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Posted Wed 15 May 2019

I hardly dare mention the C word, the big C, the one that stalks us. With a one in three chance of getting cancer, no wonder we fear it, change our diets, give things up or adopt new healthy habits, in an attempt to ward it off.

It’s not just seniors who get cancer either. The cruelest cancers are those that strike the young. Along with cosmetic procedures, DRG Plastic Surgery carries out skin cancer surgery and post-breast cancer reconstruction. These patients have the toughest journey. One writes eloquently of her cancer experience below:

I first met Miss Victoria Rose in April 2017, having had a harrowing year beginning with my breast cancer diagnosis in May 2016, leading to a myriad of cancer treatments and a mastectomy at the age of 27. At the time that I had the mastectomy, I was left with an expander implant so that I’d have the possibility to explore different options of reconstruction.

From day one I hated that implant. It was hard and uncomfortable and so unnatural. It made me miserable and my self-image took quite a battering. As soon as I was up to it I set out to look for the most appropriate option for reconstruction that would give me a more breast-like breast.

My breast surgeon suggested that I have a DIEP flap reconstruction which is considered the ‘gold’ of breast reconstruction. It is a form of microsurgery where tissue is harvested from the tummy, disconnected from the blood supply in the groin and reconnected to a blood supply in the chest. Tummy tissue is quiet similar to soft breast tissue therefore creating a more natural feeling breast.

I then set out to find a plastic surgeon that had experience of this complex procedure. When I met Miss Victoria Rose after having first met another plastic surgeon, I knew I had found the right one. She was clear, kind, confident and had ample patience to answer my endless questions. My breast surgeon knew her and said I would be putting myself into the most skilled, experienced and professional hands, and how right he was.

As soon as I woke up after the surgery, I felt the reconstructed breast and I knew I have the right thing. The new breast was warm, soft and had movement; I was so excited with it. My week in St Thomas’ Hospital was a pleasant experience and Miss Rose was on top of my aftercare, making sure I was well taken care of and recovering nicely.

I am now 18 months down the line, and have just had further surgery by Miss Rose, nipple reconstruction and contralateral reduction to symmetrise the two breasts, and I have achieved a brilliant result and a great match.

Dealing with DRG Plastic Surgery has been a most pleasant experience. The secretarial staff were always accommodating, efficient and cooperative, and always quick in responding to my queries. I don’t wish this medical journey on anyone, but should you ever be in need of a plastic surgeon, I highly recommend Miss Rose and her team.

The whole DRG team works together to do everything possible to help our cancer patients through their journey. We wish them well from the bottom of our heart.

Catherine Cowen writing as Patience Wellbeing, Plastic Surgery Blogger