Burn Victim & Breast Cancer Survivor Gets Life Back Through DIEP Flap Surgery
By: Brandy (Korman) Haslam
After suffering severe burns to her chest nearly 3 decades ago, Linda Frost didn’t think things could get any worse until she heard those four dreaded words – you’ve got breast cancer.
Frost, who spent nearly 2 months in the burn unit in Lincoln Nebraska’s St. Elizabeth Hospital, was lucky to be alive after a fire in her backyard burned out of control, catching her clothing on fire. Frost suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns to her chest and her hands as she tried to tear off her melting clothes.
“It was a very challenging time in my life,” said Frost. “I had to go through many surgeries to debride the dead skin and then nearly a year of physical therapy but I was determined to be able to do all the things the doctors said I would probably never do again.”
And she did.
Frost recovered from her burns, but in 2012 she found out more bad news. She had breast cancer.
Since she was unable to have radiation due to the burns on her chest, she had to undergo a mastectomy. Ultimately she decided to have bilateral mastectomies. Her plan was to have implant reconstruction, but that failed because of her burn-damaged skin.
After losing all hope from her physicians in Nebraska, Frost began to do some research and came across PRMA Plastic Surgery in San Antonio, TX.
“I found PRMA on the internet and was immediately impressed with the skill of the surgeons,” said Frost. “I ended up choosing Dr. Chrysopoulo because of his experience with burn victims at Shriner’s Hospital and words cannot describe how he has changed my life.”
Frost underwent bilateral DIEP flap reconstruction, a procedure that uses skin and fat from the abdomen of the patient to reconstruct the breasts.
“The procedure was ideal for Linda because the burns on her chest made it impossible for her to have implants,” said Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo of PRMA. “The results we were able to get with the DIEP flap are phenomenal as we were able to remove that burned skin and replace it with healthy skin and fat from her abdomen.”
Frost says that she never imagined she would feel normal again.
“I was beginning to lose hope for the longest time, but I can say now that the results are better than I expected,” said Frost. “I feel good about myself and I’d like to say that PRMA gave me back what cancer stole from me.”