Margaret's Grand Adventure: My first week at OHSU! (Day 4)

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Day 4:

Today was another clinic day, and my time there was cut short by my visit to see the Dalai Lama speak--what an absolutely amazing experience!!

In the morning Dr Hansen and i met with 2 of the 4 scheduled patients because 2 didn't show up. One of the ones that did arrive wanted a breast augmentation. They had received a free muscle flap to reconstruct one breast after chemotherapy. During this consultation, Dr Hansen explained that radiated skin usually hardens in a process called capsular contracture, but any skin around an implant is prone to a similar result.

Another term that I learned (I forgot to mention in in my post about day 3) is surgical procedure called a lumpectomy, in which only a small portion (or lump) of a breast is removed.

Another patient wanted cosmetic breast implants, and this demonstrates a different side of Dr Hansen's services. She mostly operates on cancer-related cases but also performs purely cosmetic procedures. Another area of her practice (one i forgot to mention in m day 3 post about a patient) is the female to male / male to female transition surgeries. Dr Hansen commented that this is a newly booming part of her practice, and that she specializes in performing breast removals (mastectomies) and breast implants.

A surgical note: often the nipple is grafted onto the newly reconstructive breasts straight from the old breasts, and this is as 'simple' and removing the nipple, removing several layers of epidermis on the reconstructed breast, and sewing on the nipple.


timely NYT articles for you

Check out yesterday's NYT Op Ed, written by Angelina Jolie, about her recent double mastectomy, and today's piece in the Health section describing how genetic testing is leading to more and more women electing to have surgery before being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Pure, sweet hope

Miss Margaret! What thoughtful, informative posts! Your first week sounds incredibly educational and varied--let's hope your dark past doesn't catch up with you and cut your job short!

I love your attitude, as always. I, too, find that the best way to deal with the blows that life throws at us is to concentrate on the beauty and hope that emerge--just like you've noticed in the patients you've seen. And a visit with His Holiness doesn't hurt, either!

An idea: since you need some photos, can you show us what you look like all suited up? I'd love to see you in your glory.

Miss you!!!