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From: Port Orange, Florida
Patient Type: Failed Implant Reconstruction
Patient History: Double Mastectomy / Implant Exchange / Reconstruction
5 / 5 stars
My story is fairly simple. When I got diagnosed with breast cancer, the decision to have a double mastectomy was very easy for me. I had a history, a family history, and I just knew I wanted to do everything possible to stay around for my children. So, what wasn't so easy, which I should have done more research, was reconstruction. The only options presented to me at the time were implants or LAP flap surgery, and I didn't want to have an additional surgery site, so I figured implants, no big deal, no big issue, everybody has them. So I opted for the implants. The TEs were very painful. I wasn't prepared for that.
But the main thing that I was not prepared for was just the feeling of a foreign object in my body. It's cold, they're hard, they just; they're not you. I also had a dent on one of my breasts, on the lower side to the middle, that bothered me quite a bit, and my implant rolled to the side (one of them). The little cleavage I had was a bony, concaved space. I thought I'd have to live with this. My oncologist suggested fat grafting. My plastic surgeon at the time said it would not survive; that there was no way to fix it. The only way was, again, to go to LAP flap. So, I went on the internet and put in "breast reconstruction fat grafting," and very quickly, of course, Dr. Khouri's name came up.
I had 500cc gel implants. He exchanged the implants; put in smaller ones. He put in 300cc implants, and in the same surgery he injected 300ccs of fat. It sounds like I would be huge because I went from 500 to 600, but the beautiful thing is, Dr. Khouri injects fat all around to give the breast a more natural look and feel. So, the upper pole, the sides, it's a gentle slope the way a natural breast should be. So, that was the first major surgery, and then, you know, the major issue to correct everything. Then we had two more fat grafting sessions.
They consisted less than, really, you know, the fat grafting he did corrections on my fold, just to make them more natural to the way they're supposed to be, and like I said, there was less fat grafting on the second and third. The major work he did in the first. I'm happy with my implants now. I really don't feel them. It's a total, total different feeling than what I had before. I guess what I have now is more what breast augmentation; what normal women do. It's an implant surrounded by natural soft, warm fat. The exciting thing with the fat grafting is that I have had return of feeling. It's gradual. I've kind of noticed, now that I've had three of these fat-grafting sessions,that usually it's around the two-month mark where I just feel a tingling feeling, and when I got my nipple tattooing done, I felt pain, which was exciting.I mean, I'm getting feeling back, which is something I never dreamed would happen.
As a matter of fact, if we go out on our boat, I will feel the wind, which, with implants, there was no feeling at all. So, it's exciting. Lipo, I was a little nervous. I'd never even considered it. We all have our trouble spots that we'd like to have, you know, taken care of, but we'd never go through with it. So, I wasn't that nervous about that, but I exercise a lot. I'm actually a personal trainer, too. I would compare the lipo pain and discomfort to a really intense workout session: very, very sore muscles. Having said that, the difference; the main difference there is that it takes longer. You have to expect the bruising and the swelling. That takes awhile. Bruising and swelling, I would say, two to three weeks before that subsides.
I tried exercising right away; walking. Nutrition, I think, is really important. Just give your body what it needs and work with, you know, the staff and what the surgeon has done here, too. Do your part. And that's why I just keep comparing it to: he's given me back my "normal." I feel normal. I don't think about my breasts. I see them when I get changed and I smile. I'm back in my skimpiest bikinis. And, because of the liposculpturing, which is a nice bonus, I'm more confident now than I ever was. It's just; it's an amazing process, and I just; I'm so grateful that I am where I am. That I found him and that he was able to fix me. Today's my birthday, believe it or not. But, like I said, I don't even feel my age. And thanks to Dr. Khouri, I'm not acting it either. I don't look it.
I feel wonderful. I feel he's; like I said, I've said it before: He's given me my normal back. But I'm just grateful. I'm grateful I did find him. I'm deliriously happy. I couldn't be happier. He's given me back my normal, which is, I think, what every breast cancer patient strives for.