Interviewing Doctor # 1
It has been a minute since I have taken a photo like this and tbh it feels a little weird posting it. It just feels so revealing!!
Looking back on a quite a few of the photos I have taken, I can’t believe I had the guts to press post. But I am glad I did because if I hadn’t we wouldn’t be here reading this now and The Breasties wouldn’t exist, so I am pretty grateful.
Anywayssssssss after being unhappy with my reconstruction results for over a year now I have FINALLY decided to look into getting them fixed. You can read more about my decision and what this process has been like here.
The first doctor I have officially met with is Dr. Bluebond and she is AMAZING. She comes highly recomended by both the BRCA whisperer and fellow Breastie, Leah Doctor.
“Dr. Bluebond Langner was referred to me by my Breast Cancer surgeon when I was mapping out my bi-lateral mastectomy plan. Rewind a week or so, I had just been diagnosed with Breast Cancer, a lump caught by my GP during my annual physical. I had been seeing this GP for years and trusted her with my life- clearly, because she had just saved it. My GP got me into one of the top Breast Cancer surgeons' office within 30 minutes of being diagnosed. So if my GP trusted this BC Surgeon, so did I. And consequently, if this BC surgeon trusted Dr. Bluebond Langner for plastic surgery, so did I.
That's not to say I wouldn't have spoken up if I felt uneasy after meeting her, or felt she wasn't the right plastic surgeon for me. That said, let me tell you- I AM OBSESSED WITH DR. BLUEBOND LANGNER. I tell my family all the time that I want to be best friends with her.
From the moment I first met her, I felt completely at ease- probably the most at ease I had felt since being diagnosed. Her bedside manner is next to none- She's calm, cool, collected and clearly incredibly competent. She took the time to answer every question I had typed out on my 2 pages printed out (double sided). We honestly never discussed OTM vs UTM, I truthfully don't think I knew there were two options- but she knew I was a very active person and that maintaining that was a priority to me. She did OTM and fast forward 6 months I come to find out it's a pretty progressive technique, one many doctors aren't even comfortable with or trained to do.
Surgery: Again she made me feel SO at ease, even day of when I was probably the most terrified I've ever been in my life. I was an emotional wreck. She checked in on my countless times in my 2 days following while still in the hospital. She could have easily just had her residents check on me- which they did. But she was present throughout the 2 days as well far more than I anticipated. Once I left the hospital, she made herself available to me for any question or concern. I happened to have an allergic reaction to one of the pain meds- and was convinced I was rejecting my expander. I texted her and she had me send photos, confirmed it was a reaction to the meds and called in an Rx right away. She was always quick to respond in the weeks following regarding my incision questions, or drain questions. For the months following surgery- my fills were seamless. I never had to wait at her office, was always able to get an appointment that was convenient and her nurse practitioner Nicole was as amazing as she was.
I had to delay reconstruction because of chemo, but when I was back in her office come Fall she was ready to go. I had concerns that my expanders were too big for my body after living with them for so long and had expressed wanting to go smaller for my implants. She and Nicole helped me sort through what I should do as if they were one of my girls helping me get dressed on a Saturday night. Surgery came and went, I did not have to have drains again which I know some women do. My surgery was on a Monday, and I was at a beer garden Saturday celebrating my 30th birthday- I mention that because while the recovery for exchange surgeries is notoriously faster than mastectomy-- 5 days may have been pushing it, but I attribute how great I felt to Dr Bluebond Langner.”"
I'm now 6 months post-exchange and feel it is important to note--
I'm running a half marathon comfortably in 1.5 weeks
My oncologist told me my breasts are in the top 5 of reconstructions she has seen in her entire career.
My BC Surgeon was so floored by my result, she called in other nurses and doctors on the floor to come into the exam room and see my breasts.
“She has also helped me map out long term. I’m contemplating fat grafting- I’m on the smaller framed side so rippling is a natural consequence. I’m also getting married next March, so she made sure to tell me if I decide I want to do the fat grafting that I should not do it any later than October in an effort to let all the bruising/swelling subside not only for the sake of my wedding day but also for my dress fittings- I would’ve never thought about how it could impact my fittings!
So as you can tell, and as you (Paige) already know- I love her dearly and would recommend her with every fiber of my being. Finding a doctor you love is difficult, it’s a very personal decision and I’m sure there are people who will have different experiences than myself- but if you’re looking for a doctor who you trust with your life (and your foobs), someone who feels like your very skilled, very smart, cool friend who doesn’t make you feel stupid in a world where it’s very easy to feel stupid- then I cannot recommend Dr. Bluebond Langner more.”
To contact Leah about her experience with Dr. Bluebond-Lagner or to just chat and connect with her - feel free to reach out via Instagram.
I was really excited to be meeting with Dr. Bluebond-Lagner and was hoping she would be THE ONE. You know that feeling when you meet with someone and you just KNOW they are perfect for you?! Well I really loved HER but I am all sorts of confused when it comes to surgery and her recommendation.
So I went in thinking I knew what I wanted and was just seeing if she could do it. But now I am confused! She said she definitely thinks I need a revision and she understands my discomfort and unhappiness. But she explained that she doesn’t want to do the swap from UTM to OTM.
Her reasoning? She thinks that I will end up with capsular contraction and rippling - I currently don’t have any rippling.
What she wants to do is go in and create cleavage using sutures and then do a few rounds of fat grafting to fill in some of the indents.
I like this idea because it seems like wayyyy less surgery and that it would be easier on my body - but I just want to make sure I am only going to have to do one revision surgery and be happy and done after that.
Overall I really loved her as a person. She took her time, answered all of my questions, spoke to me like I was a human rather than a patient, and she has amazing energy! I am definitely going to keep her in mind but I am going to be sure to continue interviewing doctors to make sure I find the best one for me!
I am a little confused/discouraged that she doesn’t want to do the swamp from UTM to OTM - especially since she clearly does the OTM surgery (as seen above with Leah) but that just goes to show that all of our bodies are different and it’s definitely not a one size fits all approach.
The best part?
After my consultation with her, I went downstairs to their “photo studio.” Idk why I put that in quotes but it seemed appropriate because its like legit glamour shots. They have a professional photographer who hands you a tiny paper thong (I actually kinda liked it lol) and they have you come out topless so they can take photos of your foobs. it was WILD.
I legit took this photo before I walked out for the photos because I was like THIS ISNT REAL LIFE?! How freaking hilarious is this?!
I was CRACKING UP and just had to take this photo for y’all!!
To get a better idea of what my foobs look like and why I am so physically and aesthetically uncomfortable, I have attached these photos from my photoshoot LOL.
What I realized is that this is going to be a PROCESS interviewing doctors and not something I don’t want to rush. I am definitely going to take my time and make sure I choose the right doctor for me. I am really grateful that I have this luxury as I know that’s not the case for everyone.
With Camp Breastie right about the corner, I am going to put my search on hold for the next two weeks and then hopefully pick it back up again after Camp.
I really hope that by sharing my experience and my story I can make this a little easier for those of you also navigating your reconstruction/ mastectomy! If there is anything you want me to talk about in particular, a specific doctor you want me to interview, if you have any questions, or just want to chat - please let me know in the comments below.
Love you lots!!