My story begins in 2008 when I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at the age of 52. I endured a double mastectomy with expanders, chemo, and radiation, expander removal and implant replacement and nipple reconstruction. I was just about at the end of my reconstruction when my I contracted an infection in my right implant and was hospitalized once again. The doctors tried to save it but could not and it was removed with nothing put in it’s place. It left me significantly disfigured!!
I was told implants were no longer an option for me and my only option to be whole again was a TRAM Flap. This procedure is very difficult not only for the patient but for the dr. as well. It’s a 14 hour procedure where my tummy tissue was used to create 2 new new breasts. My plastic surgeon at the time no longer did these procedures so I went on a search to find one that did……and found Dr Meade.
From the first day I met him, I knew I was in the right place. He has such a caring demeanor!! He not only saw my disfigurment but I really felt like he too felt the emotional pain that I tried so hard to keep hidden from the world. Since that day, he and I have been through a TRAM Flap 10 hour surgery, a couple of minor surgeries to tweak things and get them just right, nipple reconstruction and tatooing. I just went for my last follow up this past week and we both are so amazed at his work. My breasts are BEAUTIFUL!! They are even better than my originals and the best part are they are truly mine…..no implants. No chance for rejection in my future and I now have peace of mind that I have truly reached the end of my reconstruction road… finally.
Knowing what I know now, I wish I had done this procedure right from the start. I truly recommend to you women out there facing a mastectomy procedure that you really consider a FLAP procedure. There are a couple of different types and you really should investigate with your dr. which would be right for you. I’ll be honest, it’s not easy….but in the end….it’s worth it….your done. Implants require replacement after some time….real breasts don’t.
I must say, I really prefer my ‘real’ breasts over the implants. I think because I knew the implants weren’t really mine, every time I looked at them it reminded me of what I’d lost. Now, with my perky new real breasts, I just see ME…the new ME. I feel young again. Sure there are some scars but those are fading fast and soon I won’t be able to see them at all. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, with a FLAP, you get a tummy tuck to boot!! You get a flat tummy AND perky breasts!!
I truly can’t thank Dr Meade enough for what he’s done for me. I am so very thankful that GOD brought me to him. He brought me out of the dark and into the light and gave me hope again. He took me from being horribly disfigured to being beautiful. I have come out on the other side better than before I went in, thanks to him. He is phenominal! The man is truly gifted.