly infected and I had large red bands around the area and a line going up my leg. Two days after I had the muscle flap surgery by West, the stitches snapped inside and I was back to where I began. I went back to West and he told me that he had already discounted his fee to do the surgery and he could no longer assist me. Bottom line, I ended up having to go through 36 treatments at Mercy San Juan Hospital in the oxygen chamber unit. 5 days a week and 3 hours each time. To this day my leg has never been the same. I have to wear protective covering around the wound when I do outside activities etc. Just one of the daily facts of my life... My health has never been the same since then and I continue to have health issues. Needless to say, my scarring and pain is nothing compared to the other people.

It is my desire to help in anyway to this man never hurts another person. He is a criminal and should be held accountable for his actions. I wonder how many people he ruined were HMO patients or PPO patients. I was an HMO person and perhaps he knew that he should just leave me alone and wait for the next victim who would be easier prey.

Thank you for your time and all the work you have done. I am certain there will be many people who will be saved from the doctor because of you.


Injured Patient

Having received the notice about Dr. West's practice, let me add my case. After mastectomy in March of 2000, and owing to his repeatedly botching the job, I was required to have four surgeries over a period of more than a year, and a final tattoing . My first reconstruction resulted in a big size difference and a terrible tightness, My last reconstruction involved yet another lift to try to make the breasts match. They never did and still don't.Dr. West left the tattooed nipple with a polka-dotted border. The scars around my other breast have an awful, sunburst look. Up until 3 years after the surgery, I would get small infections around it and the stitches would eventually pop out. The scar under my breast was, and still is, painful. Further, he destroyed any feeling in my natural breast without ever warning me that that would be the result. My heart goes out to all the women he treated. He took them during very vulerable times in their lives and made the nightmare all the worse. When I asked my other doctors if all of this was normal, they all hemmed and hawed, seemed to suggest that what I got was as good as could be expected and that it would not be worth the effort to seek out improvement. Frankly, after what I had been through, I was fearful and reluctant anyway. But, now that your notice has made me aware of Dr. West's track record and reputation, I cannot help but ask over and over again, where was, and is, the medical profession on this. Although I have received notices of Dr. West's bankruptcy, none of the doctors who have treated me have ever suggested that his work was below the standard that I would have a right to expect. They instead advised me to the opposite effect. So, while my case is nothing like as bad as others that have been posted, I am nevertheless relegated to unbalanced breasts, devoid of feeling and with no support from supposedly honest and forthright professionals.