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Francesca "I will always thank my Professor........"

Hi, my story is just as many other’s, but it did not start at the Sant’Andrea Hospital. I have undergone mastectomy and reconstruction with expander in 2005. I kept the expander for four years. It was stiff and still as a stone, and it caused me many problems, although the doctors said it represented my lifeline.

The alternative was the Tram flap, with the sacrification of the rectus abdominis muscle and its complications. A prehistoric procedure! After four years, finally, they removed the expander and I understood what it means to be mutilated, feeling like those women felt 50 years ago.

After a year in these conditions, during my research among various hospitals, I finally ended up at the Sant’Andrea Hospital in Rome, where Prof. Santanelli visited me and proposed me the DIEP flap, explaining me its great advantages. Finally, in may 2010, he operated me, and gave me back a soft and natural-like breast which over time will behave as the contralateral one, with no foreign body, without sacrificing the muscles and with no pain. Prof. Santanelli holds the highest DIEP flap casuistry in Italy. He performs this procedure immediately right after mastectomy, weekly.

Distrust surgeons boasting about false casuistry or else, just to promote themselves, thus always get all the necessary information.

Unfortunately in Italy the DIEP flap is not yet widespread and the national healthcare service does not provide an adequate refund. I hope my testimonial could make the qualified organs and persons aware of this issue, respecting women’s right to have their breast reconstructed with the DIEP flap, and to commit the operation to the most experienced surgeon in this field. I will always thank my Professor, to whom goes my highest admiration, and also his medical and paramedical team, for the sensibility and professionalism demonstrated back then as well as today.

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