(NEW YORK) — Actress Stephanie March, best known for playing Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cabot on Law & Order: SVU, has opened up about a dangerous reaction she experienced after undergoing breast augmentation.
March, 41, described the episode in a candid essay she wrote for Refinery29. The actress said she decided to have the surgery during a painful time in her life — her split from her then-husband, chef Bobby Flay.
“The other thing that was happening was that my marriage of nearly 10 years (and 14 together) was falling apart. And nothing, nothing was helping me cope,” March wrote. “I decided to try one last thing. And what I did next was exactly what you are not supposed to do when it comes to plastic surgery. I decided to change my body because I couldn’t change my life.”
March wrote that just two months after the surgery she experienced complications. Her right implant was infected and the seams of her scar on her right side had burst. Her surgeon removed the implant and sent her to an infectious disease doctor.
“I a hole in my breast for six weeks while I blasted my body with antibiotics,” March details. “I had the implant put back in. I had another infection and rupture on Christmas Eve. I had it taken out again. I had more cultures and tests and conversations with doctors than I care to recall.”
March said she came to the conclusion that her complication was not something anyone could have prevented but that, “I am allergic to implants. Plain and simple. My body did. Not. Want. Them. I kept trying to ‘fix’ my body, and it kept telling me to leave it alone.”
The actress, whose divorce from Flay was finalized in July 2015, ultimately had her implants removed.
“I have accepted this episode as a part of my larger story. And I refuse to be ashamed of it. I am taking back my body, my story, and myself in a bathing suit,” March wrote. “All that I had, all that I was, from the beginning, was all I needed to be. And now, I anticipate summer of 2016 with great joy.”
March told ABC News in a statement she is “overwhelmed” and “very moved” by the “positive reaction” to her article.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News Chief women’s health correspondent, said Thursday on Good Morning America that even common plastic surgery procedures like breast augmentation are “not without complications.”
“You need to know about these possible complications and they do differ based on the type of implant used, the approach used, the incision and generally the skill and the expertise of the surgeon, although these can happen with the best surgical technique,” Ashton said, adding that March noted in her Refinery29 article she did not blame her own surgeon.
Ashton recommends that patients ask their doctor the following three questions before undergoing plastic surgery: Are you board-certified in plastic surgery? How many of these operations you do per year? What is your complication rate?
“If you think that having cosmetic surgery is going to change your life, it’s not,” Ashton added. “And there’s no such thing as minor surgery. You get a complication, it becomes major real fast.”
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