AKRON, Ohio, Sept. 23 Four years ago, Sandra CastilloDelCarmen, a Nicaraguan native, underwent a mastectomy procedure after beingdiagnosed with breast cancer. After her surgery, she attended a seminar onthird world breast reconstruction to understand her options. That's where shewas introduced to Dr. Douglas Wagner, a physician from Akron Plastic Surgeons,who ended up changing her life.
After hearing Castillo DelCarmen's story of hope and triumph, Wagneragreed to do her breast reconstruction in Managua in conjunction with hergeneral surgeon. "I see women everyday who come into my office feelingdefeated by breast cancer. I didn't want Sandra to experience those feelings.I wanted to help," said Wagner.
While in Nicaragua, Dr. Wagner performed Castillo DelCarmen's breastreconstruction surgery. She was the first patient in the country to receive aprocedure known as "TRAM flap" breast reconstruction. The procedure usesabdominal tissues instead of implants to restructure a woman's breasts.
"There are places around the world that don't have access to the medicaltechnology required to perform the procedures that we do here in the U.S. Iwanted Sandra to have the chance to receive an operation that she wouldotherwise go without," said Wagner.
After corresponding over the year, Wagner was unable to return toNicaragua to complete the second half of the surgery. Knowing what theoperation meant to her, Wagner arranged for Castillo DelCarmen's travel to theU.S. and covered all hotel and medical expenses.
"The surgery and Dr. Wagner's kindness is something I will never forget.What he did for me during my time of need meant so much to me. I truly feelblessed," said Castillo DelCarmen. "I was never expecting someone to do somuch. His kindness is remarkable. I'm truly grateful to know him."
While in the U.S., Wagner connected Castillo DelCarmen with the DragonDream Team, a group of breast cancer survivors that participate in the sportof Dragon Boat Racing. "I wanted her to know that she's not alone. These womenare a support system for one another, something I felt she needed toexperience," said Wagner.
"I loved the ladies!" said Castillo DelCarmen. "We went out on the dragonboat and paddled around the lake together. I really admire that they gettogether to focus on something other than the cancer. It really gets your mindoff everything. I hope one day I can do something like this, and bring DragonBoat Racing to the women in Nicaragua."
According to Wagner, the experience of meeting and treating CastilloDelCarmen is one that he will never forget. "It makes you want to help theother millions of women around the world who are not receiving adequate care.It truly is a one-person-at-a-time movement, and I'm just happy to be a partof it."
About Akron Plastic Surgeons
The doctors of Akron Plastic Surgeons, Inc. have been providing qualityhealth care since 1985. A leading regional provider of cosmetic andreconstructive surgery, Akron Plastic Surgeons, Inc. is composed of threeboard-certified physicians with over 50 years of combined experience: MichaelG. Parker, M.D., Douglas S. Wagner, M.D., and John C. Pedersen, M.D. For moreinformation, call 330.253.9161 or visit www.akronplasticsurgeons.com .
SOURCE Akron Plastic Surgeons