44 Yo BRCA2 Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy and DIEP Reconstruction - Melbourne, AU

I was diagnosed with a BRCA2 gene mutation in...

I was diagnosed with a BRCA2 gene mutation in August 2015, and had a prophylactic bilateral oophorectomy in November 2015. My breast surgeon, Caroline Baker, also recommended I have a prophylactic double mastectomy and referred me to plastic surgeon, Damien Grinsell for my reconstruction. I was fortunate to never have had breast cancer and had a choice in the kind of reconstruction - I could have had implants, which would have been a less invasive surgery, or a DIEP flap reconstruction using my tummy tissue. Making the decision was very difficult and I had lots of questions about both procedures. Damien was very respectful and patient - he never made me feel like I couldn't ask another question. In the end I decided to have the DIEP reconstruction. It would be a much bigger surgery, but has so many benefits - no further surgery, no risk of rejection, more natural look, etc. Damien said most people sail through the surgery, but I'm small and sensitive to drugs, so I was convinced that wasn't going to be me! But he listened to my concerns, made sure I had all the anti-nausea medication possible (not to mention an amazing anaesthetist) and reassured me that his extensive experience with this kind of reconstruction meant I was in good hands. And he was right - when I had the surgery (in May 2016) it was actually much more straight forward than I expected, none of my fears were realised and my recovery was very smooth. I think it is testament to the calibre of Damien's work that my experience was so positive. Not only is Damien an excellent surgeon and a pioneer in DIEP reconstruction, but he is also a genuine, respectful person. Sometimes surgeons can be technically very competent, but lacking in 'bedside manner' - Damien is not one of these! He has the rare combination of technical excellence and emotional intelligence, which is important for surgery that has significant impacts in terms of self identity. If you are considering this kind of surgery, I cannot speak more highly of Damien. You will be in great hands and you'll sail through too.

Damien is not only an excellent plastic surgeon, but a warm, genuine person. I would highly recommend him.

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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