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 →

DIEP flap Patient Advocate Prepares for PSTM17

DIEP flap Patient Advocate Prepares for PSTM17 I am a DIEP flap patient advocate currently doing final tweaks and changes in preparation for Plastic Surgery the Meeting, PSTM17.  Wheels will be off the ground early Thursday morning to fly out to Orlando. PSTM17 will be held at the Orange County Convention Center for a five-day event full of education sprinkled with a bit of fun around the Walt Disney World theme park. Last year at PSTM16 in Los Angeles, I walked into the LA Convention Center amazed and overwhelmed, feeling like a little girl walking into Disney World for the first time. I wondered around both wide-eyed and a bit frightened at times since that was my first medical conference. Everyone was welcoming and friendly from staff, vendors, to all the plastic surgeons I was finally able to meet after “knowing” them only through social media. The classes I attended Continue Reading →

Holiday Wishes on the Journey

Holiday Wishes on the Journey This is the time of year to send holiday wishes on the Journey.  If I could wrap up in boxes all the stories shared, both happy and sad, those who have been on this Journey through breast reconstruction, I don’t think there would be a space large enough to place those wrapped boxes.  We have shared struggles, triumphs, waiting for results, preparation, anticipation of surgery, celebrating completion of the reconstructive process; the list goes on. Who are we here on the Journey? We are a global community that stretches beyond cultural borders and continents.  We are women and men who have heard those dreaded words, “You have breast cancer” or “You are BRCA positive”.  Through your research, a friend, or physician you found the Journey.  You told us your personal story.  Some are still in treatment waiting to go through the reconstructive process.  Others have Continue Reading →

Two-Year Post DIEP Anniversary

Two-Year Post DIEP Anniversary Today, December 1, 2016 marks my two-year post DIEP anniversary.  Anniversaries are for remembering and celebrating.  That is what I’d like to do in this blog as I recall some of the memories etched in my mind from this day two years ago, in 2014 when my life and my breasts were rebuilt after living with a mastectomy and no breasts for seven long and difficult months.  I want to share those bright moments from that day, fun things I remember, and give hope to those who are newly diagnosed or have their breast reconstruction date on the calendar soon. Good-bye Boobs in a Box! I remember looking at my prosthesis the morning I got up to prepare for surgery.  I bid them a formal and fond farewell as I placed them in the box for the last time.  I traveled with that box more than Continue Reading →

A Tearful Golden Moment at #PSTM16

A Tearful Golden Moment at #PSTM16 I unexpectedly had a tearful golden moment at #PSTM16 the last evening I was there.  #PSTM16 was the first conference I have attended since opening a non-profit 501c3 Foundation to support and empower patients with education about options in breast reconstruction.  I will have many more blogs to write about my experience at the conference but this was truly a golden moment for me in more ways than one. An Evening of Celebrating Twitter Connections and Friendships It was at one of many special events that occurred at the conference.  This particular event was arranged by Dr. Karen Horton, one of the many talented plastic surgeons I engage with on Twitter and other social media venues to push out valuable information to patients interested in breast reconstruction.  The event was sponsored by Allegan and it was an absolutely lovely evening.  Allergan made it memorable Continue Reading →

Goals: #Plasticsurgery #BreastReconstruction, #PSTM16

Goals: #Plasticsurgery #BreastReconstruction, #PSTM16 Goals: #PlasticSurgery, #BreastReconstruction, #PSTM16 are what I’ve been rolling over in my mind for the past few days.  Tomorrow, September 23, 2016, bright and early as the sun rises I will board a plane to Los Angeles to the largest plastic surgery convention of the year, Plastic Surgery the Meeting 2016, #PSTM16. My goals for the meeting Attend educational events focused on the breast reconstruction aspect of plastic surgery. Explore and understand the latest practices and developments in breast reconstruction. Engage with vendors to learn about their products. Ask these vendors why their product is so important in the breast reconstruction process. Catch up on any new legislative news pertaining to #BreastReconstruction. Learn as much as I can about tips in networking and Social Media for #BreastReconstruction and #plasticsurgery. Report back to patients in blogs about what I have learned at the meeting. Meet more board Continue Reading →

Breast Reconstruction: Benefits vs. Cosmesis

Breast Reconstruction: Benefits vs. Cosmesis What are breast reconstruction benefits and are the benefits vs. cosmesis equal or separate? Although this question may not have been stated in these words, women considering breast reconstruction must think about this complex question. No one can come close to knowing what this decision involves except the patient themselves. Not only is it a difficult and complex process of logic but it involves a great emotional decision as well. I am speaking about breast reconstruction in very specific circumstances. Humans are faced with many unexpected events in life that catapult us to become educated about a topic we never imagined we would be learning about. A cancer diagnosis or finding that you are BRCA positive is one of those life events. Those who are considering breast reconstruction after cancer or for prophylactic reasons to greatly decrease chances of a cancer occurrence go through great Continue Reading →

Best Plastic Surgery International Paper of the Year

Best Plastic Surgery International Paper of the Year Congratulations to Drs. Olivier Branford and Patrick Mallucci of the UK for being awarded best plastic surgery International Paper of the year from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons Plastic Surgery Journal. They will be recognized by their peers in Boston October 16-20, 2015, at Plastic Surgery the Meeting, a gathering of over 3,000 plastic surgeons and surgical medical professionals from all over the World. The paper, Population Analysis of the Perfect Breast: A Morphometric Analysis, was a study done to determine current trends in what is considered the aesthetically pleasing breast shape using a measurement of form (morphometric). It was a comprehensive survey study with cross-cultural opinions from men, women and plastic surgeons regarding ideal breast proportions. The consensus was a 45:55 ratio meaning; 45 percent of breast fullness lies above the nipple line and 55 percent below the nipple line. Continue Reading →