Research Accomplished

November 4, 2011 by Julie Moon

I spent all day at home today…most of it in my pajamas while I researched things online and read and spoke with other reconstruction patients via email, message boards and on the phone.  I am so grateful for the technology I have available to me so that I can make even more informed decisions quickly.

Today I started the day not really knowing exactly what procedure I would like to have done and not having any idea who I would like to do the procedure.  Now at 5:00 pm I feel very confident about both.  I spoke this afternoon with Dr. Craigie’s PA from Charleston.  We discussed all the different procedures and I really feel like the procedure that is right for me is the GAP flap procedure.  Here is what they write about this procedure.

GAP Flap

A Technique for Women With Flat Tummies Or Previous Abdominal Surgery

Women who are thin or who have minimal tummy tissue can also benefit from this procedure. In the GAP Flap, tissue is taken from the buttock area. The skin, fat and tiny blood vessels are removed through an incision that can be hidden under the panty line. Depending on a woman’s shape and where she has extra tissue, the area above the buttock to include the love handle or hip area can be used with this technique. If someone’s extra tissue is in the lower buttock or saddle bag this area can be considered as well.

The microsurgery techniques used by CNBR surgeons spare the gluteal muscle, and forms the tissue into a new breast mound. The added benefit: patients also receive a buttocks/thigh lift!

Although the GAP flap is the least commonly used of all flaps due to its technical difficulty, our two expert surgeons are within the tiny percentage of microsurgeons in the United States who routinely reconstruct both breasts at the same time with GAP flaps. While technically demanding, GAP flaps often produce a more youthful appearing breast than the DIEP.

I think this is the right procedure for me.  I am happy about what I have learned about it.  There are only three places that do this procedure.  Charleston and New Orleans are the ones I have been researching.  The other is in New York.   I like the idea of traveling to Charleston because it is only about 4.5 hours away.  I can get there inexpensively.  I can have more than one person travel with me if needed.  I think it will be easier on my body post surgery to drive home as opposed to flying from New Orleans.

I am amazed at the advancements in microsurgery and what one can accomplish.

I emailed with the surgeon as well today.  How’s that for service?  I think this is where my heart is leading me.

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