Lori’s DIEP Flap Surgery Experience
My name is Lori Druse. I am from Lincoln, Nebraska. A week ago, I had a double mastectomy with DIEP flap reconstruction.
I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in October of 2019 and from there my journey began, I guess.
I checked into the hospital Wednesday morning and got to meet with Dr. C. From there, I basically woke up in my room that evening very tired. But I will tell you that by the next morning, early the next morning the nurses had me up walking. I knew I’d be walking the next day but I was kind of surprised it was so soon in the early morning hours given that I had just checked into my room about 5-7 PM the night before.
I felt very tight, you know soreness, but I was able to manage through with the protocols that PRMA uses and the doctors use. I did not really have any sharp pains or anything like that, it was really something!
The next day it was pretty much all about getting up to walk periodically, obviously resting/sleeping and taking naps, eating, and those types of things and drinking lots of water.
The second day it was pretty much the same thing other than I got to shower and got discharged. Given that I’m from Lincoln, NE, this process included me staying in San Antonio here for another five days or so just to recover and get healthy enough to be able to fly back home which is happening tomorrow.
I had heard about PRMA from my oncologist. There was someone else from Lincoln that had come down [to PRMA] to do the same type of procedure, so I had talked to my oncologist.
I can tell you from the very first time I called PRMA, they gave me a wealth of information. The first person that I really talked to could tell you how it worked for someone that traveled the distance that I did. They answered all my questions and any questions they did not know right away they got back to me very quickly by either email or they would call me. [PRMA] was there along the way.
I did my chemo and then I guess I was a little unusual for my oncologist and my breast surgeon back home. Rather than doing my mastectomy up front, I really wanted to have a normal summer after I was done with radiation. I had asked about what I could do from a lumpectomy and maybe lymph node removal versus doing the mastectomy. It was it was a collaborative decision really…talking to PRMA to make sure the doctors here were comfortable with that, talking to my oncologist to make sure I wasn’t taking any additional risk by doing that, talking to my breast surgeon…and he was fine with that…and then obviously making sure it all worked with insurance from that standpoint.
So, that is what I did! I got through radiation and I felt like I had maybe a little more normal summer.
But it was still a summer of prepping! For surgery I met with a nurse and had a consult over the phone. That was still pretty early on in the summer. I actually had a Skype meeting with Dr. C where we could talk through the specifics of my surgery and some of the decisions that I personally got to make about certain things and again answer my questions about expectations and things like that.
I came down [to PRMA] on the Sunday prior to my surgery and met with the doctor and the nurse first thing Monday morning.
I had my COVID test given the environment that we are in and then basically isolated for a day and then showed up for my surgery which kind of brings me back to last week.
You know, the thing about PRMA is they’ve done this! Their doctors are very knowledgeable about this. I had a c-section which actually was an emergency c-section so that threw a few little wrinkles into the actual surgery but the doctor was able to work through that knew what to do. He was able to still give me exactly what I was expecting and was looking for from that standpoint and that’s one of the reasons I came here.
[PRMA] knows how to deal with people that are traveling from a long ways away. They help you through the process of traveling, finding a hotel, you know those types of things. Their doctors are very experienced and have done a lot of this. It was very nice you!
I met with the surgeon obviously the morning of surgery, but I also saw him both mornings that I was in the hospital as well as my follow-up that I had just. I just have great things to say about them! They’ve taken very good care of me and I really appreciate that!
You know, the thing about PRMA is they’ve done this! Their doctors are very knowledgeable about this.
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