After mastectomy, patients find a healing, helping hand at Swedish Plastics and Aesthetics

December 1, 2023 Swedish Cancer Team

[4 min read]

In this article: 

  • Swedish Plastics and Aesthetics offers a complete range of reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgery.
  • It's one of the country's only plastic and aesthetic surgery practices staffed exclusively by women surgeons. 
  • Medical Director Suzette Miranda, M.D., is active in Northwest Hope and Healing, a group that provides financial support for women going through breast cancer treatment.  

Patients with breast cancer are faced with many choices that profoundly transform their relationships with themselves, their loved ones and possibly most deeply of all, their bodies. For many patients who undergo mastectomy, the experience often robs them of a part of their anatomy and individuality that is seminal to the very nuanced identity of a woman.

After treatment and when they have decided to move ahead with breast reconstruction, many patients turn to the surgeons at Swedish Plastics and Aesthetics, which is located within the Swedish Cancer Institute in First Hill. Swedish Plastics and Aesthetics — one of the country’s only plastic and aesthetic surgery practices staffed by an all-woman group of surgeons — offers a complete range of reconstructive and aesthetic surgery, as well as treatments such as fillers and skincare. The doctors and staff are committed to helping every patient live comfortably in their own skin, whether it’s after treatment for cancer or changing an aspect of their body that’s for too long caused them discomfort or unhappiness.

Celebrating lives and supporting patients

We spoke recently with the practice’s medical director, Suzette Miranda, M.D., about the services offered at Swedish Plastics and Aesthetics and why she is so dedicated to helping breast cancer survivors heal and move forward with their lives. In addition to her surgical practice, Dr. Miranda has served on the board of Northwest Hope and Healing, a non-profit organization that helps patients being treated for breast or gynecologic cancer with immediate financial assistance to help support their everyday living expenses such as childcare, groceries, transportation, utility bills and more.

In working with Northwest Hope and Healing, Dr. Miranda and Swedish seek to alleviate some of the burden that comes with coping with such an emotionally and physically difficult time. Regional Swedish social workers connect with patients to distribute financial support. Patients with metastatic disease can possibly receive multiple grants.

The organization raises funds through two major annual events: Cork, Fork and Support, which is a food and wine event which will be held next February 3 in Woodinville, and Life in Color, a fashion show where cancer survivors walk the runway in the creations of local designers. This year’s Life in Color event was held on Aug. 20 at the Seattle Yacht Club.

Dr. Suzette Miranda (third from left), medical director of Swedish Plastics and Aesthetics, with breast cancer survivors at this summer's Life in Color fashion show. The annual event is a fundraiser for Northwest Hope and Healing, an organization providing financial support for women going through breast cancer treatment.  

“We celebrate [the cancer survivors'] journeys with this incredible fashion show where they get their hair and makeup done by volunteers and wear these incredible clothes from local fashion designers. They come and walk with their loved ones. It’s a real celebration of life,” says Dr. Miranda. “It is so impactful. We laugh, we cry, and we cheer.”  

Hope after a devastating diagnosis

“When you walk into a room and you’re told that you have breast cancer — I think that anyone who has had that experience or knows someone who has had that experience can understand that it’s a devastating moment,” says Dr. Miranda. She is proud to offer the ability to restore what has been taken away from patients to make them whole again. 

“Breast reconstruction is a very personal choice,” adds Dr. Miranda. “When patients come to me it’s my job to help educate them about the choices based on their lifestyle and what’s important to them, not make a decision for them.”

Looking toward the future together

"We also acknowledge that this is devastating and it’s ok to be angry, sad or mad," Dr. Miranda emphasizes. "We have to acknowledge the feelings and the person and let them cry." 

“And then I get to tell them that I am here to help restore them. One really beautiful part of this work is that I get to help give patients back what they’ve lost. I get to help patients reimagine themselves and many of the ways they saw themselves as women.”

Learn more and find a provider

If you or a loved one have questions about cancer diagnosis, treatment or care, the experts at Swedish Cancer Institute are here for you. We can accommodate both in-person and virtual visits. 

Contact the experts at Swedish Plastics and Aesthetics to learn more about how they can help you live more comfortably in your skin. 

Whether you require an in-person visit or want to consult a doctor virtually, you have options. Contact Swedish Primary Care to schedule an appointment with a primary care provider. You can also connect virtually with your provider to review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow up as needed. And with Swedish ExpressCare Virtual you can receive treatment in minutes for common conditions such as colds, flu, urinary tract infections, and more. You can use our provider directory to find a specialist or primary care physician near you. 

Information for patients and visitors 

Additional resources

When should you get your first mammogram?

Cancer Prevention Resource Roundup

At Swedish, a visionary initiative to advance the early detection of cancer

Fighting cancer with clinical research

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional’s instructions.

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About the Author

The Swedish Cancer Team is committed to bringing you the most up-to-date insights about treatments, prevention, care and support available. We know cancer diagnoses strain you both mentally and physically, and we hope to provide a small piece of hope to you or your loved ones who are fighting the cancer battle with useful and clinically-backed advice.

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