When I first met Dr. DeSantis, we thought that my breast cancer could be treated with a lumpectomy. But after the tumor board reviewed my MRI, the recommendation came back for a mastectomy. I'm sure the majority of women facing this decision have a similar reaction to mine: "Just get the cancer out... now." You don't stop to think about what you'll look like afterwards.
I'm so blessed that Dr. DeSantis was in the room that day and recognized that I was a candidate for his nipple-sparing mastectomy. While I would have signed up on the spot for a radical double mastectomy and reconstruction (the double was my decision), I was fairly ignorant to what that might look like, as I had no real knowledge of the procedure. Luckily I had another option. An option that left me feeling more like I'd opted for breast enhancement surgery than a double mastectomy. To this day, that's how I choose to look at it.
Thanks to the nipple-sparing procedure, I really don't feel like I lost my breasts. I just feel like they've been reshaped. (And at 47 years old, knowing that they will never sag is not the worst thing in the world!) More importantly, I am completely confident that because Dr. DeSantis used the special light tool that was designed specifically for this procedure, I had the best possible medical outcome.
If you're facing a decision regarding your breast cancer treatment, as one who's been in your shoes I urge you to take a deep breath and do a little homework. If the nipple-sparing procedure is an option for you, take some time to consider how your body will look, and subsequently how you'll feel about yourself, afterwards.
May God bless you with strength, wisdom and clarity as you decide on your treatment plan.
"She is clothed in strength and dignity. And she laughs without fear of the future." - Proverbs 31:26
S.B., breast cancer survivor Feb 2013