DIEP Flap Reconstruction Patient Letter
This is a letter from our patient Katie.
3 times a charm, right? Well, 3 times a cancer diagnosis doesn’t feel very charming… You’d think I’d be prepared but one never is when given the diagnosis of breast cancer, especially when you’ve got kids, a husband, a dog and not to mention, a life that needs to be lived. I mean, c’mon- give me a break! I was treated for Hodgkin’s Disease, not once but twice back in my late teens to early 20’s.
Fast-forward 20 years and here I was again, diagnosis: Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) in my right breast. I was very fortunate: it was stage zero! The hope was that this could be taken care of with a lumpectomy- no such luck. Of course, my ducts had to coil all over the place so the margins were unclear from the lumpectomy.
After sitting down with my surgical oncologist to discuss my options, which were basically what kind of mastectomy did I want to go with, she referred me to this group of docs out of Columbus. I wasn’t sure what kind of surgery I was going to have, as there are so many breast reconstruction options. I wasn’t even sure I was even going to go ahead with my appointment to see Dr. Kocak and Dr. Tiwari but I figured I owed it to myself to explore at all of my options and plus my surgical oncologist spoke so highly of them.
Keeping this appointment proved to be the single smartest decision I’ve ever made. I sat in the waiting room at The Christ Hospital thinking that I just wanted to walk out. I mean I could live without boobs, right?! Then Dr. Kocak walked in. He explained the surgery in a caring manner, listened to my questions and concerns and basically talked me off of the ledge. I liked him instantly. He made me feel like I actually mattered. I knew I wanted this group to be in charge of my reconstruction.
Although Dr. Kocak and Dr. Tiwari can perform and are experts in all types of breast reconstruction: implants, tram flap, DIEP flap, GAP flap etc.. I chose DIEP flap surgery. Their approach is unique and cutting edge as they are both in the OR operating at the same time- a dual approach. DIEP flap reconstruction requires the skills of a microsurgeon. After researching and learning what microsurgery actually is, I truly felt that I was put into the hands of the surgical Gods. These doctors are brilliant, gifted and simply amazing! I couldn’t be happier with their practice and with the results!
Thank you Dr. Kocak and Dr. Tiwari for giving me a perfect new normal that I know I would not have found anywhere else!