Patient

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Meet

Stephanie

Meet

Stephanie


I am a 42-year-old project manager in the field of healthcare technology. I am also a mother of two awesome girls, ages 27 and 23. I enjoy traveling, yoga, tarot, volunteering, and spending time with my family. My breast cancer tumor was small but my options with a lumpectomy and radiation were limited. I didn’t ask for cancer, and I didn’t want reconstruction. If it weren’t for my cancer I wouldn’t have needed any type of procedure at all. I was very happy with my breasts as they were. I was happy with my body pre-cancer and was very upset that I had to alter it to remove cancer. I was concerned about having a defect from the lumpectomy or being uneven but I was equally concerned about scarring and desensitization from a procedure that may not have been necessary.

When I met with Dr. Wei, she heard my concerns, showed me pictures of real patient outcomes, and empathized that it was a hard decision. Ultimately it was mine, but I felt so comfortable with her and the pictures she shared with the outcomes helped relieve my fears of scarring. She explained how the procedure worked in great detail. She is a great surgeon with both bedside manner and skill!

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How did you find your surgeon? What were the specific reasons you chose him or her over other providers? 

My breast surgeon recommended Dr. Wei. I met with three plastic surgeons and Dr. Wei stood out from the rest. She answered all of my questions (there were a lot!), never made me feel rushed, listened to my concerns, and above all, she showed a great deal of compassion and empathy.

My breast cancer tumor was small but my options with a lumpectomy and radiation were limited. I didn’t ask for cancer, and I didn’t want reconstruction. If it weren’t for my cancer I wouldn’t have needed any type of procedure at all. I was very happy with my breasts as they were. I was concerned about having a defect from the lumpectomy and being uneven but I was equally concerned about scarring and desensitization from a procedure that may not have been necessary.

Another surgeon I met with at a prominent healthcare system in Seattle showed very little compassion for my situation. She rushed me, she dismissed my concerns and upset me so much that I cried when I left her office.

When I met with Dr. Wei I had a completely different experience. She heard my concerns, showed me pictures of real patient outcomes, and empathized that I was facing a hard decision. I felt so comfortable with her and with the pictures that she shared which helped relieve my fears of scarring. Dr. Wei is a great surgeon both in bedside manner and skill!

What type of procedure did you have and why did you decide to have this procedure? 

I had a breast lift after a lumpectomy.

I decided to have this procedure because I was confident in Dr. Wei and I knew I’d be in good hands with her. She answered all of my questions and I knew that I was making an informed decision with a compassionate and skilled surgeon. I understood the risk of having an unfixable defect post-radiation if I did not do the procedure. I also felt confident that the outcome would be better with the lift than without one based on my circumstances.

Describe your surgical experience and recovery. 

I was very nervous about this procedure. I was especially nervous about the pain I might experience after surgery, possible limitations in motion, and possible scarring.

Having surgery at the Polyclinic Plastic Surgery Center was so easy and comfortable. The entire team took great care of me. I felt right at home (as much as you can pre-surgery) and my experience at their personal surgical center was way better than it would’ve been if I had to have surgery at the hospital.

Recovery was just as I expected. Dr. Wei did a great job of explaining what to expect and I was fully prepared for at-home care. I did not have any complications, severe bleeding, or scarring. I didn’t need pain medication for long and was back to my old self faster than expected.

What were your fears about having this procedure and how did your surgeon help you overcome them? 

My breast cancer tumor was small but my options with a lumpectomy and radiation were limited. I didn’t ask for cancer, and I didn’t want reconstruction. If it weren’t for my cancer I wouldn’t have needed any type of procedure at all. I was very happy with my breasts as they were. I was happy with my body pre-cancer and was very upset that I had to alter it to remove cancer. I was concerned about having a defect from the lumpectomy or being uneven but I was equally concerned about scarring and desensitization from a procedure that may not have been necessary.

When I met with Dr. Wei, she heard my concerns, showed me pictures of real patient outcomes, and empathized that it was a hard decision. Ultimately it was mine, but I felt so comfortable with her and the pictures she shared with the outcomes helped relieve my fears of scarring. She explained how the procedure worked in great detail. She is a great surgeon with both bedside manner and skill!

Describe why you are happy you chose this procedure. How has it positively impacted your life? Your self-esteem?

Dr. Wei did a fantastic job with my procedure. My breasts are even and the scars are already fading. She made everything look very natural. I know that had I not had this procedure done I would have been looking at every defect after my lumpectomy. Radiation limits reconstruction options and I would have feared that my breasts would never be even again. I am confident that I made the right choice. I love that Dr. Wei kept my shape, made me look natural and that the scars are healing so nicely. I did not want cancer, I didn’t ask for this, but this is the best outcome I could have hoped for.

Although I felt conflicted leading up to my decision to have the procedure, I felt immediate relief after having it done. I knew I would have been looking at every defect, always wondering if I should have had the procedure done prior to radiation. Now when I look in the mirror, despite a lumpectomy and re-excision for lack of clear margins, my breasts are even and perky. That makes me feel good! I know this is the best possible outcome I could have had with my particular circumstances.

Tell us specifically about why you are happy you chose the surgeon you did? Describe his/her most outstanding qualities. 

Dr. Wei is not only a skilled surgeon, but she is also very compassionate. She listened to me and was able to get to the root of my concerns and address them wheras other plastic surgeons dismissed my concerns. I also feel supported. I know that if I need anything done in the future I have a great surgeon that I can consult with and turn to if I need help. That is a fantastic feeling!

How did our staff support you in your surgical experience?

The staff followed up with me, filled out forms I needed for work, and was there for anything I needed. The nurses are fantastic! I felt completely supported every step of the way. Any concerns I had were addressed and I knew I was in good hands.

Do you have any advice for others who may be considering this procedure? 

The choice to have plastic surgery is a very personal decision. Talk with Dr. Wei, or whichever surgeon you chose, and don’t be afraid to ask all of your questions. A good surgeon will show up for you and will address your concerns without making you feel judged or like you are a bother. This is your body and you should feel confident in your decision. Find your fit with your surgeon just like you would a good bra!