3 Decadent Dessert Recipes for a Treat Yourself Day

Every day people go to work, run a business, care of their children, take care of their pets, volunteer, and do many other tiring jobs.

It’s possible you do at least one, or even more, of the things we just mentioned above.

The bottom line is that we know you work hard every day to make ends meet, care for your family, and help those in need. And most of the time, you probably even do it without getting one “thank-you” in return.

Well, we believe it’s time to thank yourself. And one of the best ways to do that is to set aside a time to indulge in a decadent “treat yourself” dessert.

We, at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, love to indulge in a sweet treat from time to time ourselves. So, we thought we’d share 3 delicious recipes that we think you’ll enjoy.

Ready for a much-needed treat yourself day? Give one of the following recipes a try!

Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe

There’s nothing more decadent than a warm, gooey piece of cake filled with rich, molten chocolate lava. If you’re a chocolate lover, this recipe is for you.

The best part, it’s super simple to make. Check it out…

Ingredients:

  • Baking spray, for spraying custard cups
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray four custard cups with baking spray and place on a baking sheet.

2. Microwave the butter, bittersweet chocolate and semisweet chocolate in a large bowl on high until the butter is melted, about 1 minute. Whisk until the chocolate is also melted. Stir in the sugar until well blended. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolks, then add the vanilla. Stir in the flour. Divide the mixture among the custard cups.

3. Bake until the sides are firm and the centers are soft, about 13 minutes. Let stand 1 minute. Invert on individual plates while warm and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/chocolate-lava-cakes

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

If you prefer a dessert made from fresh, sweet, and juicy berries, you’re going to want to give this strawberry shortcake recipe a try.

This light, yet decadent dessert, topped with a sweet homemade whipped cream, is so easy to make even a novice chef can do it. Give it a try.

Ingredients:

  • 3 pints fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups whipped heavy cream

Directions:

1. Slice the strawberries and toss them with 1/2 cup of white sugar. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease and flour one 8-inch round cake pan.

3. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons white sugar and the salt. With a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg and milk. Stir until just combined.

4. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool partially in pan on wire rack.

5. Slice partially cooled cake in half, making two layers. Place half of the strawberries on one layer and top with the other layer. Top with remaining strawberries and cover with the whipped cream.

Recipe Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/8201/strawberry-shortcake/

Vanilla Bean Mousse Recipe

Vanilla lovers, rejoice!

This 4-ingredient recipe is simple and delicious, and leaves you wanting to come back for seconds. And we say, go ahead and grab that extra serving—today is a day to indulge, right? The next time you have a vanilla craving, whip this recipe up…

Ingredients:

  • One vanilla bean, seeds scraped from the pod
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

1. Whip heavy cream with vanilla bean seeds and 1/3 cup sugar until soft peaks form (err on the side of slightly overwhipped). Set aside.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add 1/3 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

3. Fold together the whipped cream mixture and the egg mixture (I folded the eggs into the whipped cream).

4. Gently pour into individual serving dishes and refrigerate at least six hours, or overnight.

5. Serve!

Recipe Source: http://www.sugarlaws.com/vanilla-bean-mousse

Do you have a favorite decadent dessert recipe? Share it with us in the comments below!

 

Ask the Doctor- Is the Fat from the Stomach Area Okay to Use for Breast Reconstruction?

This week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.

Question: Is the fat from the stomach area okay to use for breast reconstruction?

Answer: If there is enough stomach fat, it is our preferred donor site to reconstruct the breasts. The exact technique used is the “DIEP flap,” which does not take any muscle at all. If there is not enough stomach fat, our next choice is the buttocks, but we prefer to use stomach if it is adequate.

Thanks for your question, and please let us know if you would like additional information.

 Have a question about breast reconstruction or post-surgical you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask!

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

On April 22, 192 countries from around the world will all celebrate a very important holiday—Earth Day!

Schools will plant trees, groups will pick up trash in community parks, and thousands of people will pitch in to help clean up our earth in an effort to keep it beautiful for generations to come. This holiday is such a great reminder to all of us about how we must take care of the earth we live on.

We at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction believe we should take care of our earth as if every day is earth day. Which is why, on this holiday, we want to share a few ideas of things you can do to celebrate earth day that will help keep our planet clean and safe.

This Earth Day, and every day after, see if you can put some of these activities into action.

Picnic and Park Cleanup

Every now and then it’s nice to pack up a picnic lunch, head to your favorite park, and enjoy time outside with your friends and family.

The next time you head out for a picnic, we suggest you bring a few trash bags with you.

Before you dig into your delicious picnic basket, spend 15 minutes with your friends or family walking around the park, picking up trash. The more people you have, the quicker you’ll be able to clean up your park.

After you’ve collected your trash, dump it in the nearest trash can, wash up with some hand sanitizer or wet wipes, and then reward yourself for a job well done by diving into your picnic feast.

Take a Bike Trip

There’s nothing more fun than a bike ride on a nice sunny day—except maybe taking a bike ride to grab some ice cream or another one of your favorite treats.

If you live in town and can bike to your local ice cream parlor, celebrate Earth Day with a bike ride to grab a sweet treat.

Taking your bike instead of a car cuts down on gas emissions, which pollute the earth. Plus, you’ll get some good exercise as you ride your bike.

We then encourage you, if you feel safe enough, to take your bike instead of a car wherever you can. We understand this isn’t possible for everyone, but if you live in a community with safe bike paths, give it a try!

Plant a Garden in Your Yard

Planting a garden is a great way to make your yard look beautiful while helping the earth.

Planting a flower garden helps the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds get the food they need from nectar to thrive. More important, flowers provide bees with the energy they need to pollenate our food sources so we can eat fresh produce.

If you’re a tree lover, planting trees is great, too! Adding a few new trees in your backyard is good for increasing oxygen levels as trees take unbreathable CO2 emissions and turn it into oxygen.

Last but not least, you can also plant a veggie garden. The flowers on the vegetables provide bees with food. In return, the bees pollinate the flowers so that your vegetables can bud and grow. Bonus, you get the reward of having fresh organic veggies when you grow your own garden!

Make a Recycle Bin for Your Home

Every day people throw recyclable materials, like plastic, in the trash. And this is a problem because plastic doesn’t decompose.

When nonbiodegradable products are put in landfills, they pollute the earth and can even put animals at risk. If you’ve ever seen pictures of animals caught in plastic soda rings or images of birds and other critters tangled in plastic bags, you know what we’re talking about.

The good news is you can help change this problem.

All you have to do is go out to the store and get a bin. If you’d like, you can decorate it and label it “recycle.” Then all you need to do is throw your plastic containers, cardboard, and glass products in the recycle bin instead of the trash.

Once you’ve collected a full bin of recyclable materials, dump it in your outdoor recycle trash bin, or bring it to your local recycling center.

Turn Trash into Treasure with Repairing and Repurposing

These days, people are quick to throw things in the trash without trying to fix or reuse what they are throwing away.

A great example is a basketball that has a leak. Instead of throwing away the basketball, you may be able to fix it with a simple patch job. When you can repair instead of throwing away your things, you create less waste.

On the other hand, there are things that can’t be repaired or used in the same way again.

One example is an old t-shirt that no longer fits because you’ve grown. Instead of just throwing it in the trash, there are several things you can do with it.

First, you could donate it to someone in need, as long as it’s in good condition.

If it’s not in good condition, consider cutting it up into small cleaning rags and using those pieces of clothes to clean instead of buying a new package of washcloths at the store.

If you use some creativity, there are many ways you can repurpose older things into new things.

Do you do anything special to celebrate Earth Day? Share it with us in the comments below!

Ask the Doctor- Is It Possible To Have a Bilateral DIEP after Having a Bilateral Mastectomy?

This week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.

Question: I had bilateral mastectomy in Dec 2009. Is it possible for me to have bilateral DIEP now?

Answer: Thanks for your great question! There is no limit on the time elapsed from your mastectomies for you to have DIEP flaps. In fact, it is not terribly unusual to reconstruct people who, for various reasons, have delayed reconstruction for 10-15 years. Generally speaking, they do at least as well as patients who have immediate reconstruction, and sometimes better. If you have a suitable donor site (which most people do), and you are in reasonably good health, it is very likely that you could have reconstruction with your own tissue.

I would be more than happy to speak with you by phone, or, if you are able, evaluate you in person. If you wish, we could have our NP Lindsey or PA Audrey contact you to get more information.

 Have a question about breast reconstruction or post-surgical you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask!

3 Reasons to Drink More Water

Your body is made up of about 70% water. Sounds, crazy, but it’s true! And your body depends on all that water.

This large percentage of fluid helps to regulate the temperate of your body’s cells, organs, and tissues and maintain other bodily functions. Without it, we could not live.

In fact, even being slightly dehydrated can cause problems, like dizziness and headaches—our bodies’ own warning signs that it’s time to rehydrate!

Now here’s the million-dollar question…what does water do in our bodies that makes it so important? Keep reading to find out why it’s important to stay hydrated!

Water Helps Us Transport and Metabolize Food

Water is an essential element in transporting waste and fluids. It’s also vital to metabolizing food. Without it, the proper chemical reactions of digestion cannot occur.

And when you’re unable to digest food properly, you’ll be certain to experience abdominal discomfort and a bad tummy ache.

Not to mention, the carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are also metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream. If we don’t have enough water in our system, we are unable to absorb the nutrients we need to stay energized and healthy.

Water Helps Removes Toxins from the Body

The body needs fluids to flush out the body’s toxins and waste products.

When hydrated, water moves through the kidneys, liver, and intestines to help cleanse and rid your body of harmful toxins.

Water also naturally suppresses the appetite, which helps the body metabolize and get rid of stored fat deposits—another form of flushing out stored-up waste.

Water Regulates Body Temperature

Water is essential for regulating the body’s cooling system.

It works by enabling the body to release heat when the temperature is higher than our body temperature. In other words, it allows us to sweat, which is our body’s most efficient way to cool itself when overheated.

Clearly, water does a lot for the body, and it’s very important. But, not everyone consumes enough water to help her body function at its best.

Personally, we think making flavored water is a great way to encourage us to drink more. So, to help you start drinking more water on a daily basis, we’re going to share a delicious flavored water recipe with you.

Check it out…

Strawberry Mint Water

Ingredients:

  • 6 – 8 sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup of mint leaves
  • 40 oz. of cold purified water
  • Ice

Directions:

#1 Slice up 6-8 strawberries.

#2 Crush 1 cup of mint leaves.

#3 Add ingredients to 40 oz. of water. If needed, add ice.

#4 Let sit for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, to let flavors meld together.

#5 Enjoy!

Recipe source: http://www.inspiredbythis.com/dwell/berry-infused-water/

What do you do to make sure you drink lots of water? Share in the comments below!

Ask the Doctor- Will My Insurance Cover a Prophylactic Mastectomy If I’ve Had Gene Testing?

This week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.

Question: I did the gene testing in February; tested positive for BRCA 2. I want to go full steam ahead and be proactive with prophylactic mastectomy. I am 31-year-old single mom. However, in regards to insurance, I am in a pickle. I just switched jobs and will be obtaining new/different insurance with new company. Will the new insurance I am obtaining most be okay with the gene testing from prior company and proceed to pay for the mastectomy/reconstruction? I can provide all the results and positive test results as well to them to suffice.

Answer: Most insurances do pay for prophylactic mastectomies when you have a gene conferring increased risk. While I cannot tell you with certainty, the companies that offer the tests are pretty standardized, and there is no logical reason not to accept the results of a prior test. We would be happy to help you further define your options with your present insurance company, if you wish.

 Have a question about breast reconstruction or post-surgical you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask!

Delicious and Nutritious Plants for Your Spring Vegetable Garden

Spring has officially sprung, and it’s time to start planting your spring garden, packed with delicious and nutritious veggies. Yum!

If you’ve never planted a vegetable garden before, or are looking for some new ideas for your existing garden, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to share some of our favorite veggies that thrive in gardens during the cooler spring months.

Even better, we’re going to share some delicious recipes you can use once your veggies are mature and ready to harvest.

Keep reading to discover the best types of veggies to plant this time of year and a variety of different recipes you can use to make these nutritious veggies taste great!

Lettuce

From iceberg to romaine, spring is the prime season for growing lettuce. In fact, it’s the best time you should have this leafy vegetable in your garden.

That’s because as soon as the weather gets hot, lettuce wilts and dies. So, start planting now!

We recommend growing romaine lettuce in your garden. The darker-colored lettuce varieties tend to have more vitamins and nutrients, like manganese, potassium, biotin, vitamin B1, copper, iron, and vitamin C, and are a very good source of dietary fiber.

Once you’ve harvested your lettuce, try out this delicious lettuce wrap recipe!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, drained and diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup julienned green onions
  • 12 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:

#1. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook chicken in 1 tablespoon oil for 3 minutes; drain. Add the mushrooms, water chestnuts and ginger; cook 4-6 minutes longer or until chicken is no longer pink. Drain and set aside.

#2. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and remaining oil. Stir in the carrots, onions and chicken mixture.

#3. Spoon onto lettuce leaves; sprinkle with almonds. If desired, fold sides of lettuce over filling and roll up. Yield: 6 servings.

Recipe source: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chicken-lettuce-wraps 

Broccoli  

Broccoli is another hardy cool weather veggie, which makes it perfect for springtime planting.

The best part—it’s a very low maintenance plant to grow. As long as you plant it in an area with full access to sunlight and water it every day, you’ll have beautiful broccoli stalks shooting up in your garden before you know it.

Tip: Broccoli does not like hot weather. For this reason, we advise you to pick up partially grown stalks from your local plant nursery so it has time to mature before summer hits.

Once harvested, each stalk is packed with dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B1, vitamin A, potassium, and copper. All of these nutrients are vital for a healthy body.

When your broccoli is ready to eat, we recommend trying out this broccoli salad recipe.

Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5-6 cups fresh broccoli florets (about 1 pound of florets)
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of frozen peas, thawed (or fresh peas if you can get them)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey

Directions:

#1. Bring a large pot of water, salted with a teaspoon of salt, to a boil. Add the broccoli florets. Cook 1-2 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want the broccoli. 1 minute will turn the broccoli bright green, and leave it still pretty crunchy. 2 minutes will cook the broccoli through, but still firm.

#2. Drain the broccoli and immediately put into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. After the broccoli cools, drain it well before dressing it in the next step.

#3. Combine broccoli florets, almonds, crumbled bacon, chopped onion, and peas in a large serving bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, cider vinegar and honey.

#4. Add dressing to the salad and toss to mix well. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Recipe Source: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/broccoli_salad/

Asparagus

Asparagus is a delicious and hardy spring vegetable. The only downside—this type of produce tends to be expensive when you buy it from a grocery store.

The solution: Grow your own at home and save big!

Because asparagus is typically grown from asparagus crowns that you buy at your local garden store, this veggie is pretty easy to grow. It’s also low maintenance, which makes it the perfect vegetable for those who are new to gardening.

On top of being easy to grow, it’s also very nutritious. It’s a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K. It also contains chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.

Pretty neat!

Personally, my favorite way to consume asparagus is by cooking it on the grill.

Simply coat the asparagus stalks in a little bit of olive oil, then lightly salt and pepper.

Throw the stacks directly on the grill, or use a grill pan, and cook for about 10-15 minutes. The longer you cook the stalks, the softer they will become.

Super easy and delicious!

Tip: You can add whatever seasoning you like to asparagus. Experiment with different seasoning combinations until you find the flavoring you like best!

Do you have a favorite spring vegetable?

Let us know in the comments below!

Ask the Doctor- Can I have reconstruction at 70 years old?

This week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.

Question: At 70 years and in good health apart from arthritis should I be concerned about an abdominal fat replacement breast reconstruction considering that the operation might be long?

Answer: We have successfully reconstructed a number of ladies aged 70 and older. Generally, they have done well, and age itself is not, strictly speaking, a reason not to have the procedure, if everything else is favorable. Having said that, there do seem to be more “bumps in the road” the older one gets. If you wish, we could call and discuss your particular situation in more detail.

Thanks for your question, and have a great weekend!

 Have a question about breast reconstruction or post-surgical you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask!

Life after Mastectomy: Prosthetic Nipples

Being diagnosed with breast cancer and facing a cancer battle can be a long, draining, and scary experience.

While women who beat cancer find themselves overjoyed and grateful, there’s still a part of having breast cancer that tends to linger—especially if they’ve had to go through a mastectomy.

While we know women feel incredibly grateful that they’ve won their battle with cancer and feel they can begin life again, it’s also very common for them to long to feel like their old selves again.

At The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we want all women to feel confident, radiant, and beautiful after a mastectomy, which is why we were so excited to find out about a new non-surgical solution to breast reconstruction—prosthetic nipples.

We love the product so much, we even carry demos in our office for women to try.

So, how exactly did this product come to be and how does it work?

I’m going to let breast cancer survivor and inventor Randi Johnson tell you in her own words.

Here’s her story…

After the shock of my IDC breast cancer diagnosis in 2007, I was hoping for the least invasive corrective surgery. The lump was too large for a lumpectomy, so a unilateral mastectomy was the choice I made. I had a new full-time job and didn’t want to take 6 weeks off for breast reconstruction.

The mastectomy was not very painful and I had a good recovery, but reality hit as bandages came off and I saw “my new normal” in the mirror. I’m not an especially vain person, but it was hard to feel “pretty” for my husband, even though I knew he loved me beyond the disfigurement.

I found myself wearing my prosthetic mastectomy bra to bed at night.

We happened to hear about Dr. Khouri in Miami, FL  who was doing a less invasive type of breast reconstruction surgery. There were no incisions, it was outpatient, and had a lower risk of complications. I only had to miss 3 days of work for each step (4 fat grafting sessions, for me).

Adding to the appeal, was the fact that they would take fat from tummy, thighs and anywhere else I didn’t want it and make a new breast out of it.

What’s not to love about that!

I was amazed to find that Dr. Khouri was in network for my insurance plan. There were still travel expenses etc., but somehow it all worked out.

It felt like I was growing a new breast and hardly had time to think about not having a nipple on that side, but when Dr. Khouri made an impression of my natural nipple and made up a silicone “rough draft” of a nipple for my recon side (for purpose of photos), my husband asked if he could tinker with the idea.

Dr. Khouri was very impressed with the prototype we brought back to show him a few months later. He invited us to display our Naturally Impressive nipple prosthetics as a vendor at a couple of his fat grafting conferences.

We received a great reception as well as some helpful ideas from the international breast surgeon attending.

I was part of an “MD Rounds” event at one of those Fat Graft Conferences and it was exciting to have MDs ask in disbelief (right after they heard my history). “Did you have a mastectomy?” We have heard countless similar stories from our clients about their Naturally Impressive nipples “fooling” others because they look so natural.

Now it’s become my new body image. If I have it off for a day or two, the asymmetrical image in the mirror doesn’t feel like it’s me.

We’ve been serving women through Naturally Impressive, LLC, since January 2010. As a “Mom and Pop” shop, we keep operating costs low and we also get to know many of our clients quite well. It’s an incredible joy! We love it!

No matter what option women choose regarding nipples, Naturally Impressive can be a way to “feel normal” again. For some, this is a great short-term option while waiting for tissue to settle before making a permanent choice. For others, it’s a wonderful non-surgical long-term solution.

If you or someone you care about is longing to feel normal again in the nipple department, check out our website to see the realism, variety and affordability of choices we offer.

Click here to visit the Naturally Impressive website.

You can also call Naturally Impressive, LLC, at 715-829-4488 if you have any questions.

Do you have a favorite post-mastectomy product that makes you feel confident and beautiful?

Share it with us in the comments below!

Ask the Doctor- Can you help me schedule a consultation?

This week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.

Question:  I am 35 years old, my BMI is 29. I have a pathogenic mutation of the ATM gene and strong family history of breast cancer (mom dx in 2016 at age 68 and also has the ATM mutation, two deceased maternal aunts dx in their late 30s). In January 2017 I underwent diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound, then MRI, and then an MRI-guided core needle biopsy of a 4.6×1.4 cm linear nonmass enhancement. Pathology revealed sclerosing adenosis, benign changes, and flat epithelial atypia.

Because of the atypia I am scheduled for an extensional biopsy on February 16, 2017, to remove more tissue and hopefully rule out cancer. I am trying to stay ahead of the curve and I am interested in pursuing what I hope will be a prophylactic mastectomy with immediate flap-type reconstruction, but understand planning and timing will depend on the outcome of the pathology from my next procedure.

I spoke with my doctor about prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction (my doctor is a surgical oncologist and will be performing my upcoming extensional biopsy) and asked which plastic surgeon she recommended on their team for flap-type reconstruction. She told me that she would perform the mastectomy, that I would be flat for a while, and that the plastic surgeon she recommended would perform reconstruction during a second surgery at a later date because “that’s just how he does it.”

I heard about your center on a DIEP support group on Facebook, and your surgeons are so highly recommended and are in-network with my insurance. I have learned a lot about the procedures in the support group, and I would like a second opinion from your doctors as I know that immediate reconstruction is possible in a lot of situations. I live near Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and I am willing and able to travel to be in the hands of an experienced team. A Monday morning appointment for a consultation would be ideal because of the travel involved, and either location would be fine, but I am flexible. Can you please help me schedule a consultation? I feel uncomfortable asking my doctor/surgeon for a referral at this time.

Answer: Thanks for your question. I’m sorry you are having to go through this, but we will help you any way we can.

The only common reason to NOT do immediate flap reconstruction at the time of mastectomy is if we know or suspect that you will need post-operative radiation, because that can severely damage a new flap. The most common reasons for giving radiation are a cancerous tumor over 5 centimeters in size, or a positive axillary lymph node.

Hopefully, you will end up not having cancer at all, and neither of these situations will apply to you. We do immediate flap reconstruction very routinely, sometimes several times a week, and I suspect there is a very good chance you could have it done that way.

We work with several truly cutting-edge breast surgeons, and we would be happy to arrange for you to see both of us on the same day. If you wish, we will have one of our PA’s (Kim and Audrey) or Nurse Practitioner (Lindsey) contact you to get additional information, and help make arrangements.

Have a question about breast reconstruction or post-surgical you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask!