Dr Christopher Chui was my chosen reconstruction surgeon. He came across as quiet and collected. He looked young (but he is not). He had good experience under his belt and his work (through his photographs) looked good. Looking at his patients' photos, I could not tell which breast had been reconstructed. With the other surgeons' photos, I could guess.
Throughout our meeting, he politely asked standard questions, did the usual physical examinations and took my teasing casually. Not everybody is as easy-going during work, and especially when faced with anxious, angry, or disillusioned patients. Cancer patients can be all of those, and sometimes, more. Dr Chui was never fazed. Every question I had, he used his best endeavours to answer. He was sincere and had a calming demeanour. I liked that I could shoot questions off the top of my head and he would have an answer for me everytime. A measured, sincere, to-the-point answer. If he really did not have the answer, he would say so. I trusted him because he was honest. He never scoffed, never made me feel like I did not understand his job and was too naive asking those questions, never blinked. I fixed my surgery date during that very first meeting. I did not have to think twice. I had seen many surgeons before him...for members of the family about various health issues. Dr Chui was, to my mind, the ideal surgeon for my case.
Prior to surgery, I would email him and receive detailed replies and customised advice. (by that, I mean, not the standard "It's fine. Don't worry. I've done this many times." type of unhelpful reply.) Post surgery, he continued to answer my emails in detail. I always felt reassured and more knowlegeable after reading his replies. He is confident yet very gentle during physical examinations and wound dressing changes. He is highly sensitive to his patients' state of mind and his quiet presence has a calming effect. He is focused on his craft and he is very good at it. His passion for his specialty is reflected in how I like my reconstructed breast very much. It is natural looking, my shape (that is, it looks like my original breast, only better) and it works. It works because I don't feel like I have a reconstructed breast. It dresses up the same way. People compliment me all the same. No one is any wiser unless I tell them. Dr Chui has an eye for the aesthetics. Not all plastic surgeons do. You have to see their work to understand. Even in the ward, as I was lying there semi-conscious, Dr Chui also did my nipple construction.
There were extensive emails between us prior to the surgery. It was a short procedure under GA, 6 months post reconstruction. But his advice to use skin grafted from my other nipple was excellent. The tissue used has natural pigmentation and projection. Magic. It was carefully grafted and shaped.
Dr Chui also tattoos areolas to finish the breast reconstruction process. Quite the marathon because every stage requires time for the body to heal before another part can be 'fixed'. I'm all done now. My husband is very pleased with the results. Some spouses feel differently post mastectomy but mine was done beautifully and it has not caused him any distress, on the contrary. I'm open to communicating with anyone interested to ask any questions about Dr Chui or about my experience under his medical care.