T. Williams, Illinois

Friends of the Feather 

Date of Surgery: 2/1/2012

Type of Reconstruction: Two-stage, tissue expander implant-based


One thing I wish I would have known before surgery:

The significant risk for capsular contracture and severe scarring after surgery due to my darkly pigmented skin.


What brought me joy during my recovery:

The first time I saw a breast mound on my chest wall after my first tissue expansion.


What was a trigger for me during my recovery:

Seeing my scars in the mirror.


Why did I choose my reconstruction pathway? 

I chose implant-based reconstruction over autologous reconstruction because I did not want to incur donor site morbidity in the form of scars.


Biggest hurdle I faced and how I overcame it:

Delays in my career progression due to breast reconstruction surgery complications.  I overcame this hurdle by optimizing my time during my training gaps:  participating in rigorous plastic surgery research, completing a burn surgery fellowship, and getting back into my violin!


My best piece of advice for anyone about to undergo their mastectomy:

Allow your supporters to help you.  You do not have to face breast cancer alone.  Take this time to relax and allow others to care for you.


The product(s) that saved me during recovery:

1. Supportive bras
2. Cocoa butter
3. Steroid plaster


"Sending love and light to my fellow survivor sisters."

 -T. Williams

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