This week, Dr. James Craigie of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your questions.
Q: I was recently diagnosed with LCIS and then in a second and third look was re-diagnosed with ALH. I am leaning toward undergoing a double mastectomy and reconstruction.
As a 45 year-old single mother of three, I would like to know a few things regarding your procedure.
1) Is there any nipple stimulation with the stomach flap DIEP procedure?
2) Is the week-long stay in Charleston covered by insurance in addition to inpatient charges?
3) How early can you get an appointment scheduled? My insurance rolls January 31, 2014 and my deductible has been met after my lumpectomy.
A: I am sorry you are having to make these difficult decisions. Regarding your questions:
1) Breast sensation after mastectomy is never normal. The more of your breast and nipple skin that is saved, the better the sensation after surgery. Also, the DIEP tissue has nerve tissue in it and if all goes well with the surgery, sensation can return faster. Again: it is not expected to be 100% normal. Implants have no nerve tissue and scarring can impair nerve healing.
2) There is at least one place that some patients qualify for that is free. Otherwise, lodging is not covered at all by insurance. We do have a list of places that give medical discounts.
3) If you would like an appointment, I will be glad to have my office contact you.
Dr. James Craigie
Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction
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