Karen’s DIEP Flap Surgery Experience
Hi, my name is Karen and I live in Las Vegas. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2020. I went through chemo and had a double mastectomy and then went through radiation. During my double mastectomy, I had expanders put in because at the time I didn’t know what type of breast reconstruction I wanted to do.
Shortly after my surgery a friend of mine who had breast cancer reached out and told me she had the DIEP flap surgery and was very pleased with her results. She recommended me to PRMA and she advised me to join the DIEP C Journey Facebook page because she said I could go on that Facebook page and read about women who had the procedure done. I joined the Facebook page and I started reading about all the wonderful stories of women who had traveled to PRMA and they shared their stories and they gave such wonderful feedback about their DIEP flap surgeries. They spoke so highly of the surgeons at PRMA so I continued doing some research on the DIEP flap procedure and that’s when I came across the Breast Advocate App.
This is an app that provides so much information about the different flap procedures and you can also watch videos where they explain the various DIEP flap procedures. It’s really informational. It has made me feel at ease about the procedures! A lot of my questions were answered on that app so after reading the stories on the DIEP C Journey Facebook page and watching the videos on the Breast Advocate App – I felt confident enough that I wanted to go forward and have the DIEP flap procedure done.
That’s when I reached out to PRMA and spoke with Tabetha their Patient Liaison. She was wonderful, she scheduled a zoom call for me with Dr. Chrysopoulo. Dr. Chrysopoulo was so nice and explained the DIEP flap procedure in detail and he answered a lot of my questions.
In September of 2021, I traveled to PRMA and Dr. Chrysopoulo performed a bilateral DIEP flap breast reconstruction on me and everything went very well just as Dr. Chrysopoulo had explained. I would say my pain level was very minimal and that’s due mostly in part to something they call the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Protocol. It’s a medication protocol they give to you before and after surgery. It was nice that I didn’t have to have a pain ball attached to me. I had that done when I went through my double mastectomy so as long as I followed the medication protocol I was given I had only minimal discomfort and no pain. It allowed me to get up and walk quicker.
I would say my recovery took about six to seven weeks – because I took the medication exactly as directed followed by aftercare instructions about the drains and incisions and avoided any heavy lifting.
I started off taking short walks at the beginning and gradually increased the distance each day which helped me regain my energy from week to week. I had no pain through the entire recovery, I also had my phase two revision surgery with Dr. Chrysopoulo in April of this year. It was such a fast and easy recovery as well.
I have to say the care I received from PRMA for both my phase 1 and phase 2 surgeries was beyond amazing. PRMA gave me instructions for absolutely everything I needed to know from recommending travel accommodations, details on preparing for my surgeries, what items to pack, the list of medications I needed, and detailed instructions about my aftercare breaking down what to expect and what to do week by week. Not one detail was missed and it made my entire process from beginning to end so easy. They tell you you can call with any questions and they provide so much detailed information you probably most likely will not have to call for anything. I think I called for one thing and being out of state it was so easy because you can send your questions via email and you can even send pictures of your incisions if you have a question about it and your nurse will get right back to you. This makes it so easy when you live out of state.
My surgeon Dr. Chrysopoulo did such an amazing job and I am so pleased with the results. My breasts look so natural and they feel natural again. During my reconstruction phase 2 surgery my abdomen is flat and my scar revision looks absolutely wonderful. Dr. Chrysopoulo, his nurse Denise, and Tabetha my patient liaison were all just absolutely amazing and compassionate throughout my entire process.
I would highly recommend PRMA to anyone looking into breast reconstruction and who wants to have this DIEP flap procedure done. If anyone is nervous about traveling out of state to have it done please know that PRMA makes the entire process so easy. They provided so much detailed information that it made it so easy for me. I was really nervous about traveling and they made it so easy from beginning to end. I am so thankful I found PRMA. I always tell everyone that cancer took a piece of me but Dr. Chrysopoulo put me back together and made me feel whole again. I am so thankful to him and to everyone at PRMA!
The care I received from PRMA for both my phase 1 and phase 2 surgeries was amazing. PRMA gave me instructions for absolutely everything I needed to know from travel accommodations, details on preparing for surgery, what items to pack, and the list of medications I needed. They also provided detailed instructions about my after-care breaking down what to expect and what to do week by week. Not one detail was missed and this made my entire process from beginning to end so easy.
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