Breast cancer came close to the heart of one plastic surgeon when his own daughter was diagnosed and treated, as he told savannahnow.com.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Laughlin had been treating patients who requested breast reconstruction, as well as a host of cosmetic surgeries for more than 25 years when he learned of his own daughter’s breast cancer diagnosis. From his years in practice, he already had an understanding of the type of breast cancer experience a woman can go through, from diagnosis to reconstruction, but this life-changing event gave him a new perspective, he says.
After her breast cancer experience, his daughter Julie has been a survivor for eight years, but throughout the ordeal, Dr. Laughlin says he wanted to make sure she had the best care possible, since her family lived too far away for her to be treated locally. To this end, he kept in close contact with Julie’s physicians, listening to their recommendations and helping her understand the options.
Some of the tips Dr. Laughlin gave Julie, and those he may give others going through a similar breast cancer experience were to listen to all of the recommendations of specialists and do her own research. He also stressed the importance of bringing a family member to all consultations because the amount of information can be overwhelming.
Now that Julie has beaten breast cancer, Dr. Laughlin says he has learned some valuable takeaways from the breast cancer experience that he can use to help his patients in the future.
He says he better understands how families can feel going through countless office visits and procedures. Dr. Laughlin knows the importance of working with each patient individually, allowing her to ask whatever questions she needs to. He also understands the importance of the entire medical team (and family) in helping each patient through her own breast cancer experience.
“This whole experience has made me even more understanding and compassionate and, hopefully, a better plastic surgeon,” Dr. Laughlin says.
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