Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Against Mastitis (Personal Experience) and Meet The Only Consultant Breast Surgeon in Indonesia

Hi all,

as mentioned on my previous post where I continually battled against mastitis, finally this post is made. I've been waiting for this moment as I did promise myself to make a post specially made after I've won the battle.

Since June 20, 2013, I've noticed that a bump appeared at my left breast. Considering I just having a so called 'miscarriage' I thought it would be related to mastitis. I have a history with the mastitis before, back in 2008 when I still live in Singapore. There I've met Dr. Mona Tan, a Consultant Breast Surgeon, where she prescribed Augmentin and Clamovoid (with 3 months time difference) to help me with the mastitis and after being confirmed via biopsy. The mastitis was cleared then and she also found several cyst on the left breast, which doesn't need to be treated.

Now, back to year 2013, I've taken antibiotics with Amoxicillin prescribed by a doctor here in Jakarta. He assured me that is the highest antibiotics available for the mastitis when I ask him about the effectiveness after taken them for 7 days without any result. The surgeon assured me to release the tension by massaging the breast until the 'breast milk' become liquid again and force it way out. It was a painful experience for me. I've tried putting hot and cold pack, massaging the breast in many different ways, soak in hot tub, and many more. After 10 days of taking the antibiotics the bump remain and the surgeon told me to have it removed.

Somehow, I don't feel like that's the right thing to do at the moment. So I went googling and asking here and there as whether there's a Breast Specialist around. I found a number of them but all related to oncologist. I don't think I have a tumor or a cancer but after 3 weeks of having a painful bump on the left breast that kept on growing I gave up and met one at a hospital in South Jakarta. I was shocked to hear him say I need to have a partial mastectomy. It was a 9x4 cm bump which he will have it removed completely from me.

The first surgeon suggested to drain the pus, the second opinion also draining the pus and an oncologist said to do partial mastectomy. But no one checked the mastitis like a Consultant Breast Surgeon I used to visit in Singapore. I'm thinking, I need to see her, but she's in Singapore and I have a lot of obligations here I can't just leave all behind. I can't believe there's no Consultant Breast Surgeon in Indonesia.

My husband finally found one when googling up. Her name is Dr. Alfiah Amiruddin, MD, MS, and she is located quite near us at West Jakarta, at RS Royal Taruma. I was excited!!! I don't know why, the minute my husband show me her profile, I think she is the one I should meet. Please Google up her name and read more about her if you're interested.

Why am I insisting on meeting a Consultant Breast Surgeon?
1. From my past experience in Singapore
2. I read many many many personal testimonial on patients with mastitis having their breast removed (mastectomy) in Indonesia then only to found out it was definitely a mastitis (which can be treated by antibiotics ONLY).
3. A Consultant Breast Surgeon is someone who study about breast thoroughly, not just about aesthetically, function, and daily problems. They can also deal with cancer, tumor and other kind of issues related to breast more extensive and precise. I've noticed from my past experience in Singapore the technique, procedure and treatment done is completely different from (general) Surgeon and Oncologist.

After knowing there's one of them in Indonesia, I start cheering up and have more hope.


It was not easy at first. It's like eating a new cake which I haven't try before, it looks weird but somehow it works! That's what happen with me. I have a number of doctors and I think for most people after they visited 2-3 doctors they will just give in and try the treatments/procedure offered to them, especially when the doctor insisted that THAT procedure is the right one. Yes, the oncologist insisted of 9x4 cm from my left breast needed to be removed. He doesn't ask me anything nor give me other options. He said that is the one and only option I have.

I'm so glad I met Dr. Alfiah, she is like that blue cake, she is rare in Indonesia but she gives me options which none of other doctors did to me. First, she asked me for USG, then she asked on my history, she checked on the breast, she did exactly like Dr. Mona used to do. She checked the breast thoroughly and ask me numerous questions.

After the first consultation, Baquinor is prescribed. Within just 3 days the medicine start showing progress, the bump become loosen and some pus can be extracted by syringe. It wasn't so hard and stiff anymore. 5cc of pus are taken on the second consultation, I'm happy with the progress. 3 days later I went back for the third consultation because the pus has become 'liquidize' and travel to more places inside of my body. It was painful and Dr.Alfiah suggested to do a surgery where the pus will be removed along with the dead cells infected.

On 2nd of August 2013 the surgery is done around 3 PM after Dr. Alfiah told me about everything that going to happen, the procedure, the effect on the shape, size and mass of my breast, treatments after the surgery and many many more. The surgery took about 1 hour and the pus removed was about 50 ml. There's an open flap on the skin below the nipple, it was an opening to the area inside the breast where the dead skin are removed and where the infection used to occurred. Bandage needed to be replaced daily and Elase Ointment need to be put on so the cells grow faster and fill in the gaps. It was such a relieve for the whole family. 1. For still having my breast with the same size and shape, 2. For we know, this is the best possible procedure there is. I don't have to lose my breast.

Till this day, I still have to visit the doctor every 2-5 days until all the 'emptiness' are filled with healthy cells. I still can breastfeed my future child, I become more positives and delighted, thanking God every single day for His blessings to me. I can have a normal life and my usual body. I used to think that if I have to loose a part of my body due to illness, I wont be such a crybaby, I was so wrong, back then I didn't know how it feel until this thing happen. A month of struggling makes me realize those who suffer terminal illness and having to let go a or some parts of their body are going through a hell of a storm. It brings my mood down, I became very sensitive, easily irritated and a bit depressed. And for a woman to lose her breast is not an easy thing to do. I fight for mine, and I think anyone should to.

To all the doctors that said I should have gone through a partial mastectomy, I'm fighting not because of the aesthetic value, but I'm fighting because my breast is mine, it is not just a part of me, it is completely me. I'm not defining myself on a breast, but why should I lose mine when it is not needed?! Would you give up your finger just because someone else told you to?! Won't you fight for it?

Any part of my body is special for me and my breast is included. This is how God made me and I would like to keep it that way as long as possible. I know breast reconstruction does existed but I also know it cost far more than removing one. I'm not just a patient, I'm also a person. Treat me like one.

It's not just me, by sharing about my personal experience I've met many others that shares the same dilemma I used to have. Many other people have been treated poorly by those in the medical profession where they should have help us. I know there are many good and passionate doctors out there but there are also some who may not be as loving or compassionate as we want to or need them to be.

I'm glad I found some at RS Royal Taruma, one of them is Dr. Alfiah Amiruddin.


(Details are taken from Breast Cancer Awareness Event, I'll share the information about the event once confirmed)


Below is the image of me and her (she is prettier in real life than in this pic), I'll definitely recommend anyone who have a breast issue to visit her. A check up once a year also needed for women with risk of cancer and tumor. Please do contact the hospital respectively to ask for her time and schedule. She is available at RS Royal Taruma and RS Mitra Kemayoran (both in Jakarta).


Some men also have risk on breast cancer, if you're suspecting of having one, she is also dealing with men patients. Please take note that I'm not endorsed nor sponsored by the doctor. I'm doing this because of a personal experience and I think it is a very important issue as health does matter. Being beautiful involved being healthy, and as a beauty blogger, I would like to include women's health in general as well as her body.

When I'm down due to the breast issue, I don't have any mood to dressed up, use skincare nor makeup. I'm imagining those who are with terminal illness must have felt worse than I am, therefore we need to be healthy and breast is one of the most sensitive issue that related to us as female. Again, not completely defining myself to breast but it does one of the thing that made us women. If there's a way to save them, why lose them?

Thank you Dr.Alfiah ^___^ see you soon on our next consultation.

And for everyone whose having problems with their health especially with the breasts, please don't give up, chin up and trust your heart if you think the treatment/procedure you'll be having is not the one for you. Ask around and perhaps try consulting with Dr. Alfiah if it is possible. My prayer is with you, stay strong and stay beautiful!

1 comment:

  1. My wife also saw Dr. Alfiah and I felt so good about her caring ways that I put together a website for her so that other people can more easily find her. Here it is:

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    May you be well :)

    Scott and Brenda McRae