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Cara:

I'm Cara, and I'm 48 years old. I have two boys, 15 and 18. I do financial planning, and I've been doing that for the majority of my adult life, 27 some odd years. I had breast reconstruction. I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I elected to do the latissimus flap reconstruction, where they take your latissimus muscle off your back and use it on the front and then augmented the other side to where they would match. It was a series of surgeries to get me to where I am today, and so my last surgery was, I guess, July of last year. So now pretty much I can wear anything I'd like to wear and cancer-free, which is a wonderful thing, and so moving on with life as you'd hoped it to be. Actually, I had interviewed with a couple of other doctors prior to, and I had known Dr. Ditesheim before in a professional role, and I didn't know if it would be awkward, since I worked with him professionally, to have him as a doctor, especially when you're doing breast reconstruction, would that be too odd? So then I went to a couple other doctors prior to fessing up to Dr. Ditesheim that I was facing this, and looked at their pictures and dealt with their bedside manner and stuff like that, and I knew that Dr. Ditesheim was going to be the better call after I had met with all these other folks. So I chatted with my husband about it, and we came out and met with him, and we both walked out, saying, 'Yep, that's the right choice.' It's been great. The staff is good. Of course, Dr. Ditesheim is great. He spends the time with you to explain what the options are. I was originally just going to do the no-latissimus flap thing, and so they talked about the difference in the results of how it would look in the long run versus the short run, because, of course, there's longer recovery using your latissimus flap, because you've taken a muscle off your back. It does take a while to adjust to that, but in the long run, you have a better shape and look about what I have in my clothes. And even my husband, later on, of course, he's the one that sees me, and he was saying, this was about two months ago, he made the comment, he said, 'Well, everything seems to be in the right shape.' And even the scar on my back where they took my latissimus muscle, he said, 'Yeah, I don't think it would bother anybody if you wore something that actually showed the scar, because it's such a smooth scar,' and it's blended into my skin and all of that. So before I was thinking, oh, nothing backless, and I don't think I would think that anymore, because it's not an obnoxious scar. It's very smooth and all. He's very good at holding your hand through a decision that you're trying to make, that will change how you look and how you feel about yourself. Well, the actual surgery, all four surgeries were in the hospital, so it's a little bit different, but on the day of, I showed up, and you're nervous, as you can imagine, and Dr. Ditesheim comes in, draws all over you, so you can watch the artist at work at that particular point, because you've got the markers all over you and the different things of what he's doing and kind of watching his mind work, just a different form of canvas, I think. Then, of course, I'm out during all of that, but he was very communicative after the surgery with my husband, and my mother was there, and then the folks in the recovery were great. And, of course, Deborah


here in the office is wonderful. So if you have questions on what's going on and why, then you can easily call her and do that, although, actually, she called me before I had the guts to pick up the phone and call her and ask the questions, which was great. Jan and Deborah, you couldn't ask for better folks, I don't think. Deborah was not here at the first couple of my surgeries, and the other folks were good, but I can tell Deborah, she just really loves dealing with the patients and making sure that everybody's comfortable and that the healing is going like it's supposed to do, alleviating your fears and all. And, of course, Jan is just very good at the coordination. They're caring folks, and it comes through in the way they deal with you. I know one of the decisions that was facing me when I had to decide which doctor to use was what did my insurance do, and I will say that there are those, if your insurance company doesn't cover what it is that you're trying to get done, that you can go out of network, just like if you needed the right cardiologist and it was out of network. If you needed to have a reconstruction from breast cancer or whatever, going to get the right results is as important as whether it's in network or out of network. So I would stress going to where you're going to get what you want, what body you want to live with the rest of your life, as opposed to whether or not it's in network or out of network. Ditesheim Cosmetic Surgery 9336 Blakeney Center Dr Suite 130 Charlotte, NC 28277 704-754-8351

Breast reconstruction  

Cara had breast reconstruction surgery after cancer. She is a mom with two teenage boys. Read details about her surgery and why she chose...

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