Dr. Sullivan Joins Compassion That Compels, Part 1

Our own Dr. Scott Sullivan joins joins Kristianne Stewart, founder and CEO of Compassion That Compels, to talk about support systems for women facing breast reconstruction.

Kristianne Stewart:
My name is Kristianne Stewart, and I’m the founder and CEO of Compassion That Compels. We’re a non-profit and we provide hope and emotional support to women battling any type of cancer, one compassionate act at a time. I wanted to talk a little bit about myself, and about what brought me to form Compassion That Compels and touch the lives of thousands of women worldwide. It’s my distinct honor today to present my gifted and talented surgeon, Dr. Scott Sullivan of the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery, www.breastcenter.com, in New Orleans, Louisiana. For those of you that don’t know about the Breast Center, not only are they pioneers in surgical procedures, but they really have an all-encompassing approach to restorative care. Introducing my surgeon, Dr. Sullivan.

Dr. Scott Sullivan:
Oh it’s incredible. First time I’ve been here. Of course, I’ve known you for a while, and your inception of this idea was remarkable at first, and how you’ve grown it to what it is, the number of thousands of lives you touched and counting, and the countries you’ve extended to…mind boggling.

Kristianne Stewart:
I’ve often asked as the founder of Compassion That Compels not only my story, but the story of my two sister-in-laws and my sister. One of my sister-in-laws battled metastatic breast cancer. And, it was around the time that I was having my double mastectomy. And, you were really instrumental in guiding me through that process. I’m not gonna cry.

Dr. Scott Sullivan:
It was a tough time for you. I remember when you came in you had the mastectomy and implant reconstruction from an outside institution from the Breast Center. You were like most of the patients when they come and see me—it’s just a very dim light. The person is almost faded; it’s just a flicker of a light. Besides, it’s emotionally taxing on everyone. We want to make sure to try to help guide you through and get you through a difficult situation. The fulfilling part in my career and my profession has been just that, where you see these wonderful people who are totally overwhelmed, overcome, beaten down, physically wiped out. Much hope may be lost facing their mortality. That’s a tough place to be. That’s a dark place to be. Fortunately, a lot have family support. They have spiritual support, as well, which is very important. Understanding their diagnosis helps a great deal. Understanding their options for treatment are very important. Because, today there are a lot of really great treatments, not just surgically, obviously the business I’m in on the reconstructive side the innovations have been pretty profound, but on the cancer side, on the lifestyle side, nutriceuticals, things like that. It’s much more advanced than it used to be. It does obviously create a difficult challenge for patients. But, I like to relate some optimism, because there is. Many times patients come out, particularly with their reconstruction, they can even look better than they did before. But it does help to have the support.

Kristianne Stewart:
It is October. It’s breast cancer awareness month. What if someone doesn’t have that support system?

Dr. Sullivan Joins Compassion That Compels, Part 2 >