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