Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Medical Reports: Cancer Re-Construction
Whether if it's a celebrity like actress Christina Applegate or someone you know who has had to have a mastectomy, they all face the same difficult decision, but now a new wave of Cancer Re-Construction is giving women new breasts plus a tummy tuck.
WSVN -- At age 46, Lynn Curry's life was changed forever when her doctor found a lump in her breast.
Lynn Curry: "My son Alex was 19 years old, and my daughter Taylor was 12. I knew in my heart that it was cancer, and I got the diagnosis a few days later."
Her surgeon recommended a mastectomy. After losing her breast, she faced chemotherapy and the decision on how to become whole again.
Lynn Curry: "It was overwhelming to me."
Her choices were limited, an implant wouldn't match her other breast and another procedure called a Tram Flap could use her own tissue but would leave her with weak abdominal muscles.
Lynn Curry: "I really wasn't comfortable with sacrificing the abdominal muscle and creating a physical deficit to compensate for something that was cosmetic."
Then her surgeon offered her the latest in breast reconstruction: a Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap better known as DIEP.
Dr. Martin Newman, plastic surgeon: "The DIEP flap is the most technically advanced method of reconstructing a woman's breast with her own tissue."
Plastic surgeon Martin Newman says the procedure uses laser-assisted imaging, which allows doctors to select the appropriate tissue to be harvested from the abdominal wall.
Dr. Martin Newman: "It allows us to reconstruct the breast while sparing the abdominal wall muscles and gives the woman a little bit of a tummy tuck.
Tissue can also be harvested from other problem spots.
Dr. Martin Newman: "Other options exist whether it be the upper thigh, the saddlebags or the bottom, the buttock."
Lasers also help with recovery because doctors can make sure tissues are getting proper blood flow.
Dr. Martin Newman: "This is unique with the laser imaging and gives us a good sense of the ability of the blood flow to and from the tissue that we've transplanted."
The surgery can take up to 10 hours, recovery about six weeks, but patients say it's well worth the result.
Lynn Curry: "It was me again. It was natural, just very natural."
Lynn is now cancer free and back to herself with an added bonus.
Lynn Curry: "After having two children and two c-sections, I've got a stomach that I'd never thought I would have. It was the best thing that I could have done."
Richard Lemus: "Not everyone is a candidate for this procedure. Women with some medical problems may not be able to tolerate it."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
The Cleveland Clinic
2950 Cleveland Clinic Blvd.
Weston, FL 33331
Dr. Martin Newman
Department of Plastic