Introducing the New Dr SPosted: January 20, 2011 Filed under: breast cancer | Tags: Baylor College of Medicine, DIEP, flap, Johns Hopkins, lymphedema, microsurgery, new boobs, panties, plastic surgery, reconstruction, recovery, SIEA 8 Comments
There’s a new Dr S in my life. I’m happy to introduce Dr Aldona Spiegel.
She’s younger than me and has 3 kids, ages 6, 2 and an infant. She’s tall, slender and blonde. And she’s a renowned surgeon. If I didn’t like her so much, I might hate her a little.
But she’s gonna build my new boobs, so I love her.
We had a fantastic consultation today. Every aspect of her office, from the atmosphere to the staff, is first-rate. Beautiful waiting area, pleasant receptionist, warm & friendly nurses, a big Mac (computer, not burger) in the exam rooms, a fantastic physician’s assistant, a comprehensive bound photo book of before & after pictures of her patients, and of course the lovely doctor herself.
According to her website, “Her goal is to provide not only the most advanced breast restoration procedures, but also a caring and supportive environment—allowing each woman to complete a successful rehabilitation from her breast cancer battle.”
I like that. I’m especially intrigued by the idea of rehab from my battle. Sounds good.
How about this: “Dr. Spiegel is committed to providing superior, patient-focused care and preparing the next generation of surgeons to meet the highest standards of excellence. This vision combines a dedication to advanced research, exceptional education, and the development of new, less invasive treatments and procedures.”
She trained in general surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and did her fellowship in reconstructive microsurgery and specialization in plastic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine where she was served as Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Spiegel has trained with leading reconstructive surgeons around the world, developing and improving upon techniques to help minimize the aftereffects of breast cancer on a woman’s body.
This just keeps getting better and better!
Here’s where we get into the medical mumbo-jumbo: “Dr. Spiegel’s clinical expertise is in advanced breast reconstruction techniques and microsurgery, particularly in the area of surgical reconstruction with reinnervated autologous muscle-preserving perforator flaps, including the DIEP Flap, SIEA Flap, SGAP Flap, TUG Flap, and the TAP flap. Dr. Spiegel also specializes in Lymphedema Procedures, advanced Implant and Latissmus reconstruction, and has pioneered Sensory Innervation procedures which have the ability to reestablish sensation to the breast resulting in the most complete form of breast restoration. In addition, she is interested in all aspects of aesthetic surgery and is committed to women’s health issues in plastic surgery.”
Sweet. She is the total package.
The only complaint I have is with the panties.
They were made of paper. And small. Really small. I spent a few seconds staring at them before thinking, one size does not fit all.
Egads. Cue the humiliation. Again.
Luckily, I’ve been humiliated in a doctor’s office before, so I’m ready for it and ok with it. I slipped on my pretty blue paper panties and the matching blue paper gown and prepared to meet my new savior, Dr Spiegel. I’m so glad I’m past caring about meeting a beautiful and successful doctor while wearing the most unflattering paper garments ever.
She answered all my questions, most importantly the one about weight gain. I’m good, I’m fat enough and don’t need to gain any more.
Whew, that’s a relief. I was getting pretty tired of drinking beer & eating chips. Now that I’ve bulked up, I am free to return to my normal, healthy eating. She said she would prefer to have a bit more building material, but she can work with what I’ve got, so I don’t have to worry about applying for a new zip code for all the junk in my trunk.
Now that’s a relief.
She’s planning my reconstruction, and it’s going to be pretty great. I’m actually starting to envision an end to this long, bumpy road. As much as I detest the idea of another hospital stay and recovery, I’m looking forward to closing the book on this chapter of my life. It’s such a cliche, but it’s true. Reconstruction is a big, scary step. I totally understand why some women never do it. And if not for the infection and the mess it left behind, I wouldn’t be in any hurry to do it myself.
But the infection did leave a nasty mess, and it continues to wreak havoc, and the best way to end that madness is to excise the tissue (again), and replace it with new tissue and a new blood supply.
It means a long surgery, a night in the ICU, and several additional nights in a regular room. Ugh, yuck, and ick. But, it will all be worth it when it’s done and I can say I’m truly on the other side of this wretched business.