Testimonials: Dr. Ashinoff

Hope for Lymphedema: Bidemi’s Story

I Have No Doubt That I Made the Right Decision to Have This Procedure.

I discovered The Plastic Surgery Center one day online as I was researching wraps for my lymphedema that I had in my right arm since I had a total lymphadenectomy some 30 years ago for breast cancer. I was surprised to see that this type of surgery even existed and I wasn’t even sure I was a candidate. I researched other places and The Plastic Surgery Center seemed the right fit for me and it was located in NJ, where I have family.

All the arrangements were made in a very professional manner and my surgery was scheduled for May 16, 2018 at The Jersey Shore Medical Center. Prior to the surgery, I was told I needed decongestive lymphedema care from an occupational therapist so that my arm would be ready with little or no lymphedema. The scripts were sent to my therapist and she was able to get my arm as decongested as possible. I met with Dr. Ashinoff the day before for a pre-surgical check up. The day of the surgery went smoothly with Dr. Ashinoff and all assistants, anesthetists, and others at my bedside, reassuring me.

The 7 hour plus surgery had no complications and I was released the next day from the hospital. I visited Dr. Ashinoff a few days later and was given the green light to go back home. Since the surgery, I have not had any complications with my arm but had some issues with the abdominal incision for lymph node retrieval, requiring a drain, but this was finally resolved. But my arm looks much slimmer, although It still swells a bit. I was told this is normal and putting a wrap on at night solves that issue.

I just came back to NJ for a yearly check up and was told my arm looks great. Although it was a long surgery I have no doubt that I made the right decision to have this procedure. I never dreamed my arm would look fairly normal again and that my decision to “take a chance” with this ground-breaking procedure would be the right one.

Marilyn, patient of Dr. Ashinoff

Dr Ashinoff Created My New Normal and I Will Be Forever Grateful to Him!

I met Dr Ashinoff less than 24 hours after my diagnosis. Like most people who’ve never had any personal experience with breast cancer reconstruction, I had no clue what to expect. It’s overwhelming to say the least. But Dr Ashinoff patiently explained all my reconstruction options and helped me make the decision that was best for me. In January 2017, he put in tissue expanders during my bilateral mastectomy. Six weeks later I received my first fill, and in April he replaced the expanders with implants. Reconstruction was complete in 4 months and I couldn’t be happier with my results! My breast surgeon absolutely saved my life… but Dr Ashinoff made it possible for me to take back my life and feel completely comfortable in my own skin again. I’m thrilled to share my before & after photos in hopes of easing the minds of other women considering reconstruction. When starting out on this journey, it’s hard to imagine you’ll ever feel like yourself again. Dr Ashinoff created my new normal and I will be forever grateful to him!

Jeannine

This Surgery Was Life-Changing for Me.

In 2002, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. During that year, I went through chemotherapy, a mastectomy, and radiation treatment. The following year, I was diagnosed with lymphedema in my arm. I was told it was the result of the removal of lymph nodes during the mastectomy. I was devastated to learn that this was an incurable condition that would require lifelong treatment. I engaged in the treatment and the daily maintenance required to manage my lymphedema. However, no matter how careful I was, my arm would become infected multiple times a year. These infections would require several days in the hospital to be treated with intravenous antibiotics.

In 2016, I learned about the potential of lymph node transfer surgery. I was referred to Dr. Ashinoff. He was kind, respectful, and thorough in his explanation of the procedure involved in determining if I would be a candidate for this surgery. He also explained options for breast reconstruction, such as TRAM flap and DIEP flap, that could be completed at the time of the lymph node transfer. This was important to me as I had always opted to not have breast reconstruction for fear of intensifying my lymphedema. For years I had lived with the disfigurement of the mastectomy and the lymphedema. I coped with prosthetics for the mastectomy and compression bandaging, compression sleeves, and daily MLD massage to manage the lymphedema. Clothing choices also were difficult. Necklines needed to be considered to hide the mastectomy along with sleeves to fit the lymphatic arm.

Dr. Ashinoff was careful to explain that the surgery was not a cure for lymphedema but that it could greatly improve the lymph drainage in my affected arm, thus reducing the potential for infections and the need for constant maintenance.

The surgery was conducted in July 2016 by Dr. Ashinoff and Dr. Schneider. In the nine hour surgery, lymph nodes were transferred from my groin to under my arm and breast reconstruction was completed. I was amazed at how little pain I experienced in this process. Eventually, I was able to eliminate the need for daily MLD massage, the size of my lymphatic arm reduced to almost the same size of my non-lymphatic arm, and infections in my lymphatic arm almost have been non-existent. I am also enjoying the benefits of my breast reconstruction. I am now able to wear normal bras and I have a great deal less difficulty with clothing choices.

Dr. Ashinoff and Dr. Schneider were very attentive to my recovery and always responded quickly when I had any concerns. This surgery was life-changing for me. It would not have been possible without the skills and expertise of Dr. Ashinoff and Dr. Schneider. I am very grateful that they have chosen to apply these skills to treat lymphedema.

Jennifer S., Patient of Dr. Ashinoff

Anna’s Story – Lymphedema

Anna was young when she developed melanoma on her leg. Although her surgery was successful, she began struggling with unusual swelling in her right leg. “My leg felt heavy,” Anna recounts and goes on to say that her foot was “three times the size” it was supposed to be. She was suffering from lymphedema: swelling caused by the damage or removal of lymph nodes. Everywhere she turned, she found no answers, until meeting Dr. Ashinoff and Dr. Schneider of The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction of New Jersey who performed a state-of-the-art lymphedema treatment to relieve Anna of both physical and emotional distress.

They Are Not Surgeons; They Are Miracle Workers.

When I was 19, I was diagnosed with cancer in my right leg. I had an operation to remove the cancerous tissue and some lymph nodes. I would have never expected that 6 years after being told I was cancer free I would develop a condition that comes as a side effect from the original surgery.

In April of 2015 my right foot and leg swelled for no apparent reason. The swelling was painful, caused problems with walking and wearing clothes and shoes. I went to an orthopedic, and for months the swelling continued and he had no idea what it was. I decided to visit my original oncologist, who diagnosed me with lymphedema. My family and I never heard of lymphedema, so I researched it and was afraid of the results if left untreated. Lucky for me, my oncologist referred me to Drs. Ashinoff and Schneider of the Institute of Advanced Reconstruction at the Plastic Surgery Center.

From my first visit, I knew I was in good hands. I needed a few tests to evaluate the severity and where the problem with my lymphatic system started and stopped. The results of tested showed I required two different procedures and both of the doctors would operate on me at the same time. They fully explained what they were going to do during the operation, my post surgery hospital stay and my recovery.

At every step of the way, they treated me as if I was their only patient. Their compassion is real and extended to my family as well. I was back to work in 3 weeks and I am getting better everyday. I cannot express the gratitude for what they have done for me and that we were referred to them. They are not surgeons; they are miracle workers.

-Anna Forte

They Are the Most Caring and Considerate Professionals I Have Ever Had the Pleasure to Deal With.

Dr Ashinoff along with his staff are fabulous! They are the most caring and considerate professionals I have ever had the pleasure to deal with. My surgery was perfect!
– Maureen Proudman

So for Your Work, Your Kindness, and Compassion I Felt With Each and Every Visit, I Thank You.

Let me start by saying thank you Dr. Russell Ashinoff and staff so very much for the kind and friendly way you have treated me from the beginning as a new patient and cancer survivor. As you know I have had a great deal of medical treatments over the years with a number of doctors. I can safely say you and your staff are by far the best. The work you have done for me is great. It has improved my life, confidence, and body 100%. You have totally restored me back to the women I once was before breast cancer. Probably even better then I was. Usually visits to the doctors is not a pleasant thing for me, however, you and your staff have made me happy to come to all of my appointments. You have answered all of my questions and have been there each and every time I have called in with even more questions. So for your work, your kindness, and compassion I felt with each and every visit, I thank you.

Dr. Ashinoff Is My 1st , 2nd and 3rd Choice.

I had major abdominal surgery that required plastic surgery to close. Dr. Ashinoff did a wonderful job explaining the entire process and all potential conflicts. When the skin graft did not take, he explained the procedure and how it was not the “end all” to my surgeries and also fully explained what occurred. Dr. Ashinoff performed my ostomy reversal and did a wonderful job. The extensive procedure was fully explained and the after care was all that could be asked for. If I ever need plastic surgery again, Dr. Ashinoff is my 1st , 2nd and 3rd choice.

– Michael Stogdill

The Reconstructed Area Looks Great.

Dr. Kaufman and all the staff I had contact with at The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction were caring, compassionate and helpful.  I had a complication with a reaction to the stitches and got extra care dealing with it and did not get an infection during the healing, which was a possibility.  I saw Dr. Ashinoff every other week and he was great too.  The reconstructed area looks great.

– Bertha Field

Dr Ashinoff Was Successful Doing a Skin Graph Which Literally Saved My Leg.

I was referred to Dr. Ashinoff for an infected non-healing diabetic foot wound on my heel. I had been treated for over a year before seeing the doctor. The orthopedics wanted to amputate my leg, but Dr Ashinoff was successful doing a skin graph which literally saved my leg. I will always be grateful for his expertise.
– Daniel Cairos

So for Your Work, Your Kindness, and Compassion I Felt With Each and Every Visit, I Thank You.

This was very emotional for me. I really didn’t realize before I started saying it out loud and writing it down how much you all have helped me and really changed my life. To have my body ravaged from breast cancer was a lot for me. But at the same time happy and grateful to be alive and still here. However, it was a depressing thing for me to go through and really I was having a difficult time dealing with it on an everyday basis. So to put how much I appreciate what you have done for me, I really don’t think can be done. I don’t know if I can find enough words to express how I feel and how much you have changed my life. But I certainly can explain the procedures and how each one made my body look different and so much better each and every time. The bottom line is I love my body and life again because of Dr. Ashinoff and his staff.

Let me start by saying thank you Dr. Russell Ashinoff and staff so very much for the kind and friendly way you have treated me from the beginning as a new patient and cancer survivor. As you know I have had a great deal of medical treatments over the years with a number of doctors. I can safely say you and your staff are by far the best. The work you have done for me is great. It has improved my life, confidence, and body 100%. You have totally restored me back to the women I once was before breast cancer. Probably even better than I was. Usually visits to the doctors is not a pleasant thing for me, however, you and your staff have made me happy to come to all of my appointments. You have answered all of my questions and have been there each and every time I have called in with even more questions. So for your work, your kindness, and compassion I felt with each and every visit, I thank you.

My surgery was perfect!

Dr Ashinoff along with his staff are fabulous! They are the most caring and considerate professionals I have ever had the pleasure to deal with. My surgery was perfect!

Maureen Proudman

Thank You to the Entire Staff at the Plastic Surgery Center for Their Kindness and Professionalism.

I am eternally grateful to Dr. Russell Ashinoff and his partner Dr. Patel. I severed literally all of my nerves and every soft tissue with the exception of one artery. Because of the superior work these physicians did, I have use of my right hand and have returned to work as a critical care RN. Also, the nurse Micky, was very responsive to any questions that I had and nurturing as I went through the emotional changes of the healing process. Thank you to these medical professionals. Also, Thank you to the entire staff at The Plastic Surgery Center for their kindness and professionalism.

Angela Moss

Today I’m Feeling Great and My Shoulders and Back Feel Fine

Sometimes I get a little emotional. I’m a single parent with an 18-year-old daughter, so I’ve had to focus on keeping my job and health insurance. It definitely has been hard, but I’m grateful to be alive…

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Kathy Leonard
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