Collaboration in Educating about Breast Reconstruction

Collaboration in Educating about Breast Reconstruction My favorite word throughout my education career has always been “collaboration”. So is the case now in my role as Founder of DiepCFoundation.org. I couldn’t feel any stronger about collaboration in educating about breast reconstruction. The change leaders I have met in the past three years on my own personal quest to educate more women and men about options in breast reconstruction motivate me daily to do more, explore new avenues to educate, support them in their mission, and stand beside them collaboratively to continue this work. This week on my social media feeds I have seen an announcement by Patricia Anstett that her book, Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction, What’s Right for You, is now out on paperback on Amazon. Congratulations are in order as this was a professional labor of love for Pat. Full disclosure: Yes! I’m featured in the book and Continue Reading →

How Long Does DIEP flap Breast Reconstruction Surgery Take?

How Long Does DIEP flap Breast Reconstruction Surgery Take? This is a question I wanted to write about after attending PSTM17 in Orlando as a patient advocate. Speaking to ASPS board certified plastic surgeons at the meeting afforded me the opportunity to understand the answer to, how long does a DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery take? It is an intricate, microsurgical procedure that includes incisions and work on both the abdominal area and the breast area. The assumption is, the surgery is long. In fact, when assessing my own DIEP flap, I often report my DIEP flap lasted nine hours. What we don’t often take into consideration is what the surgery entails from start to finish. I reviewed my own surgical report to write this blog. I also spoke with plastic surgeons at PSTM17 and wanted to share some important points of discussion. I gathered information from my sister, a nurse, Continue Reading →

DIEP Flap Surgery: Day one, Phase one

Check-in It was still dark outside the morning we left for phase one of my DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery. We were told to be at the hospital at 6 a.m. Monday morning following Thanksgiving weekend had to be a good day for surgery. My surgeon had time to be with his family, enjoy a feast and be all rested up. It was a new week and a brand new month, December 1. We arrived at the hospital and signed all the paperwork for check in. The wait wasn’t too long but the room we waited in was the typical sterile, hospital environment, fluorescent lighting with CNN on the TV. They had coffee available but nothing for me, thank you very much. I had been on complete fasting since midnight. They took us up to another smaller and quieter waiting area where all patients were checked in and waiting to 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 →