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  • Writer's pictureLuan Lawrenson-Woods

'Hi Ken!' - Ken Doll after DIEP

From my #100DaysDIEP Instagram posts, documenting my recovery from DIEP flap breast reconstruction in 2019 - this was Day 96 after my surgery.

Let’s talk about ‘down there’ after DIEP flap reconstruction. Or, more grown-uply: the pubic mound.

Mine is decidedly more moundy since my DIEP flap reconstruction surgery. Whether that’s because of being so firmly hoiked northwards or cos of swelling, I’m not sure.

When I asked my plazzy surgeon about it he said “They call it the Ken doll”. By ‘they’ I can only assume that he meant patients; people - women - like me. “Well, I’d rather be called a Barbie … and there’s something I never thought I’d say”, I replied.

So yeah, The Ken Doll is A Thing (because of not having a thing). And it’s not only me who hasn’t had an introduction to our Ken. On social media I’ve seen women who’ve had a DIEP talk about it like an ‘in the know’ secret - “😂😂 I’m just laughing because I know what you’re talking about 😂😂” - while those uninitiated into the DIEP club ask confusedly “a Ken what?”.

I can’t really recall being told about the possibility of Ken making an appearance by my surgeon or nurse; neither can the hubster (who’s been to nearly every appointment with me - he takes notes while I dish out the questions).

And it appears Kenneth might be here to stay as it may not dissipate naturally. Not ideal. Not ideal at. fu@king. all.

I appreciate that not everything can be discussed pre-surgery, but there’s got to be a better way of ensuring this sort of information is communicated to each patient (and communicated in more than one way).

While prior knowledge of either Ken wouldn’t have necessarily meant that I didn’t have this type of surgery, I should know what’s going to happen to my body. Especially when its a known or expected side-effect.

And you know, as with any visitors, you like to be prepared for them. It’d be rude not to.

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