Reconstruction Plastic Surgery – Julie Granger

November 21 2016

Julie Granger is one of the toughest women I know. She was referred to my office by Dr. John Moore, a very well-known thoracic surgeon at Northside Hospital. Julie had been diagnosed with a rare sarcoma that involved her chest and extended up into her right neck. Dr. Moore had explained to me that he was going to have to be removing a good portion of her chest wall with several of her ribs in order to completely remove the sarcoma, and he asked for my input regarding reconstruction of this young girl’s chest wall.

Julie has always been a competitive swimmer. She is a former Duluth high school swimmer and a Duke University NCAA swimmer. As I discussed the reconstructive procedure with Julie, her main concern was that she was able to get back into the swimming pool as soon as possible.  It was her hope that she would be able to compete and swim across Americas Atlanta Open Water Swim, a fundraiser for the AFLAC cancer and blood disorder Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  With those goals in mind, I knew that Julie was a tough cookie.

On May 19 of this year, Dr. Moore was able to remove her tumor along with three of her ribs part of her collarbone and a portion of her right lung.  I assisted Dr. Moore with removal of the tumor as well as with reconstruction of her chest wall.  Fortunately, with some of the newer techniques available for reconstruction, we were able to preserve Julie’s breast and chest wall and allow her to retain her beautiful athletic figure.  She spent 10 days in the hospital but was quickly back into the pool and working out just one month after the surgery.

Julie did end up undergoing a secondary surgery after she somehow managed to break one of the titanium plates that were used to reconstruct her chest wall while swimming.  A second short surgery to remove the titanium plates did not slow Julie down.  She was able to return back to the pool and participate in the swim across Americas Atlanta Open Water Swim.  As a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, it is always rewarding to be able to see patients through a difficult and arduous cancer treatment and reconstructive surgery.  Julie also runs performance rehabilitation and integrative sports medicine business that includes physical therapy, Pilates, and sports medicine. It is great to see that Julie will be around for a long time to share her story with other patients and inspire them.

Gregory J. Mackay, M.D., F.A.C.S.