Reviews and Testimonials Portland

Plastic Surgeons located in Portland, Oregon

Dr. Bartholomew and staff for Cosmetic Surgery always appreciates feedback from our valued patients. Please read what others are saying about Dr. Bartholomew for Cosmetic Surgery below, and as always, we would love to collect your feedback.

Mary's Story from the Oregon Clinic

As a nurse with over 28 years of experience caring for patients, Mary, 55, always tries to practice what she preaches about getting regular screenings and checkups.

Breast Reconstruction: Mary’s Story

During her annual mammogram a few years ago, Mary’s scan showed something worrisome. After a biopsy, the results came back: Mary had malignant pre-cancer cells in her breast.

Mary met with a surgeon with experience in breast cancer surgery to discuss her options. “I did a deep dive into all the treatment options and medications,” Mary says. “After a lot of thought, I made the decision that taking the suggested medication could potentially cause more problems to my body over time. It really came down to me being more fearful about being debilitated than dying from cancer.” Mary instead chose to have a preventive double mastectomy with breast reconstruction surgery.

Partners in Care

Mary was then referred to Dr. Samuel Bartholomew at The Oregon Clinic Plastic Surgery, who performed her breast reconstruction surgery following the mastectomy. Mary immediately felt supported. “Dr. Bartholomew’s staff were warm, welcoming, and knowledgeable. They made sure to explain everything to me before it happened.” Mary felt reassured in her choice to have surgery knowing the quality of care she would receive during and after. “I had no fear going into surgery, especially knowing that Dr. Bartholomew would be there.”

What is Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is a type of plastic surgery for women who have had a breast removed from a surgery such as a mastectomy and is an important part of treating breast cancer. The surgery rebuilds the breast mound so it is similar to the shape and size it was before. Due to Mary’s early detection, she did not have to reconstruct the nipple and areola, and instead successfully had her own tissue placed by Dr. Bartholomew’s surgery.

“Mary underwent bilateral nipple-sparing mastectomies and immediate breast reconstruction with temporary tissue expanders and acellular dermal matrix,” Dr. Bartholomew explains. “She then had weekly office visits to fill the expanders with saline to stretch out the breast skin. She underwent a planned second operation to have the expanders exchanged for breast implants. Mary had some soreness from surgery, but overall she recovered well.”

Preparing for Recovery

Mary's background as a nurse shaped her outlook as a patient and how she prepared for surgery. “Because it was pre-cancer and not exactly an emergency, I had time to physically and mentally get ready,” Mary says.

In the weeks leading up to surgery, Mary focused on walking frequently, biking, and eating well. “I had the luxury of time, so I wanted to be in as good of health as possible to make my recovery easier because I knew I would be debilitated for a while. That’s the nurse in me speaking.” And, anticipating a long recovery time, she even created a pleasant area in her bedroom to recuperate. “I bought a new painting that I could look at and focus on healing.”

LIfe After Surgery

Today, a year and a half after surgery, Mary has regained most of her upper-body strength and is getting back to her normal activities. After getting clearance from Dr. Bartholomew, she's focused on building up her stamina and muscle by biking, walking, and using a rowing machine she bought for her house. “Knowing that I wasn't restricted from exercise brought me a big sense of relief after surgery,” she says. “There is so much uncertainty afterwards, as you’re trying to be careful to make sure you don't overdo it so you can heal properly.”

For Mary, having a preventive mastectomy was the right decision for her. "I knew that going from having the pre cancer straight to the surgical option of a double mastectomy was unconventional, but it was worth it,” she says. “Even immediately after the surgery and reconstruction, I felt immense emotional relief that I never have to have a mammogram again in my life or worry about breast cancer.”

Feeling Empowered

Mary feels grateful that she had the opportunity to make an empowered decision about her health with the help of Dr. Bartholomew. “Dr. Bartholomew is talented and caring and I’m very pleased with how great a job he did. He always asked what I thought and what my wishes were, and he spoke with my family to assure them that everything would be fine.”

The one thing Mary wants other people to take away from her experience is to get a mammogram. “We‘re learning that we have so much ability to mitigate the effects of breast cancer early on,” she says. “I think it’s important for patients to know they have a surgical option and to speak up for your wishes. Make sure to think about and say to your healthcare providers what is important to you.”

“At my age, I'm more interested in my health, how good I feel, and my ability to do the things that I really want to do,” Mary says. “Yes, there are scars, but tell me who doesn’t have scars?”


“Dr Bartholomew is a very thorough surgeon. He truly cares about his patients. He’s given be options and answers any questions that I’ve had.” — Self-verified patient of Dr. Samuel V Bartholomew - Posted on February 18th, 2019

I found Dr Bartholomew to be professional and very caring. I never felt rushed at an appointment. His personal style is very comforting and truly instills confidence. — Self-verified patient of Dr. Samuel V Bartholomew - Posted on March 10th, 2016

I had a colon resection surgery (as a result of colon cancer) that failed and resulted in recurring abscesses that could not be brought under control. When all else had failed, Dr. Bartholomew took an exceptional amount of time to carefully study my case and come up with a solution that literally saved my life. His gracillis flap surgery was a huge success, and was quite complex as it was a little outside the ordinary for this specific surgery. I highly recommend Dr. Bartholomew and would certainly go back to see him if ever there was a need for his services. — Self-verified patient of Dr. Samuel V Bartholomew - Posted on May 27th, 2015

I saw Dr. Bartholomew initially for a consultation about some plastic surgery on my neck and chin area. His professionalism, knowledge and positive, friendly attitude made me decide to go ahead with the "procedure". This was "real" surgery and Dr. B. spent more time than anticipated due to "delicate skin". This necessary flexibility in his schedule and in that of the OR was certainly appreciated! During recovery that same day in the hospital, the nurses were extremely helpful and available, checking on me frequently. Dr. B saw me as well and was on site and available. Recovery at home was longer than I had anticipated, but that was due to the anesthesia not so much to the actual procedure. I saw Dr. Bartholomew the day after the surgery as well as several times later for follow-ups, always receiving excellent advice about caring for the incision areas initially, and during the months following for protection from the sun. And most importantly I am happy with the results! I chose to go to Dr. Bartholomew months later for an unrelated minor excision because I trust his skills and advice. — Self-verified patient of Dr. Samuel V Bartholomew - Posted on February 26th, 2014

I had two reconstrutive surgeries on my legs following severe infection from an adverse reaction to medication. Dr Bartholomew took on my case when others would not. Two months in the hospital, two surgeries and great followup all contributed to a excellent result. I was lucky to have Dr Bartholomew in my corner and highly recommend him. — Denise R.

I was sick of my ginormous boobies getting in the way. I have been on a fitness kick, running 5k's, lifting weights and doing Zumba. I just had my procedure on 7/19/16 and I feel amazing. I haven't had hardly any pain. I highly recommend it to anyone who is well endowed in the breast department. I have to keep the wraps and drains till my follow up on 7/25/16. — Jazzyelle

I am nervous, excited, terrified, relieved...all at once. I suspect this surgery brings a real mix of emotions. My surgery is only three days away! I was a 34 D in High School, now a 36F after two pregnancies and a total of four years breastfeeding my two sons. I have chronic neck and back pain and get strange chest muscle spasming due to the big bras I have to wear that compress my chest. I did get insurance approval with Regence to pay for my surgery. I really appreciate all the stories, photos and honest sharing. I can't imagine going into this without the amazing support of other women who have gone before...what did we do before the internet? :) — Savannah M. 26-Apr-2014

Here I am 30 days from surgery. I had a consult scheduled with a PS when I was 18 but chickened out. Now here I am 36 years old, a married mom of three, a nurse, and student finally doing it. Getting approval from insurance only took a week. Have felt some nervous flutters but I remember the amount of Naproxen, Ibuprofen, heat packs, and visits to the chiropractor I've needed just to function. This 34J is not at all workable for me.
My preOP appt is this coming week and am looking forward to it. My surgery is scheduled for 7-17-13 at 2:30 in the afternoon. I have to check in 2 hours prior to that and am concerned I will have to be NPO (nothing by mouth) status at midnight the night before. My PS said he places drains but they are removed the next day after the required overnight hospital stay.
My kids are nearly 8yr, 5.5yr, and 18mo. PS said I should be able to pick up my youngest after week, two weeks max. I plan to spend the next couple weeks gathering all the items I will need following the surgery and during recovery. Bras, button up shirts, pillows, mederma, I need to get a list of movies to watch while recovering. I have a pretty good pain tolerance so hopefully I will only be laid up for a few days. — Courtney D 16-Jun-2013

I am 62 years old, have had implants for 35 years and I am having them removed in 1 month. They are silicone and have been leaking for several months. I am finally going to have them removed. I was initially going to have saline implants put back in because I'm so concerned about my body image and how disfigured and small I will be. I've enjoyed the improved body image over the years (at the time of implant, the doctor could only fit in 6oz implants b/c I was so small) but am now considering just having the explant. Any comments, support is welcome. — Calliway L. 11-Oct-2013

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