Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"All About Reconstruction"

My breast surgeon referred me to cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Larry Lickstein, to discuss breast reconstruction after my mastectomy.

I gave the cosmetic surgeon's office a ring first thing Monday morning to schedule an appointment, thinking of course it would be awhile before I'd actually get in. As it turned out, there had been a surgery cancellation and he had an afternoon appointment just for me. What are the odds? I'll tell you, thus far I've been so blessed regarding how well all of this is progressing and so quickly.

Jeff and I spent quite a long time with Dr. Lickstein discussing options, the process of rebuilding, recovery, possible complications, aftercare, etc. He was wonderful and thankfully, once again, a doctor who was patient and willing to address all of our questions and concerns to help bring understanding so we can make the best decision.

After my mastectomy,while still in surgery, immediate breast reconstruction will begin. He'll insert expanders under the breast muscle, insert a port and inject a small amount of saline to begin expansion of the skin. Then every week to ten days for about eight weeks I'll visit him in his office to continue with the saline injections until the desired breast size is achieved.

Then there's about a two to three month wait to let everything "settle", as he put it and then I'll go back into the hospital as an outpatient to have the expanders and port removed and have the permanent silicone implants put in place.

About two months after that he'll do nipple reconstruction and a couple after that tattooing of a new areola will be done. It's quite the process and hopefully it will turn out looking good, although it's never like your own.

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