The Center for Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction Are You a Candidate for Breast Reconstruction?  

Patient Letters

The following is the real-life story of Carol, a DIEP Flap Reconstruction patient.

At first I thought that breast reconstruction wasn't for me. As time went on I started to change my mind. I felt different not having any breasts and the prothesis was starting to get very annoying. I had spoken with a friend who had the TRAM flap procedure and it seemed pretty radical to me. It took my friend 6-8 weeks to recover and she had to sacrifice her stomach muscle in order to have the procedure done. This definitely wasn't an option for me!

When I decided to start looking at other options the nurse practioner at UT mentioned the DIEP flap as a possible alternative. I began looking at your web site and the DIEP flap seemed to be a less invasive procedure. Why not use my own fat tissue to create my breasts rather than cutting my stomach muscle and using silicone? It made sense to me and decided that the DIEP flap was definitely a more desirable option.

When I first contacted your office, I was treated with compassion and felt like I was a family member already. I completed the initial application online and your office staff handled all the details with my insurance company. Everyone was so nice and willing to help in any way they could.

You performed the DIEP flap surgery on May 3, 2005. When I woke up from surgery and considering the angle I was seeing my new breasts, I thought they looked like pancakes. Everyone told me they were "beautiful pancakes"! I learned after my mastectomy that it's very important to get up and start walking after surgery. I was so surprised at how easy the recovery was as compared to my mastectomy. Of course it hurt, but the pain was not unbearable. I had surgery on Tuesday and was shopping in the French Quarter on Saturday!

I am so pleased with the results of my surgery. I feel more female again and am so happy that I didn't have to sacrifice my stomach muscle in order to have breasts again. When I look in the mirror I don't see scars, but beautiful perky breasts that look and feel as real as my natural breasts did.

You and your staff have made a tremendous impact on my life and I can never thank you enough for what you have done for me. All throughout my battle with breast cancer I have used it as an opportunity to educate women about the options that are available for treatment as well as reconstruction. I honestly believe that the DIEP flap procedure is the surgery of the future and hopefully more surgeons will seek training so that more women will be given the opportunity to have an alternative surgery for breast reconstruction.

It has been a long time that I have been fighting cancer, but if I had to do it all over again, I would still choose to have the DIEP flap surgery. My self esteem has soared and it's because of the wonderful reconstruction work you have given me. I will always be a huge fan of the procedure, you and your staff. Thank you again for making such a positive impact on my life.

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