Why do I Marvel at Breast Reconstruction & Plastic Surgery?

Why do I Marvel at Breast Reconstruction & Plastic Surgery? I ask myself this question often: Why do I marvel at breast reconstruction & plastic surgery? October was a busy month for many who work in this field and educate about this topic. I think it was one of the busiest months I had this year. I was in six states and six different airports engaging with or educating about breast reconstruction with plastic surgeons, patients, advocates, and the public. I was exhausted yet exhilarated to know the innovations and developments in the field of breast reconstruction and plastic surgery continue to keep me motivated and captivated. It has been three years since my own breast reconstruction and yet, thinking back to November of 2014 and having no breasts on my body, it is easy to understand my own fascination with this topic. When you use your own tissue to Continue Reading →

Tummy Tightness after DIEP flap Breast Reconstruction

Tummy Tightness after DIEP flap Breast Reconstruction I speak to many women who ask about tummy tightness after DIEP flap breast reconstruction.  The emphasis of the question focuses on how long the tightness will last and how it is adjusting to the new feeling. When DIEP flap breast reconstruction is performed women also have the advantage of getting something that mimics a tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty.  The technical aspects of that surgery are well explained here at the Microsurgeon.org website.  Here is a quote from the page: The tissue used for DIEP breast reconstruction contains skin, fat, and blood vessels. It is the same tissue area that is discarded in the classical cosmetic surgical abdominoplasty – also known as the tummy tuck. Your Newly Altered Tummy I want to make an analogy about tummy tightness after DIEP flap breast reconstruction.  When you buy a new pair of jeans Continue Reading →

Breast Reconstruction Consult: The Physical and Technical Component

Breast Reconstruction Consult: The Physical and Technical Component This blog discusses a breast reconstruction consult: the physical and technical component of a DIEP flap surgical visit with the plastic surgeon.  I wrote part a blog dealing with the emotional and psychological aspects of a consult and another one on the abdominal examination component of a consult. A plastic surgeon will work with his nurse at this initial consult to gather all the pertinent information needed to optimize the outcomes of DIEP flap surgery. Each of us goes to this appointment with unique circumstances in terms of both our physical structure and overall health.  I will walk you through my own personal case but know yours will be exclusive to the situation you bring to the initial consult for your breast reconstruction. The hope is to give you an idea of the steps done during this consult and what the purpose of each Continue Reading →

Fears of Breast Cancer Recurrence

Fears of Breast Cancer Recurrence Fears of breast cancer recurrence are palpable for anyone who has been diagnosed with this disease we have yet to find a cure for.  We each handle the fear differently. I had a recurrence.  I’d like to share my own experience, how I faced those fears, and how I dealt with them. As an educator for many years, I have seen the differences in personalities both in students and parents when it comes to handling what is seemingly the simplest of fears. What is catastrophic to one is barely a blip on the radar to another. There are those in life who are simply more fragile than others.  Differences in dealing with this fear of recurrence must not be judged or become fodder for accusations when we don’t always appreciate the circumstances behind. “How Do You Always Stay Positive?” Friends, relatives and family who have so Continue Reading →

Surgical Drains

A Bit of Self-deprecating Humor Never Hurts Surgical Drains – A Necessary Evil I hope you get a Friday laugh out of this post!  Surgical drains are a necessary evil for many surgeries and they certainly are for DIEP flap reconstruction.  Drains are an important part of your healing but no patient I speak to likes them.  But, hey, they are temporary.  I even had one of my abdominal drains become infected the week I was out of the hospital after phase 1.  But, it was taken care of within 12 hours when my doc upped my intake of anti-biotic.  Things happens when you’re healing and the infection was short-lived, just as the drains are short-lived. You can read why they are so important to your healing at the PRMA website. This #FundayFriday,  #FlashbackFriday post is to hopefully evoke a giggle, smile or laugh.  Just remember to grab a pillow and Continue Reading →

Traveling for DIEP flap Breast Reconstruction

Traveling for  DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction My Journey ~ I traveled over 800 miles for DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery.  Many people, including healthcare providers have asked me, “Why did you travel  to San Antonio, TX for your DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery and what is it like adding that travel component?” To answer the first question, I simply feel I found the best micro-surgeon in the country to perform my DIEP flap procedure.  This is a highly complex surgery successfully performed by few surgeons across the United States.  Many women have to travel to have this surgery performed because of that. I stand firm in my conviction, the group at PRMA in San Antonio are seven of the finest micro-surgeons in the United States and I want other women to know that.  The answer to the second question and making those travel plans is  what I’d like to address in Continue Reading →