Posted by: healingseeker | February 6, 2010

Your Chance to … Ask the Doctor… Dr. Edward P. Melmed, MD

Breast Cancer picture created with Powerpoint & digital camera by DJ Lyons aka Debbie Dunn

Breast Cancer picture created with Powerpoint & digital camera by DJ Lyons aka Debbie Dunn

Dr. Edward P. Melmud gives patients an opportunity to ask questions about breast reconstruction surgery. I e-mailed him on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010, and received an e-mail back within one hour.

You can read his reply to another patient on the subject of Subject: Re: explant – tram flap – replacement, etc . The article pertains to “It was asked of Dr. Edward Melmed, plastic surgeon, Dallas, Texas what questions a woman should ask a doctor before being explanted. This is his response.” Click the link to read it in its entirety:

I e-mailed him the following question:

Dr. Melmed,

My name is Debbie Dunn, age 51 1/2. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer on Jan. 7, 2010. I will have 24 weeks of chemo to shrink my 3×5 inch tumor on the left side of my left breast and the inflammation in one axila lymph node that may or may not be cancer. I get 8 rounds of chemo (4 Red Devil and 4 Taxotere), 21 days apart. Chemo runs from Feb. 4 to July 1, 2010. I will then have a single or double Mastectomy. I’m leaning toward double as I have two kinds of cancer: IDC and ILC. Since ILC tends to have a mirroring effect in the other breast, I would just prefer to not take any risks and get them both removed. I’ve heard that they can pull tissue from my stomach to create new breasts. I have extra fatty tissue on my stomach to spare as I am Rubenesque. I will then have several rounds of chemo and radiation followed by 5 years of that low dosage chemo tablet. I am currently premenstrual still.

My two questions are:

1. Would you recommend reconstruction from my stomach fatty tissue at the same time they remove my breasts or later? If so, how much later?

2. Are their dire risks with that kind of reconstruction that would make it preferable to not get reconstruction at all?

Please note: My loving, loyal husband doesn’t care if I have 2 breasts, 1 breast, or no breasts. He just wants me healthy.

Thank you so much for your time and attention. I have started a breast cancer support group on-line for the benefit of other women out there. I would like to post your reply to me on-line, if you are okay with that:

Best wishes to you,
Debbie Dunn

His Reply:

First I’m sorry to read that you have breast cancer

Second i’m thrilled at your Hubby’s attitude

The best technique is called a DIEP flap. This is done with microsurgical anastamosis of the vessel from your stomach to the arteries that run next to your breast bone This way both breasts can be done safely

To do this at the same time? It makes it a HUGE operation. Hard on the body I’m not in favor of long operations. The body does not do as well with this, and it takes a lot longer to recover .But you need to discuss this with the surgeons. My honest preference is to get over the mastectomies – esp if both are done – and then do both sides with the DIEP. If it was only one side I may have thought otherwise.
My reply to him:

Dr. Melmed,
Thank you so much for your prompt and kind reply. That is very helpful information to have. I will post it on Breast Cancer Journey for the benefit of others as well.

Have a wonderful day. Many blessings to you and the work you do,
Debbie Dunn
I hope this proves helpful to others as well. Have a wonderful day, everybody!

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