Keely Gibson | Breast Reconstruction

Patient Story: Keely Gibson

When Keely Gibson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, she underwent a lumpectomy and radiotherapy to treat a Grade 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.  

However, in November 2023, an annual mammogram revealed a 4cm growth of calcium deposits that were pre-cancerous cells. 

Keely, 48, from Sandhurst explains: “Following the lumpectomy, I saw Mr Raouf Daoud, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, once a year for a mammogram. 

“During my annual mammogram in November, pre-cancerous cells were detected, and Mr Daoud suggested a mastectomy and reconstruction, referring me to The McIndoe Centre.” 

Keely required a mastectomy and this was carried out by Mr Daoud followed by a breast reconstruction performed by a surgeon from The McIndoe Centre.  

She had a consultation with Mr Simon Mackey, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, to discuss her breast reconstruction options.  

A Lug Flap Reconstruction was booked for January 2024. The procedure uses tissue and muscle from the inner thigh area to reconstruct the breast. 

Keely adds: “I felt comfortable about going into hospital. I was apprehensive about the surgery, but not worried. The most important part for me was removing the pre-cancerous cells. 

“There was quite a lot of paperwork, but I felt informed, and I had reviewed a number of images of breast reconstructions in my consultations with Mr Mackey. I felt as prepared as possible.” 

The operation involving both consultants was approximately eight hours and Keely spent four nights at The McIndoe Centre before returning home for her recovery.  

Breast Reconstruction at The McIndoe Centre

Breast reconstruction following a mastectomy is now an integral component of the treatment process for breast cancer. For women who have had a double mastectomy, breast reconstruction can rebuild both breasts matching them as closely to the original, natural breast.

Keely, a yoga teacher who runs 25-30 miles a week, leads an active lifestyle but revealed her recovery has been difficult.  

“The first three weeks were as expected,” she said. “But then my breast and thigh started to collect fluid which had to be drained once a week at The McIndoe Centre where they also changed the dressings. 

“The care I’ve received throughout has been second to none. Mr Mackey has exceeded expectations and demonstrated a strong commitment to his role.

“Everyone I had an interaction with was friendly and caring, it felt like a real team effort, from reception to the nurses and the surgeons."

"You want to feel people are empathetic and have your best needs at heart and I absolutely felt that. From a patient’s point of view, it was a positive experience given I was undergoing major surgery.”

Keely Gibson

Mr Mackey said: “Breast reconstruction is not just about restoring physical form; it's about rebuilding confidence and reclaiming identity. Together with Mr Daoud’s expertise, I'm pleased to have been able to support Keely on this transformative journey. Her courage and trust in us were pivotal in achieving the best possible outcome.” 

Keely’s advice to others is to make sure they take the time to thoroughly check their breasts for lumps or any visual changes. In the event you are concerned, make an appointment with your GP. Early detection of breast cancer can make a significant difference. 

Mr Simon Mackey is a UK-trained consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon. He has been awarded the intercollegiate Fellowship in Plastic Surgery, FRCS(Plast); and is on the GMC’s Specialist Register for Plastic Surgery. He is a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS).

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As a nationally recognised hospital of excellence in plastic, reconstructive, ophthalmic and maxillofacial surgery, we have demonstrated ourselves to be: effective, responsive, caring, safe and well-led. Recently rated ‘good’ by the CQC, we are committed to treating our patients and each other with kindness, respect and dignity resulting in life-changing outcomes.

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