Daily Archives: March 20, 2014

Exchange Surgery Update

I did not realize it has been eleven days since I have written but after looking at the date of my last post, it makes sense and is all coming back to me now.

Bra with the breast cancer ribbon on-1354535

© Unknown

In the last episode of my breast cancer reconstruction quest, I was waiting patiently for March 10th to arrive as it would be the day when I would visit with my ‘preferred’ plastic surgeon.

My husband and I arrived thirty minutes early for my appointment and stood in the crowded waiting room until I found a bench to rest my weary butt upon. Half an hour later, a patient was called to a room and I quickly acquired her chair. Within another half hour, another patient was called and I motioned to my husband to occupy that chair – vacancy was not long lasting. Our wait stretched to two and a half hours before my name was called.

The nurse did her routine duties and apologized for the long wait, explaining that they were double-booked because the previous Monday’s blizzard caused them to be shut down. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I did not really care anymore, I just wanted to see the doctor and go get something to eat for I was starving!


© Unknown

When the doctor came in, I explained to him my feelings of concern with my previous plastic surgeon. I showed him pictures of other women’s successful reconstructions as an example of how I wanted my chest to look.

He looked closely at the pictures and then at my chest and told me that my chest would never look like the woman in the picture because my chest structure is different, “not all breasts are the same…” He continued with, “your expanders look fine to me; I see nothing wrong with them, they are supposed to be up high.”

I indicated that I would like him to do the exchange surgery anyway and he told me that the girls out front would make the necessary arrangements. The nurse gave me a book (Sientra Reconstruction) which I was to read, fill out the form at the end of the book and return the form to him at my pre-op visit.

Stopping at the front desk before leaving, I asked if there was anything more I needed to do and what the next step would be. I was told that Angela (or whatever her name was) would be phoning me to arrange the pre-op appointment after she acquired approval from my health insurance company. I asked how long that might take. “Six to eight weeks” was the answer.

After arriving home, I began to re-think my thinking! Why should I wait up to eight weeks just to get the approval from my health insurance company and then another who-knows-how-many-weeks before surgery could be scheduled … all for results which will NOT look like the woman in my show & tell photos? After all, didn’t he say that there was nothing wrong with how my expanders looked?

My decision was changed once again… I was going to stick with my existing plastic surgeon. I reasoned that she knew my body; she was there during the worst surgery of my life and we have history. I made a list of phone calls needing to be made to put the brakes on the switch I had started and get back on track with Dr. T. By noon of the next day, I was back on track with a new exchange surgery date set for April 3rd.

Two weeks from today I will be in surgery. I will be keeping myself busy leading up to surgery, trying to keep my mind off of any worries. Oddly, I feel much more anticipation as this surgery approaches than I felt prior to the bilateral mastectomy surgery. I wonder why?