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From: Oslo, Norway
Patient Type: Lumpectomy Reconstruction
Patient History: Lumpectomy / Reconstruction Post-Radiation
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. I was 32 years old. I had four lumpectomies followed by radiation. As a result of the radiation and the scar tissue, my shoulder began to have limited mobility and inflammation. I really needed to find a solution for this. I was young and wanted to feel and look good.
So I spent about three years trying to find the right reconstructive surgery. I was in contact with different surgeons in Norway and I also went to Switzerland and to the United States trying to find a solution that I could live with.
I did not have any peace about any of the surgical alternatives that I found. Most of the doctors wanted me either to have a mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery or to remove muscle and tissue from other parts of my body to replace what was taken away.
Then I heard about Dr. Khouri and the Miami Breast Center (www.MiamiBreast Center.com). I looked at his website and was very impressed with what I saw and how different his natural technique for breast reconstruction was from the other options that I had been given. The testimonies from his patients were positive, encouraging, and gave me hope. And when I contacted them through the website, I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly they responded back. I understood it to mean they were truly happy with their result and they cared.
I finally found a solution that gave me peace.
Not being an American citizen, I did not have the insurance to cover this treatment. I was a student and I needed to find a way to pay for it. I sold my indoor parking garage, decided to rent out my apartment for a year, and found a different living situation for myself. In Oslo there are not enough garages for everyone, so it was easy to sell it. These decisions allowed me to get started on the process.
So ready was I for this surgery that I had them schedule it before I even met Dr. Khouri for the first time. I came all the way from Norway by myself to the appointment with Dr. Khouri. Since I had never been to Florida, everything was new. I didn't know anyone or where I would stay after the surgery. But Cindy in Dr. Khouri's office was very warm, welcoming, and accommodating. Whenever I had any questions, she was very quick to help me with finding the information.
I was then put in contact with Diana, the nurse, who worked more closely with me to prepare me for the surgery. She really took time to answer all my questions, and she was very flexible with allowing me to come as often as needed in the days leading up to my reconstruction procedure. She was cheerful, caring, and very encouraging with my progress.
It has now been two months since my BRAVA + AFT reconstruction. I'm so happy with the results after just one surgery. I can see a very noticeable improvement in the appearance of the breast. The BRAVA + AFT reconstruction has helped to restore what the lumpectomies had taken.
Before this procedure, I had a lot of pain in the scar tissue area. Almost all of the nerve damage and pain has disappeared.
Previously, my lumpectomy scar was very tight and attached to the muscle. Using the BRAVA and the fat grafting procedure loosened the scar tissue, providing a welcome relief from the stiffness in my shoulder. Now I can do many of my normal activities without pain, such as running, swimming laps, and working out at the health club.
My experience with the surgery itself was very positive. Everyone was so enthusiastic and it was so clear that everyone loved what they were doing. I felt like I was in the best of hands.
Here is just one example of their thoughtfulness. I have nerve damage in my feet from frostbite after camping and hiking in the winter in Norway. I asked them if they could do something to keep my feet warm. So they placed a warmer by my feet during the surgery. The first thing I noticed when I woke up was that my feet were warm. It was a great way to wake up.
I started to use BRAVA in Miami when I first came to the Miami Breast Center. I carefully followed their instructions for using it in the weeks leading up to the procedure. Dr. Khouri said I did such a great job using BRAVA that the results were really good, so the surgery did not take very long. From this I now realize how important using BRAVA is. This process really involves teamwork between patient, doctor, and staff.
I always felt like Dr. Khouri was very experienced and capable and always knew exactly what he was doing or needed to do. But he still respected my wishes and my opinions about what should be done.
My second and final surgery is about one month away. Although the BRAVA takes a lot of time and effort in preparation for surgery, I continue to be totally convinced that I made the right choice for reconstruction. I am deeply appreciative to Dr. Khouri, his wonderful staff at Miami Breast Center, and BRAVA + AFT.
5 / 5 stars
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