Nearly painless breast reconstruction
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In this 'Sinclair Cares' report, there's now an option for breat cancer patients to have so-called 'nearly painless breat reconstruction.'
After being diagnosed with breast cancer in June, Kelly Chapman chose to have a bilateral mastectomy right away.
"I wanted to do as much as I could to make sure I have the best fighting chance of it not coming back later on."
She also opted for immediate breast reconstruction at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital using a technique Dr. Troy Pittman calls a 'game changer.'
"I call it the near painless breast reconstruction."
Rather than put the implant under the muscle the traditional way, it's plaved over the muscle.
"Putting the implants on top of the muscle, not dividing the muscle from the rib cage, completely changes the patient's pain level."
Meaning there's significantly less pain, and a faster recovery.
Kelly went home the morning after sugery and for long walks every day that week.
"They weren't my usual fast pace but they were defintely walks that didn't involve any pain," said Kelly.
"She was able to come home like the day she left before absent one thing," replied Kelly's husband, that's the cancer was removed looking like herself, feeling like herself."
The procedure carries risks like infection, bleeding, implant rupture and rotation but Dr. Pittman says those are rare.
He adds that cosmetic results are improved thanks to newer more natural looking 'shaped implants' that don't ripple under the skin..and patients' breasts don't look flexed, like after traditional reconstruction.
"If you've ever seen a body builder flex their muscles and their chest bounces, we see that with implants that are under the muscle," said Dr. Pittman.
Three months after sugery, Kelly is in the midst of chemotherapy, but feeling great.
"It has been such an awakening of what love is, what true friendship is, and whwat really matters."
Since last year, Dr. Pittman has performed it on three dozen patients at Georgetown. A third were women seeking 'redos' after suffering from chronic pain following traditional breast reconstruction.
The procedure is covered by insurance.