Ask the Doctor: Flap Surgeries

Question:  I had a bilateral mastectomy last December after chemotherapy for stage 3 breast cancer in my right breast and lymph node removal. Expanders were inserted, and I had radiation treatment that ended in the spring. I am now ready to get rid of these expanders and have reconstructive surgery. I am confident I want an autologous tissue surgery. I am on my third plastic surgeon and I have concerns about going forward with this doctor since he has not shown me any pictures and does not … [Read More...]

Seeing Friends and Family for the First Time Since Surgery

There is nothing like a support system to help you get through cancer diagnosis and treatment. After you have surgery, your family members and friends will probably want to stop by and visit. They may also want to cook for you, clean your home or just keep you company as you recuperate. While seeing friends and family can be a positive part of your recuperation, it can also be overwhelming. You might not feel up to having company or you might feel self- conscious about how you look. Here … [Read More...]

Ask the Doctor: Phase 2 & 3 DIEP Procedure

Question: Hello! I’m currently seeking a surgeon for phase 2 DIEP. My plastic surgeon here did a great job for phase 1, but doesn’t seem interested in correcting what I think is a problem for phase 2. My breast size is currently a DD and I do not like the size. They are heavy and my back hurts by the end of the day. I’m seeking a C cup. Also, my abdomen is hard and bloated from underneath the breasts to just below my bellybutton. This hardness makes it difficult to breathe. Is this … [Read More...]

Opening up the Conversation on Family Cancer History

At the doctor’s office, you are given pages upon pages of paperwork to fill out about insurance information, medications and past illnesses and surgeries. When you get to the family history page it can be a bit overwhelming or you might even draw a complete blank. Did your Aunt Mabel have breast cancer? You vaguely remember your father telling you something about your second cousin’s diagnosis, but you can’t remember, and now some family members aren’t talking, so the facts are … [Read More...]

Ask the Doctor – Bilateral Mastectomy

Q: I had a bilateral mastectomy on 12/11/2017 after chemotherapy for stage 3 breast cancer in my right breast with 10 lymph nodes removed. Expanders were inserted, and I had radiation treatment. I am now ready to get rid of these expanders and have reconstructive surgery. I am confident I want an autologous tissue surgery. I am on my 3rd plastic surgeon. I have concerns about going forward with my current surgeon since he has not shown me any pictures and does not talk about a "team" approach. I … [Read More...]

I Tested BRCA Positive, Now What? 7 Things You Should Know

If you have a family history of breast cancer and want to know if you’re at risk of getting it, too, a genetic test might provide the answers. A simple BRCA blood test can determine if there are changes in your genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, which show you are at a higher risk of getting breast cancer. But what happens if your test results come back positive? A Positive Test Does Not Mean You Have Cancer: First, understand that a positive BRCA test result does not mean you already have … [Read More...]

Ask the Doctor – DIEP Flap

Q:  I am weeks out from a unilateral DIEP flap procedure on my right side. Regarding the tightness and cramping in the abdominal area, is there any type of stretching or massage that can be done to speed healing and/or alleviate discomfort? Also, when can I begin to use moisturizers for scar reduction, and what type would you recommend? A:  Good afternoon, thank you for reaching out to us. Those are great questions! Who was the plastic surgeon who did your DIEP procedure? It might be best to … [Read More...]

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