René says she was scared up until the moment she laid her head on the operating table. Then, a team of doctors stepped in to put an end to years of biopsies, lumpectomies and sleepless nights.
To perform the complicated procedure, two doctors with different skill sets had to scrub in. First, Dr. Virgilio Sacchini, a breast surgeon, spent three hours removing all the breast tissue, which can extend under the armpit, under the collarbone and into the abdomen.
Then, Dr. Joseph Disa, a plastic surgeon, inserted temporary breast implants, also known as "tissue expanders." These implants are gradually filled with saline solution until the patient is comfortable with the size and shape of her new breasts.
When René woke up after her surgery, she says she immediately noticed her new additions. "[I had] 360 cc of saline per breast, which felt roughly like two 500-pound gorillas sitting on my chest," she says.
Since her surgery, René has reduced her breast size to a B cup, a full cup size smaller than she once was. "I'm very happy," she says. "I call them my teenaged breasts."