Four years ago, Susan Holderman says, "I had nonchalantly found a lump. Immediately, I called my gynecologist and followed up. He wasn't concerned at that point." But further testing uncovered three lumps---two benign -- one precancerous.
Susan was vigilant and last year found another lump. After a double mastectomy at 39, she opted for reconstructive surgery. She explains, "it's not a vanity issue, it's not because I'm insecure or have to have it, but I like being a girl, I like being feminine and feeling femiine and being young and single, it does help with the confidence level."
She underwent four small procedures with expanders, gradually being filled with saline.
At Blair Plastic Surgery some of Dr Robert Louton's patients use the Brava System expander. It's still experimental, and part of a study that his office is participating in.Dr Louton combines the tissue expander with injections of a patient's own fat cells to create a new breast.
"I would say almost all women who have had mastectomy are candidates for some form of breast reconstructive surgery," Dr. Louton comments. In addition to the expanders, their options include using skin from another part of their body to create breast tissue and breast implants.
He says, "it does sound complicated but my job is to try to simplify for a patient when they come in for a consultation."
Susan says parts of the process are painful, but adds, "I found a doctor that was willing to listen and to work with me and I've never been happier."