“My patient’s problem was having a single breast.”
She came to my clinic one year ago. She was a 42-year-old, attractive, well-groomed, successful woman who could express herself well. She was good at technology, she had been following me on the digital media and she was aware about the latest operation methods. When patients come into my room, I examine their whole body, especially their face; I did the same to her. She didn’t have any problems except slight lines on her face. A single, successful business woman... She worked together with the opposite sex on every step of her business life and she successfully overcame many obstacles she had because of being a woman. So, what brought her to me?
She said, “Now, I am going to tell you about a deficiency of mine that nobody knows except my family.”
With the excitement and anxiety of telling her problem to someone except her family, this indestructible looking woman started crying like a little girl. She told me about her breast problem, which she had been keeping as a secret for 42 years. “I don’t have dressing mirror in my room, I put my make up on and leave home, for me bathing is nothing but cleaning me with my eyes closed. I couldn’t even look at the other parts of my body. I don’t know anything about the other parts of my body; I ignored it because of my breast area.”
At that point, examining her would be the most illogical attempt. I only offered a hot beverage and a nice conversation. Her problem was having a single breast. This problem that can be called absent breast, it mostly does not occur before puberty and the nipple can appear on areas like armpits or crotch or as single breast with double nipples. It is a common problem to have normal breasts during childhood but having one of them underdeveloped after puberty.
While we were drinking our tea, I asked her if she had watched the popular TV serial “Muhteşem Yüzyıl”. When she said that she did, I told her a rumor about Kanuni Sultan Süleyman’s daughter Mihrimah Sultan. Kanuni and Hurrem’s daughter, whose real name was “Mihr ü mah”, had a single breast. My patient was surprised to hear that one of the most characters of this popular serial had the same problem and she started looking more hopeful. The pain reduces when you share it and when you see someone like you; your pain becomes more bearable. You stop asking the question “why me?” and you start being grateful for the things you have.
Mihrimah Sultan asks Architect Sinan to build a mosque with a Turkish bath inside and put a special lodge for her. It is said that Mihrimah Sultan used to go to this lodge of her and take bath by herself without getting help from her odalisques, so that no one could see her. That rumor was spread in the whole city but it could never overshadow her beauty. In fact, later, women with removed breasts due to cancer or women born without breasts came to this bath to clean themselves and pray.
We are not sure about this rumor but there are many women in the world with this problem. My patient told me that she couldn’t go to the beach, use implants in her bras and most importantly, she didn’t bring any men in her life due to her problem. Having a single breast by birth was causing her to be alone and ashamed and she was focused on her career to cope with her loneliness.
Being Mihrimah Sultan, the one and only daughter of Kanuni, the eternal love of Architect Sinan is way more different than sharing your body with loneliness... However, my patient was luckier than Mihrimah Sultan. Today, the absence of breast problem can be solved with an extremely simple operation. My final question was: “Why did you wait so long?” I couldn’t believe that even such a modern and successful business women had postponed aesthetic surgery for that long. Another thing that is hard to believe, -I am not only talking about my patient’s parents- that how come the parents of such children doesn’t get help from an aesthetic surgeon for them?
If only... If my patients’ problem was acknowledged and solved before, I am sure that this successful woman would be happier and maybe she would have a beloved husband and kids.
My patient became relaxed after a friendly chat and exchanging stories. After examining her, she came back with necessary tests in 2 days and I performed a one-hour breast surgery. A 42 years deficiency was corrected in 1 hour. Breast implant was inserted, her nipple and her areola form were rejuvenated, she returned to work a few days later. She had made research about Mihrimah Sultan and she told me that her real name is “Mihr ü mah” which means “moon and sun” and she said: “For years, I was living on the dark side of the moon, thank you for giving me the sun.”