Sinclair Cares Report: Near-painless breast reconstruction
Working in partnership with our parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, we want to keep you informed about important health matters. We believe it's our responsibility and privilege.
In tonight's "Sinclair Cares" report, there's now an option for breast cancer patients to have so-called "nearly painless breast reconstruction."
Michelle Marsh has the story.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer in June, Kelly Chapman chose to have a bilateral mastectomy right away.
"I wanted to do as much as I could to make sure I have the best fighting chance of it not coming back later on,” said Chapman.
She also opted for immediate breast reconstruction at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital using a technique Dr. Troy Pittman calls a "game changer."
"I call it the near painless breast reconstruction," said Pittman.
Rather than put the implant under the muscle the traditional way, it's placed over the muscle.
"Putting the implants on top of the muscle- not dividing the muscle from the rib cage, completely changes the patient's pain level," said Pittman.
Meaning there's significantly less pain- and a faster recovery. Kelly went home the morning after surgery and for long walks every day that week.
"They weren't my usual fast pace but they were definitely walks that didn't involve any pain," said Chapman.
The procedure carries risks like infection, bleeding, implant rupture and rotation but Dr. Pittman says those are rare.
He adds that cosmetic results are improved thanks to newer more natural looking "shaped implants" that don't ripple under the skin... And patients' breasts don't look flexed, like after traditional reconstruction.
"If you've ever seen a body builder flex their muscles and their chest bounces, we see that with implants that are under the muscle," said Pittman.
Three months after surgery, Kelly is in the midst of chemotherapy, but feeling great.
"It has been such an awakening of what love is, what true friendship is, and what really matters," said Chapman.