See how these four women made breast reconstruction part of their breast cancer treatment at Penn Medicine.
Andy is working with Mandy Sauler, a micropigmentation specialist and tattoo artist at Penn, who will tattoo nipples and areolas on Andy’s breasts to enhance their appearance. She’s also working with Suhail Kanchwala, MD, a plastic surgeon and assistant professor of surgery at Penn Medicine, and considering having another surgery to refine her breast shape.
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"My reconstructed breasts were great. Dr. Kanchwala and his team were awesome," Kathy said. But it was a little while before Kathy decided to get nipple reconstruction. She was hesitant to undergo another surgery, but she didn’t like the way her chest looked.
"Dr. Kanchwala said, 'Kathy, it’s like having a belly without a belly button. If you get nipples, it distracts the eye from the scars. When you look in the mirror, you’ll feel more normal.' And he was totally right." She was very pleased with the outcome of the nipple reconstruction.
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Traci opted for free flap reconstructive surgery, which involved removing tissue from her back to place on her chest. The benefits of the procedure include a more natural shape, texture and appearance of the reconstructed breast.
"I think I had five to six surgeries all together to count," Traci said, recounting her two mastectomies, reconstruction, extensions and revisions. "And so it wasn’t an easy process for me at all. It wasn’t. Am I happy now? I’m very happy. But it wasn’t an easy process."
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