Thursday, May 13, 2010

Plastic Surgeon

I saw Dr. Keller today. He is my plastic surgeon. We had to talk about the upcoming surgery as well as schedule it.

He is going to remove the tissue expander from the left side and replace it with an implant. It will be a silicone implant. I was a little iffy about the silicone but he assures me that it is different than it used to be. He said if I used saline it would look like a water balloon under the skin. He said that saline works for breast augmentation because there is breast tissue there. The breast tissue is above the implant and it looks realistic. In my case, there is no breast tissue so the silicone is needed because it is thicker and will act more like breast tissue.

He said that the type of silicone they use in these implants is made to stay in place if the implant ruptures. He said it is likely that I will have an implant rupture in my lifetime. That is one of the reasons why I didn't go with implants from the beginning. They are a lot of maintenance.

The right breast also needs some work. That would always be the case. The transplanted tissue is doing well, but it really isn't shaped like a breast. The second stage of the DIEP process is where they shape it. He will be removing some fat from a part of my body yet to be determined. He said it will only be about half a pound. Then he will inject the fat into spots on the breast to make it look more breast like.

Dr. Keller said I will need to be off from work for 2 to 3 weeks after this surgery. I can't lift Julianna. I can't drive right away but I am sure I will be faster than average with that. It is scheduled for June 23rd.

I will need another few surgeries after this one. Because one side will be an implant and the other is transplanted tissue they will look very different. Dr. Keller said they can never get complete symmetry when there are two different reconstruction methods. He is going to try to get them as close as possible. He is going to do a breast lift on the right side. It will likely be in the fall. The breast lift is because the right side is pretty naturally falling but the left side, an implant, will be high. After the lift there will be at least one more surgery.

I am not looking foward to any of these surgeries. I know each time the recovery has been very difficult. I really don't have any choice with this one because the fill port on the tissue expander is blocking the view in the MUGA (heart) scan. The fill has metal in it and it is right above my left ventricle. They need to see the left ventricle to figure out if the herceptin is doing any damage to my heart.

Thanks everyone for all the support!!!

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