Category Archives: breast reconstruction

Strange Bedfellows Ivy’s Story

As if divorce, breast cancer and chemo wasn’t enough, Hurricane Sandy blew me out of my cozy oceanfront Long Beach apartment and into my ex husband’s bachelor pad.
On the morning of Monday, October 28, 2012, my eight year old son and I had finished pasting three bats on our windows, trying to get into the Halloween mood. A storm brewing off of the East coast was headed for the Tri -State area. On the Friday before the weekend, they’d cancelled my son’s school preparing for the storm to hit land. By Sunday the camera crews from the networks that descended …

 

My Story -Testing for the Breast Cancer Gene

Angelina Jolie decision to share her story about being tested for the breast cancer gene and undergoing a double mastectomy is major and will help so many men and women.  It is incredible that as such a public figure, she was able to keep her story private until she wanted to share it with the world.
Shared it now is!
Since writing her story on the Op-Ed page of the New York Times, every newspaper, news cast and social media is abuzz with her story. Her honesty and truthfulness will help many make a very tough decision.
Here is my story about how …

 

Things to Remember Following a Mastectomy

Those of us who have had a mastectomy or bilateral mastectomy need to be aware of certain situations that can occur after having a breast or breasts removed. What follows is a list of some of these things:
Phantom Breast Pain – You may have a  feeling pain in the breast that has been removed.
Phantom breast pain can happen after mastectomy for the same reasons phantom pains happen after limb amputations. The brain continues to send signals to nerves in the breast area that were cut during surgery, even though the breast is no longer there.
Phantom breast pain after a mastectomy …

 

Choosing Breast Reconstruction

Choosing breast reconstruction  is a choice that not every woman is prepared to make soon after after a diagnosis of breast cancer.
Women opting to have reconstruction need to have a detailed discussion with their surgeons with regard to the risks and benefits of reconstruction. They need to understand that if they are considering reconstruction to maintain their body image that the reconstructed breast will not look exactly like their natural breast.
Women need to know that:

A reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation and feel as the breast it replaces.
Visible incision lines will always be present on the breast, whether …

 

Breast Reconstruction is Not a New Procedure

The physicians and other health care professionals I met during my two  breast cancers and my years as a navigator spoke of breast reconstruction as a seemingly new process for giving a woman a natural alternative to a breast prosthesis following a mastectomy.
I recently learned that breast reconstruction is a process begun over a century ago as a surgical approach to rebuilding the anatomic breast using tissue from the patient’s body and prosthetic implants. Breast reconstruction began as a means to reduce chest wall complications and deformities following a mastectomy.
Reconstruction techniques have continued to be perfected over the years and …

 

Breast Augmentation after Mastectomy

Breast augmentation after mastectomy is something that many women option to have done. Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer undergo treatment for their cancer, such as chemotherapy and/or radiation. Even if the treatment works to cure their cancer, doctors often recommend that women have their breasts removed to prevent a reoccurrence of breast cancer. A mastectomy is the process of removing the breast and its tissue to prevent the reoccurrence of potentially deadly breast cancer. Once a woman undergoes a mastectomy, she often makes the decision to have a breast augmentation to help her to feel good about herself …

 

Benefits of Breast Reconstruction without Implants

The following information appeared in MedicineNet.com (www.medicinenet.com) explaining the advantages, challenges and follow up care when choosing one’s own tissue for breast reconstruction.
Benefits
Using one’s own tissue and muscle in reconstruction results in a more natural looking breast that is not vulnerable to the problems that sometimes occur with implants. The shape, feel and contour of a breast reconstructed from a woman’s own tissue more closely resemble the characteristics of a natural breast.
Transferring tissue from the abdomen also results in tightening of the stomach resembling a tummy tuck.
Challenges
Reconstruction using Flap surgery is more involved than implant surgery.
And, like all major …

 

Why Choose Mastectomy Over Lumpectomy?

mastectomy
When a woman’s breast cancer is small enough to make her a candidate for a lumpectomy followed by radiation, why would she choose a mastectomy?
With early detection, over 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer may be candidates for a lumpectomy or other breast conserving surgery. Still, over half this number opt for mastectomies…why? The reasons are many and include:

Not knowing they have a choice
Living in a rural area and having to travel a substantial distance to access radiation Monday through Friday for 6+weeks would be a hardship
Cost- lumpectomy and radiation cost more in the short-term than a mastectomy and …