Dear Patient and Viewer,
The following gallery is a selection of photos of patients who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery by Dr. Neil J. Zemmel of Richmond Aesthetic Surgery. These women have been diagnosed with cancer of the breast and have undergone a number of invasive treatments in order to cure their cancer. Some patients have undergone preventative or prophylactic mastectomy in order to avoid cancer in the future. The treatments in many cases have consisted of total or partial mastectomy (i.e. removal of the breast), chemotherapy, and in some cases radiation of the breast and chest wall.
The goals of reconstructive surgery are much different than cosmetic surgery, and the expectations must remain so. Cosmetic surgery procedures typical improve on an already anatomically normal part of the body, while reconstructive surgery rebuilds a structure that is completely missing or only partially present. Reconstructive surgery is an order of magnitude more complex than cosmetic surgery, is more invasive and requires a much longer recovery. The final outcomes of reconstructive surgery must be viewed in that context.
When viewing this photo gallery, we ask you to remember the struggle these patients have been through. Many of you viewing these photos have friends, relatives, and loved ones who have undergone the journey of breast cancer. Perhaps, you have undergone the struggle yourself.
At Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, we are dedicated to the fight against breast cancer and fully support our breast cancer patients physically, mentally, and spiritually.
We wish our patients, their family and loved ones all of the best.
Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS
A letter from Leigh:
Dear Dr. Zemmel:
Fourteen years ago I had partial bilateral mastectomies. I kept enough breast tissue to keep the nipples. Two years later I had five…. Yes, five reconstruction surgeries. I never liked my breasts and usually walked with my head down or avoided all eye contact with others. In my mind I felt as though men were looking at my awful breasts. My favorite place is the beach and pray one day to live with a beautiful ocean view. My husband and I just returned from a two week trip to Maui. Here is a picture of me swimming in the ocean:
My husband and I are returning to Maui in February to watch the whales migrate. I do not know what I will be wearing when I swim…..However, thanks to Dr. Neil Zemmel and his God given talent, expertise and extreme attention to detail I do know it will not be the outfit you see in the photo.
For women who are curious about my surgery, I will give you a brief description. My consult with Dr. Neil Zemmel was very educational. He spent time answering my questions and additionally explaining the process to me. He answered questions I had not thought to ask. He deeply cares and has a great sense of humor. Women know how important that is. My instincts strongly told me to choose him. We know what happens when we ignore our instincts.
My surgery was at St. Francis Hospital everyone was fabulous. It was a blessing to have Donna as my nurse. My anesthesiologist, Donald Wood was an informative gentleman who explained in detail the entire process. He answered my questions and made me feel at ease. The only part of the surgery which caused me concern was the anesthesia which he patiently diffused. Surgery went perfectly, I could not have asked for anything better. I truly Love my breasts now. Whoever would have thought that was a possibility. I have had little to no pain and Dr. Neil Zemmel has made appointments for me to check my process and make sure everything is healing properly. He is a Very thorough, talented and efficient doctor.
Dr. Neil Zemmel, thank you, thank you, thank you. I no longer feel like a thing. I feel like a woman. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I pray you continue to help women who desperately need you like I did for many, many years.
God Bless You,