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.
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!