- Posted on: Dec 18 2017
“In 2008, I was a healthy active 47-year-old woman. In recent years I had undergone a few biopsies for questionable spots seen on a mammogram. One spot removed had shown some pre-cancer cells and the rest were benign. In the fall of 2008, I found a small lump. After a mammogram, a lumpectomy was done showing I had cancer and the surgery had not taken all of the cancer cells. Knowing I needed to do another surgery, my husband and I did some research on my type of cancer, treatment options, including a mastectomy, and possible reconstruction options. On a Friday afternoon, three days after I received my diagnosis by phone, we were in my doctor’s office. I told my surgeon I wanted a bilateral (both sides) mastectomy with reconstruction started at the same time. I did not want to worry about future breast cancer, but I also wanted to minimize the number of surgeries needed cosmetically to replace my breasts. That afternoon my doctor called the Olympic Plastic Surgery Center and spoke with Dr. Meeks. I was scheduled for an appointment the following Tuesday. My mastectomy was already scheduled for that Thursday.
Dr. Meeks met with me on Tuesday and patiently spent time advising me of all my options. He explained each procedure including the way the surgery was done, the materials used and limitations I would have during my recovery. I decided on what I felt was the least invasive (complicated) procedure. The foundations for the implants would be done during the same surgery as my mastectomy and I would only need one more surgery to place the permanent implants. Dr. Meeks and his office staff worked quickly to prepare to join my doctor in the planned surgery for that Thursday. After surgery, I began the expansion process to prepare my body for the permanent implants. As I was going through the expansions I was also receiving my chemo treatments. My implants were put in during the early spring of 2009.
The Olympic Plastic Surgery Center staff was wonderful. They were always available to support me in any way I needed and answer all my questions no matter how silly the questions seemed. They were positive, reassuring and compassionate. It was a blessing for me to find a local doctor who could care for me in such a competent and professional manner.
Probably because of my chemo treatments, I developed an infection at the site of my incisions three weeks after my permanent implants were in place. My body, even with antibiotics, did not fight it well. Dr. Meeks tried to save the foundations of the reconstruction with one surgery, but the infection would not heal and he had to perform an additional surgery removing all foreign structures. It was an unfortunate outcome to an otherwise successful reconstruction. However, after giving my body six months to heal from all it had been through, Dr. Meeks gave me a second chance at reconstruction. I again chose the expander method and had surgery in January of 2010 and permanent implants in place in April. I am pleased to say the surgery and recovery were a complete success. At this time I am happy and healthy – back to my pre-cancer life including playing soccer twice a week and waterskiing.
Olympic Plastic Surgery Center offers a local option to women wanting reconstruction after cancer and a mastectomy have completely changed their lives. Everyone who works there is friendly and treats you with dignity. I am thankful they were there for me.”