Blessed to Have (Had) Dr. A on my Cancer Team - La Jolla, CA

In the big scheme of things being alive and...

In the big scheme of things being alive and healthy is the most important thing, but the thought of losing my breasts was extremely scary. Thanks to Dr. Apostolides I ended up with Picture Perfect Poster Boobs for Breast Cancer!!! My new girls are better than the old ones!


 

With my diagnosis, there was never a moment I did...

With my diagnosis, there was never a moment I did not consider reconstruction. I was a long time patient of Dr. Krant who quarterbacked my "fight" and without him and Dr. A I don't know where I would be today.

The first 3 mos were the most difficult emotionally and physically having had 3 surgeries ~ a lumpectomy, the bilateral mastectomy (the best decision I ever made) and finally replacing the expanders with silicone implants. The nipple reconstruction and fat grafting surgeries were done in 3 surgeries that occurred over the next 11 months leaving me whole again! From day of diagnosis to my final surgery the process took 14 months.

For many reasons (which I am happy to share but not sure this is the right forum), I wish I would have done the bilateral from the beginning. Having had it, I was able to avoid having radiation, which was key for me.

It's very hard to describe the sensations I experienced. Besides the obvious pain, my "girls" did not have the "peripheral vision" they used to have - they could not sense when to get out of the way. I still have a tingly feeling in my chest that can be aggravated by working out the chest or flying. Also I always sleep in a sports bra as the "girls" like to be supported.

La Jolla Plastic Surgeon

Having been diagnosed with breast cancer in Oct '10 Dr. Apostolides saw me through my darkest days and made the process very easy when everything else was so complicated! He gave me hope and strength to fight the good fight! I could not have asked for better care ~ he is an amazing doctor and skilled surgeon!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Your breast/ areolas look great! I just looked vinnie up but hes in MA. Did you go out there to have it done. Im looking for someone in california. If you have any suggestions, let me know.. Thanks :)
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It's nice to be at the end of the journey! I hope you are feeling well. I wish I did have a "local" suggestion for the tattoos, but I don't. VInnie is in Maryland ~ I made a girlfriend trip out of it by going to DC! I don't know if you have done further research on Vinnie but he is the "Michelangelo" of nipple tattooinig. You want to make sure whoever is doing them that they use the real tattoo ink and not the makeup ink, which will fade. Matching skin color is trickier than one thinks and he did an amazing job with mine, even putting in "Montgomery glands" on the areolas. You might check to see if he still goes to the Breast Cancer Hospital in New Orleans. It is listed on his VinnieMyers website. I wish you the best of luck and if you need anything else please don't hesitate to contact me again! xQQx
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Thanks so much for the info. I actually emailed him and he was kind enough to email me back and he said he may be coming to california for a few clients! Did he only do one treatment for you? Or did you have to do a touch up? When was your procedure? Just trying to get a read on the fading and how its held up color wise. I also want to see if Ill need to have a 2nd treatment.
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Gosh I will have to email him to see if / when he is coming. I had my tattooing done 2 years ago and did not need a touchup. Vinnie reads color well ~ thought he was going to use a darker color on me and then realized it was too dark, so he outlined my nipple with the darker color which gave it more of a perky appearance. His website is amazing.
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A great life- I never got back to you before but I need to speak to you. I just let revision all go for awhile because I wasn't ready to deal with it then. Wondering how I could contact you. I have questions re grafting and your experience, because I may go see your doctor, but I would like to ask you some questions first. I can't remember if we spoke before or not, because mind wasn't sharpest then and I just went I think I will wait. It has been a year since switch out so I think I am ready for revision all for tweaking! What a process! How should I contact you? I haven't posted anything yet re here because I am horrible re computers and need to get hubby to help me. Thanjs
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I also want to add, it took almost a year for mine to completely settle where they were going to settle- I think it was 9 months to be exact, after switch out to implants. My left one which was higher than right one took that long to settle. It still is higher, but not as bad as at first. Just so people know, because I did not know at all. People speak if months, but mine was 9.
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Hi kaymidwife, I also have nerve impingement re thoracic area from a shoulder injury and I had some spasms in my back area re right side after surgery, but it settled after awhile. They take a mall piece of your anterior serratus to cover your implant on most people and when they took a small piece of mine which was not working well to begin with because of impingement I felt it on right side. It didn't last too long though- it settled. I have what they think is thoracic outlet syndrome- not brachial plexus though. You will have twinges of discomfort on and off re breast even year down the road- but very bearable. I think it is just nerve thing from mastectomy and nerves rejoining in places. As far as wrinkles, I am assuming you mean that it dimples in parts of breast when you flex, which will always be because your implant is behind your chest wall, we have no more breast tissue, hence we have a chest not breasts. No one told me that and that really bothered me at first. I am ok with it now. It's a process and it takes time to adjust. You are different from old you and your brain needs to get used to the new you. It will! And the expansion process on me was ugly, so don't fret re that. It is much better once switch out. They fix the imperfections then! Hang on, you will be ok I swear. I need some tweaking after my switch out and I still haven't done yet because I needed a break from it all!
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Hi, You look great. I had bilat skin/nipple-sparing procedure & I guess my expectations were too high, as they just aren't yet "presentable." I'm told the change from expander to implant will improve things, but I'm afraid to hope at this point. I'm pretty down tonight, as I have a lot of pain in the right side. I have thoracic outlet syndrome in that side (a constriction of the space in which the brachial plexus--large group of arteries//veins/nerves--gives life to the neck and arm). I'm VERY aware of the port site & how it rubs against the inside of the pec that covers it. I also feel like I don't have any pec coverage on the extreme right of that breast. When I flex my pecs (just about any movement I make) the skin wrinkles over them. I look like a witch in a scary movie. My exchange surgery is scheduled for 9/11 (of all things). I can't tell you how frightened I am--having a bilateral mastectomy with expanders placed all in the same surgery and going home within 18 hours of that was just a bit too much to bear. And here I am, scheduled for an "outpatient" procedure again. Any words of encouragement? Thanks in advance, Kay
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Also what size of implant did you go with and what profile?
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I too had breast cancer and my implants I am not happy with. Yours are fantastic. Do you have to have more than one surgery with the implants. My doc says its a process. My silicone implants look like balls on my chest. Not much inframmatory fold, sitting too low, uneven and lateral movement left. Think pockets are off!
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Hi Wanda! I was trying to find your profile so I could give you a better answer, but I could not find it. It is a process and not knowing exactly where you are it is hard to say what lies ahead for you, but I do NOT want you to get discouraged. You have to allow your body to heal and the blood supply to regenerate before you can continue. After I had my implants, I waited 3 months before I could have the "fat grafting & nipple recomstruction" surgery. My implants are 700cc, which sounds huge, but considering there is no breast tissue they are not that big. My "other" girls were a bit bigger than these. I realize in my last picture they look gigantic when in reality they are proportional. I do not remember which profile we went with but that is a personal decision between you and your Dr. as to what fits your body best. My Dr is amazing ... If you would like to talk by phone please send me a personal email so we can chat. But please, hold the faith and be patient and kind to yourself.
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I am done everything except the implant issue. You say fat grafting? Why and where? I know my doctor doesn't do that! I am patient. I am just scared of choosing another surgeon re revisional and not be happy. When it doesn't turn out, your scared of same thing happening over and over as I am reading re lots of people re this whole boob thing! Trying to find someone who can give me good results.
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Did you have alloderm or internal bra?
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Seriously, the doctor makes a huge difference. Are you in San Diego? If so, you should consult with Dr. Apostolides ~ he is an amazing Doctor, with a very kind bedside manner. I have alloderm... would you rather talk by phone?
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you look amazing!! congratulations to the surgery and C free! xoxoxo
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Wow, totally impressed by the tattoo work!! Looks awesome!
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Getting the "nips" was a nice addition - I missed them the 6 mos they were gone! I added a new picture with the areolas tattooed. I think they look amazing!

God is soooo very good! Be well and stay happy!
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Looks great! I would love to chat with you more - about the things you say are not appropriate for the forum.. I'm currently facing a very difficult decision - whether I should get Lx + rads or unilateral Mx.. I would really love some feedback if you have a minute.. Thank you!!!
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Thank you. I have more than a minute ~ this is a BIG decision....and I have some insight for you. Private message me and then I will give you my phone number.... I would love to talk with you!

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They look great I have gotten my nipples yet but I am looking forward to them. God is sooo good!!!!
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congrats! I am currently going through the reconstruction process myself. You look great!
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Thanks for your kind words. I read your post ~ how sad insurance would cover the proper reconstruction for you. Having a great reconstruction doctor is the answer ~ you can always come to San Diego to get the girls fixed! My doctor is amazing!! =)) I hope you get the desired result you are looking for and stay well!
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~ should have read - how sad insurance would not cover ....

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to email me. Stay well and be happy!
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Wow you look amazing, thank you for the detailed review and I am so glad that you recovered and are doing well.

 

Kate

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