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Patients of Courage - Grayce S

Read the stories of our inspirational patients.

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Grayce S – Age 63

Grayce is 63 years old and just recently came out of a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery. In just one operation, she is complete, whole and happy.

"If you saw me on the beach, naked in France, you wouldn't know I had this operation," she said. "My breasts are more natural-looking than I could have ever hoped for."

Grayce arrived at this fortunate position because she refused to accept the conventional operations for breast reconstruction that she described in a word "barbaric" procedures that no woman would have ever designed for other women. The conventional methods were just too "slash and burn" for her sensibilities. She is now a clinical psychologist, but in the past, she had worked for a company that helped introduce minimally invasive surgeries into hospitals.

She was aware that more than likely there were procedures available that had yet to reach frontline medicine. Grayce was right. She also subscribes to the philosophy that everything that you need is within six degrees of reach. Using this philosophy instead of our usual go to the Internet for answers, she began to share her need to find a breast reconstruction specialist within her network and community. The providential contact came through her 92-year-old male client, with a niece who was absolutely happy with her mastectomy and reconstruction. His niece turned Grayce onto Dr. Lisa Cassileth. It almost sounded like an oxymoron to Grayce. She had not heard of anyone happy with the results of a mastectomy and breast reconstruction.

As she explored all her options with Dr. Lisa Cassileth, a breast reconstruction specialist, Grayce no longer had to deliberate. The new one-stage breast reconstruction with implants at the same time as the mastectomy, that Dr. Cassileth had pioneered was the perfect solution. For the first time, Grayce felt in the hands of a physician who cared about her worries and concerns as a woman while understanding the importance of aesthetics. More importantly, Dr. Cassileth did not make her feel like her worries were not important as other surgeons had. Some even made her feel guilty that if she did not chose to do the procedure they suggested that she would be jeopardizing her life.

She felt an instant trust and connection with Dr. Cassileth. Her decision was predicated on Dr. Cassileth's skill combined with that of the surgical oncologist, working together to create aesthetically beautiful and natural results. Dr. Cassileth was able to recreate Grayce's natural size. As promised, Dr. Cassileth concealed the incision by placing it beneath Grayce's breast. There are no daily reminders of her mastectomy or her breast cancer when she looks in the mirror.

"It was extremely relaxing and lovingly set up for me," Grayce said. "I'm so pleased that I want to share my experience with all women."

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