Lisa from Austin, Texas
DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction

Patient Stories

I live in Austin, Texas.  I found out about DIEP Flap from a friend and at the time she went through it in February, I never dreamed I would be dealing with a decision about breast reconstruction. I just assumed that if I ever needed to deal with it that I could choose to have the natural reconstruction that DIEP flap provides. I had a wonderful general surgeon here in Austin. She knew about my pending decisions and said that knowing what she knew, she would not recommend DIEP flap to me. She said that she would not do it for herself either, as she is a higher BMI woman. She told me how much easier getting implants would be, but I have never wanted implants. In fact that was the only options she told me about, until I asked about DIEP Flap. Implants are good if that is the only option, but for me, I wanted that choice only as a last option.

The second doctor I spoke to was actually a top plastic surgeon out of Seattle. He is a personal friend of my nephew, so my nephew hooked us up. We eventually spoke over the telephone and he got copies of my "before" photos. In our discussion, he asked my weight and my height and calculated my BMI, which is 37. He point blank told me I am not a candidate in his mind for DIEP flap and that he would not touch me unless I was a BMI 25. It was about this time I found PRMA and I wrote to find out if your doctors would even touch me, as I was beginning to assume, I might be too heavy to have a choice. I was relieved to hear you would consider me for a candidate and you got the photos and I came in for a consult and it was determined that I was a good candidate.

So here I am, post surgery and all is looking good. I am thankful to PRMA, because you gave me a choice. I can now have the body I want and I've been trying to get that word out not only about DIEP flap but also about PRMA. PRMA has the training and expertise to help women have the choice as to what type of reconstruction they want. I think that is important when all of us facing these options did not have a choice in getting cancer.

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