This afternoon I met Dr. Gimbel. I love this guy. He says I’m a perfect candidate for the DIEP flap surgery immediately at the time of the mastectomy. I already signed the paperwork to have him do the surgery. His secretary will call Dr. Ahrendt’s secretary tomorrow and they’ll work on a date.
Here are some of the responses to my questions he answered.
getting back to work 4-6 weeks. probably better to ask for 8 weeks.
Yes, must stop – figure out when the surgery is finished.
Diane (his sec) will start making phone calls today or tomorrow to set a date.
Humira injections in belly?
Start doing them in my thigh (this is the shot I take every two weeks for my RA)
Check CT scan?
It gives a map; he hasn’t seen it. He will check it before the surgery.
If you need more tummy flab, can you get it from my butt or somewhere else?
Cannot do that at spur of the moment. Could do that delayed.
Scar from hip to hip
10 hours of surgery
Will try to use as little muscle as possible (SIEA flap – no muscle at all)
DIEP will open up muscle but not usually take too much
Can be reconstructed immediately – plenty for a C cup
He can do a reduction and lift at the same time.
Any dog-ears (abdomen or below the breasts) can be nipped off at Stage 2
We’ll do paperwork
Diane will arrange scheduling
*Opening up at abdominal wound – does not usually require surgery to repair (it’s annoying but wouldn’t keep me home from work)
*Hernia is rare, but is a risk
*Flap failure (happens in the hospital in the first four or five days) – 2/3 can be fixed
*Long surgery = more anesthesia, more tired afterwards
*Energy-wise, will not be back to self for a year