For my regular readers, do you remember when I was vacillating about surgeons or even whether or not to HAVE another surgery? Well it’s that time again. This time I’m starting to research and contemplate nipple reconstruction.
I read some older articles that indicated that up to 40% of all nipple reconstructions fail. Most flatten out within 6 to 18 months. There is also a higher incident of infection and necrosis according to those older statistics.
THEN I talked to Dr. Elliott. He explained that those complications are not as frequent anymore. In the last two years or so surgical techniques have been greatly improved. He reassured me that usually those complications are due to poor blood supply. My tissue is healthy, according to him. He also went to lengths to reassure me that recovery time is going to be greatly reduced since this is an out patient procedure only dealing with topical tissue.
He also suggested that I research the Star Flap Nipple Reconstruction. The link shows the basic steps starting at Media 7 http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1274411-media – star flap That’s the nipple flap reconstruction he wants to ue for me. He believes that specific type of flap reconstruction will work the best.
I really don’t want to have ANOTHER surgery so soon. I’d rather wait until this winter. So in the interrim, I’m going to get prosthetic nipples. Dr. Elliott is having his PA, Patti Bergley, look into it and see what she can find out for me. I’m expecting her to call today.
Talking to Dr. Elliott made me feel more comfortable about my outcome. I’m still tempted to get a second opinion when I go back to see Dr. Guy’s people in another week about the tissue growth isue on my back. I’d like to see what she has to say too.
The problem is now really the cost. Nipple reconstruction and any tweaking that needs to be done for aesthetics will cost us an additional $7000 on top of the $18000 we have already paid AND the $6000+ we still owe the hospital and the anesthesiologist. Nipple prosthetics on the other hand are only around $200 per pair for the really good silicone ones.
Really, I don’t think that it’s so much a matter of “if”. It is now a matter of “when”.