Very Brave Babe Suzanne Somers is the first person in the U.S. to receive a Stem Cell Breast Reconstruction which until her formidable personal efforts was only available in Japan. In Suzanne's own words, "Ladies, my friends and fellow warriors - this is for you, because I understand. There's hope... there's hope."
Suzanne Somers was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 and had a lumpectomy and a full course of radiation that left her with a withered nearly pancake breast on one side. She did not trust the safety of an implant, and though very grateful to be alive, has admitted feeling disfigured for the past 11 years.
For all the babes who have the shared experience of surviving breast cancer and have wrestled with decisions about treatment and recovery, we are posting more about her choice and this new option.
Suzanne has a website called SexyForver.com where she generously provides live footage from the operating room, interviews with the surgeons, and intimate moments with her family in the recovery room. Here is the personal message she shares on her home page.
Suzanne's Somers Personal Message About Her Groundbreaking Stem Cell Breast Reconstruction
Like millions of other women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, I had to face the numerous daunting decisions about my treatment and recovery. In 2000, I had a lumpectomy and full course of radiation that left me with a withered, nearly pancake breast on the right side (barely a B cup) and my full natural breast on the left side (a D cup). I chose not to have reconstruction on my breasts because I did not want an implant. As an avid participant in anti-aging and alternative medicine, I instead searched for another option. I heard about Dr. Kotaro Yoshimura who has been performing stem cell breast reconstruction in Japan, but it was not legally available to women in this country. After years of research and international travel, I was able to assist a remarkable group of doctors in having an IRB (International Review Board) set up at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital in California. I considered going to Japan for the surgery, but I wanted to help open the door for women in America. I am proud to say I am the first person in this country to initiate the clinical trial for a stem cell breast reconstruction at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Joel Aronowitz (who trained with Yoshimura in Japan) was the lead surgeon, along with Dr. James Watson. This procedure used my own adult stem cells, harvested from my fat, then reinjected into my breast to "regrow" my breast to its original size. While I don't yet have long-term results, I can say the initial results are nothing short of miraculous. You can see for yourself by watching this footage.
These are the very personal clips inside the operating room and afterwards with my family in the recovery room. They are raw and sometimes graphic. I am choosing to share this footage publicly because women need to know there are alternatives. I spent 11 years feeling disfigured. Yes, we tell ourselves, "It's okay. Just happy to be alive." And we think of the women who weren't as lucky as we are. It's all true, but I lost part of myself when I lost my breast. On the outside I laughed it off, but it was humiliating and painful. It was difficult to get dressed; smashing my larger breast into a bra too small, and trying to place pads under my smaller breast to create symmetry. No bras could ever fit. Yes, I could have had an implant, but with the number of known complications I wasn't willing to risk it.
This stem cell surgery represents major progress. I now have my two breasts back - the same size, and they are all me. My left breast was slightly reduced and lifted to match the newly "grown" right side. I think it's important to share this remarkable progress and I thank these outstanding surgeons for making this a reality. My hope is that this clinical trial will have incredible long-term success and make "no-implant reconstruction" a viable alternative for women in this country.
Thank you for your sensitivity in viewing these clips. While it's beyond vulnerable for me to share, I know there are women out there who will want to understand exactly how the procedure works. Ladies, my friends and fellow warriors - this is for you, because I understand. There's hope... there's hope.
Suzanne Generously Shares Very Personal Videos Of Her Ground Breaking Operation on SexyForever.com