Breast Reconstruction Travel & Post-op Visits

Breast Reconstruction Travel & Post-op Visits A question was posed to me recently about breast reconstruction travel and post-op visits. The question was this: Terri – when you traveled for your DIEP, did you travel back/ forth for all the follow up visits also?  So, wondering how all the follow up visits go in a situation like this? How long did you stay in SA while recovering? It is an important question to ask. I had the same question before my own DIEP flap surgery.  DIEP flap is a very specialized breast reconstruction surgery using the patient’s own tissue.  There are few qualified micro-surgeons who perform it with a high rate of success and have amassed a great number of flap surgeries performed.  When the numbers are extrapolated, there is not even one in every state.  It makes sense, then, that to find a highly-qualified micro-surgeon, patients frequently must travel for Continue Reading →

History of DIEP flap Reconstruction

History of DIEP flap Breast Reconstruction The history of DIEP flap breast reconstruction, as with all medicine and surgery, has certainly evolved over the years. Patient recovery and healing, post operative outcomes and efficacy of the surgery has likely played a significant part in that evolution. The first attempts at flap reconstruction date back as far the 1800s. The advantage of using the deep inferior epigastric perforators (DIEP) as a means of breast reconstruction was primarily promoted by two surgeons in the mid 1990’s. Dr. Phillip Blondeel of Belgium and Dr. Robert Allen of the U.S. were the two surgeons who convinced their fellow plastic surgeons of the advantages of DIEP flap over TRAM flap as it did not use the rectus abdominis muscles thereby giving patients a more desirable outcome by not sacrificing their “sit-up” muscle. Many Must Travel to Find a Qualified Micro-Surgeon DIEP flap surgery is complex Continue Reading →

The Days Before Breast Reconstruction Surgery

The Days Before Breast Reconstruction Surgery The days before Phase 1 of DIEP flap or any breast reconstruction surgery puts most women I’ve spoken with through mental gymnastics , present company included. You have arranged for child-care if you have children at home. If you are traveling for your reconstruction surgery and your children will be traveling with you, chances are you’ve scoped out child-friendly venues that their care-taker can keep them occupied with for the week while you recover in hospital. You have packed your bags. You probably thoroughly cleaned your home knowing that will not be done, at least by you, for a bit. All of the incidentals are what keeps you busy and occupied before you leave. That’s a good thing. Mental Clearance Sale ~ Everything Must Go! Whether traveling out of town for your surgery or having it done in the same town you live in Continue Reading →

Breast Reconstruction Fears After Mastectomy

Breast Reconstruction Fears After Mastectomy Breast reconstruction fears after a mastectomy and not knowing all of the steps involved prevent many women from making the decision to move forward with reconstruction.  My breast reconstruction journey began when I had my annual mammogram on April 2, 2014.  My radiologist informed me that the mass she found in my right breast was highly suspicious of cancer.  I had to return to her office the next day to confirm that with a core needle biopsy (CNB). The results were ready five days later. My radiologist asked me the day she took the CNB if I knew of any breast surgeons since that is who would be reviewing the results of the biopsy with me. I had been to see one about five years previously to have a benign cyst removed close to my areola. I was very impressed with the surgeon so asked Continue Reading →