Deconstructing Kristen’s Breast Reconstruction with Plastic Surgeon Dr. Salvatore Pacella (Part 1)


March 3rd, 2022

27 mins 20 secs

Season 1

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About this Episode

Kristen’s plastic surgeon Dr. Salvatore Pacella joins us to deconstruct her breast reconstruction and help us understand his strategy for the multi-stage approach in which the expanders are placed at the time of mastectomy and replaced with breast implants following radiation.

We ask all the unanswered burning questions, including whether he can even recognize Kristen with her clothes on and how the recent consumer trend of moving fat to increase the size of one’s rear end has had a positive impact on reconstructive surgery.

From the decisions made at the beginning of the process, to the ignorant things people say to women about to undergo breast reconstruction, we covered it all in this first episode of a two-part series.

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Learn more about Dr. Salvatore Pacella

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Listen to Dr. Pacella’s podcast, Three Plastic Surgeons and a Microphone:

Meet Kristen’s doctors: surgical oncologist Dr. Louis Rivera, hematologist and oncologist Dr. Sonia Ali, plastic surgeon Dr. Salvatore Pacella, and radiation oncologists Dr. Anuradha Koka and Dr. Kenneth T. Shimizu.

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About Breast Cancer Stories

Breast Cancer Stories follows Kristen Vengler, a 56 year old single empty nester in San Diego, from her diagnosis of hormone positive breast cancer through chemotherapy, mastectomy & breast reconstruction, radiation, and whatever happens after that.

In 2020, Kristen moved from Austin to San Diego to be near family and start her life over after a life-shattering workplace trauma. A few months later she had that terrifying moment in the shower we all hope we never have.

From her breast cancer diagnosis, through chemotherapy, breast reconstruction, and radiation, we experience each new milestone as it happens. This podcast is about what happens when you have breast cancer, told in real time.

Support the show by sharing online, writing a review, or donating at

Host and Executive Producer: Eva Sheie
Co-Host: Kristen Vengler
Editor and Audio Engineer: Daniel Croeser
Theme Music: Them Highs and Lows, Bird of Figment
Production Assistant: Mary Ellen Clarkson
Cover Art Designer: Shawn Hiatt

Breast Cancer Stories is a production of The Axis.