Friday, August 28, 2009

The Young and the (Left) Breastless

Yep, I'm having a simple mastectomy. My breast cancer surgeon, Dr. David Weintritt (according to my German teacher friends, my doctor's last name means "grape crusher." It would have been funnier if he had decided to specialize in testicular cancer!), said this would be the most effective treatment for the DCIS and the invasive BC. The DCIS-invaded duct crosses too many quaderants of my breast to make a lumpectomy feasible.

Now I have to call the plastic surgeon that Dr. Weintritt recommended. Apparently, because I want the immediate reconstruction called the DIEP "free" flap,   my choices in plastic surgeons are limited. Think like limited to two, in Northern Virginia. Why? Because it's the most difficult and specialized type of reconstruction. The plastic surgeon must be trained in micro-vascular surgery, as a great deal of the surgery is performed under a microscope. It's a looooongg surgery, too. Like 8 hours long. (I forgot to ask how they handle bathroom breaks. I really want to know! I'll ask the next time I'm at the office.) I told CJ to bring lots of DVDs to the waiting room to play on our portable DVD player.

So, I will get in touch with plastic surgeon's office on Monday. I hope to have an appointment with him early next week. After that, the plastic surgeon and Dr. Weintritt will discuss my case, their surgery scheduling secretaries will coordinate when both surgeons are available and the OR at Virginia Hospital Center is available.

I'm guessing I will know my surgery date sometime late next week. I'll keep everyone posted.

CJ and I are heading out tonight for some much needed alone time. Thanks, Mom!!


  1. Hi Polly, just a quick note to let you know I'm reading and thinking of you, they call cancer an "experience" ? That's an interesting choice of euphamism isn't it just!
    I'm glad you've created this venting space for yourself and CJ to be able to stay vocal through it all. My brother in laws mother is a breast cancer survivor (or a mono-boober as my brother in law so amusingly refers to the fact) as is Davids Grandma.
    I hope you have your surgery date soon.
    Beka (the one in England)

  2. Polly: I sent my mom your website and here are her comments on your situation:

    I just read Polly's concern about a plastic surgeon capable of doing the "flap" surgery which is what I had done. The BEST plastic surgeon is Scott Spears at GTUMC. He's known all over the world and is on the lecture circuit. He goes to the Caribbean every year to do free surgeries on the indigent population. He is also being consulted on new and questionable procedures and is sought after with the media for anything that is happening re: plastic surgery. I was very fortunate to have had him because he was one of the first to do the flap surgery. Suggest Pollly try to get an appt w/ him. He's head of the dept and has been for over 20 years.

    Good luck with everything. My mom's survived now 22 years and kicking, so I know you can do it!