New surgery helps breast cancer survivors regain confidence

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by ANN SHERIDAN / WCNC

WCNC

Posted on July 1, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 1 at 9:30 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Only Angelina Jolie could make reconstructive surgery a fashion statement.  And she did it in front of the world, openly talking about her bilateral preventative mastectomy and the surgery that followed.

Jolie had the newest generation of implants following her surgery, nicknamed gummy bears, because they hold their shape and are more stable than previous implants.

"I’m a 10 year survivor, but I’ve dealt with reconstruction for nine years. I have felt like I could never say I was done.  There was something I didn't like or wasn't comfortable with.  I really feel like can say I'm done,” said Matthews’ resident and breast cancer survivor Carol Jackson.

Jackson had the gummy bear implants several months ago.  Her plastic surgeon, Dr. Peter Capizzi, of Stillwater Plastic Surgery, has done more than 400 implants using Gummy Bears.

"Well I think they make them feel whole again,” he said.

Capizzi also co-investigated the implants for the FDA.

He says his patients are pleased.

The new implants are attractive to cancer survivors because they don't show through the skin like other implants that can leave a rippling effect, and there are more sizes and shapes.

"So now you have the device that has width, height projection and they're all different, so now you have 100 or so choices as opposed to 30 choices."

For Jackson it means a new chapter, one she is happy to talk about and thankful for the celebrity who brought  to the forefront.

"I do think she  made people realize that she's OK and that there's something on the other side,” said Jackson.

For more information on the gummy bear implants, go to www.stillwaterplasticsurgery.com.

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