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Dr. Karen M. HortonEmily Sespaniak, NPPlastic Sugery • Aesthetic Surgery • Non-Surgical Aesthetic Treatments

Breast Reconstruction Q&A with a San Francisco Breast Cancer Survivor

San Francisco Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Karen Horton, is honored to share that one of her breast reconstruction patients was recently featured in a video by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Allison came to Dr. Horton after she was diagnosed with breast cancer to create a plan for the best possible reconstruction outcome. Despite needing chemotherapy and radiation therapy, she wanted to “look and feel normal” and to continue with her active, athletic lifestyle without giving up strength or aesthetics. And that is what breast reconstruction is all about – helping women to look and feel their best after treatment for breast cancer and to move forward!

Dr. Horton and her team are highly experienced with advanced techniques for breast reconstruction after cancer such as use of microsurgical techniques (the DIEP flap and TUG flap) or placing implants on top of the muscle, in the prepectoral position. Dr. Horton’s team is are eager to help survivors attain natural-looking and beautiful results to give them the confidence they deserve. We are so proud to share Allison’s story and happy to hear that her passion for enjoying the outdoors with her dog, and her thirst for life have stayed true throughout her journey.

We invite you to learn about Allison’s breast reconstruction experience with our San Francisco-based practice and learn why she says her quality of life is the same, if not better, after her battle!

Q: Allison, when did you first decide that you wanted to pursue breast reconstruction, upon finding out your diagnosis?

A: At first, I wasn’t sure if I could be a candidate for breast reconstruction. After learning about my diagnosis and prescribed treatment, I was encouraged that I could have Plastic Surgery at the time of my initial cancer removal surgery.

Q: What did you look for in a Plastic Surgeon?

A: I looked for an experienced and skilled surgeon that would educate me about the process and all Plastic Surgery options suitable for my diagnosis. I looked for a Plastic Surgeon that understood what was most important to me in my recovery. And I found Dr. Karen Horton.

Q: How did you prepare for surgery & how did Dr. Horton help?

A: Dr. Horton and her amazing team met with me and my support team in person to discuss all of the steps of the procedure and recovery process. Her team ensured I had a checklist of all the items I might need at home to ease the recovery process.

Q: How often did you meet with Dr. Horton?

A: I saw Dr. Horton at least once a week for the first five weeks after my initial breast reconstruction surgery. Then, I visited the office monthly during chemotherapy and radiation. Dr. Horton also allowed me to pop into her office so she could examine me when I felt something was just not progressing as it should. She also gave me her personal cell phone number so I could text her or call with random questions. This was so helpful and relieved my anxiety.

Q: What did your support system think about this path for you?

A: No one in my family had ever had cancer or Plastic Surgery so this was completely foreign to us all. My support system witnessed the caring and supportive nature of Dr. Horton and her team and they knew I was in good hands.

Q: What was the recovery process like?

A: I’m very active, so sitting still after breast reconstruction surgery was not easy for me. I heartily took the advice from Dr. Horton and her team to rest and restrict myself from certain activities for a period of time. This was such great advice in that I recovered quickly and had no complications. At one month after my surgery, I was good to go and had no problem doing all my usual activities!

Q: Are you happy with your results? If you could change anything about them, would you?

A: I am very happy with my results. There is nothing I would do differently. Watch my video to see me in action!

Q: How is your quality of life after surgery?

A: Happily, I have the same very active lifestyle that I had prior to surgery. I look and feel normal and so happy that I found Dr. Horton!

Q: Is there anything you would like to share for fellow survivors considering breast reconstruction?

A: Plastic Surgery allowed me to look and feel again like myself. Feeling confident in my skin to be as active as I am was important to me. Thank you, Dr. Horton!!

To learn more about breast reconstruction options, visit our website or contact our office to schedule a virtual consult or in-person visit. There is no age limit or time limit for breast reconstruction, and revision surgery can help make past reconstruction results even more symmetric and proportional to a woman’s body.

“Saving lives, one breast at a time” is what we do! 😉

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