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I had varicose veins from the age of 14. The first one appeared initially behind my right knee. Just a small little lump initially. They never really gave any trouble but I did have to cover them during my rugby playing days, right up to age 20. My GP at the time suggested some helpful tips including exercise, not standing too long etc. More developed as the years went along and likely inherited the “gene” from my father’s side of the family who had also had varicose veins. As I got older, I noticed I would get ache’s if I stood too long so always was the first to seek a seat at a gathering or an event as my legs would feel heavy and tired, much to the amusement of friends and family who suggested I was getting old before my time! Once I explained the reason they would be a bit more sympathetic. Other than being unsightly and becoming more extensive in both legs, I managed to live just fine with the condition. A lot of people have to put up with far more serious health issues so it was a minor complaint. As I got into my early 40’s they did get progressively worse and I would sometimes wake at night with aches and pains in my legs. I always remained relatively active but I think they just reached a point where they needed some intervention. I heard of Dr. Ebanks from a work colleague but it still took me 5 more years before I actively went and sought a referral from my GP here. When I visited Dr. Ebanks she reviewed my legs and then sat me down to explain the causes in a lot more detail than I had ever heard or remembered. However, given mine were hereditary, there was little I could have done to avoid developing them to the extent they were now at age 47. Dr. Ebanks explained the options available and prognosis, including surgery or doing nothing. While I wanted to avoid surgery, I figured if I was ever going to get it done, I may as well now rather than when I’m older. In addition, the Cayman Islands were still in a form of isolation given the pandemic, with zero Covid and travel restrictions in place. One reason I was so reticent up to now to have the veins operated on was the recovery time and given my need to travel for work, I did not want surgery and recovery to get in the way. Having discussed the options and risks with Dr. Ebanks, I went ahead and booked surgery. Pre-operation consultants were arranged, including full ultra-sound and scanning of both legs and vein arteries. The nurses doing these scans were very helpful. I had my surgery March 1 at CTMH. I had both legs operated on the same day to avoid the need to go under General Anesthetic twice. The surgery was quite extensive and last 5 hours. I was able to walk about that evening and was discharged that night. I had to wear compression socks for 7 days. Stitches were removed 1 week after surgery. The incisions were very small but there were lots of them (approx. 50 in each leg with a combination of laser and vein stripping). Bruising went away after a few weeks. Post op care included lots of walking and avoiding standing for any length of time until the remaining veins had time to accept their new role of carrying the blood flow. I will confess that the recovery time took a lot longer than I expected. My one bit of advice is to follow all instructions Dr. Ebanks gives you 100%! I didn’t on one occasion and that caused a temporary hiccup in the recovery but nearly 1 year on I am very happy with the result. I think after about six months I stopped thinking about them. My wife was amazed at the outcome as she was used to seeing my legs in shorts and remembers how they looked.  Dr. Ebanks give me great confidence from the moment I met her until my final post operation appointment. She was always available if I had any questions. Watching her go about her work was like watching a mechanic fix a broken down car! She is very skilled at her profession, and we are lucky to have her expertise available on Island. If there is a learning point for me here its I wish I went to her a little sooner. But better late than never.

"It is cancer. And it’s aggressive.”

Not exactly the words I wanted to hear after having a lump checked following a breast self-examination. But I wasn't surprised, as my risk was high due to my family history. The truth is, I was mostly angry as I had already lost my beautiful sister and niece to this disease, and now it was my time.

I am so happy to have had Dr. Ebanks as my breast surgeon. I was devastated and obviously scared, but when I left her office, I knew I was going to be okay. She is a caring and meticulous surgeon, and takes her time to explain what I am to expect from my surgeries and aftercare. I had a much better understanding of what my cancer was, what was going to happen next and any additional testing I needed. She gave me my options and allowed me time to think it over before reaching a decision. My surgeries were close to being painless, and my incisions were strategically placed to appear almost invisible once healed.

There are no words to truly express my gratitude for her outstanding care, professionalism and sincere concern for my physical and mental well-being. My diagnosis was devastating for my family and I, but I knew that I was in excellent hands, those of not just what I consider to be a world-class surgeon, but also a sincere physician.

I am truly grateful for having a second chance at living because of Dr. Ebanks.

At the beginning of this year, I finally scheduled a follow-up mammogram and ultrasound that I had put off because of lockdown. It revealed 2 areas of concern. Dr. Tanja got me scheduled straight away for an MRI which was followed by biopsies as my family history gives me an increased risk of breast cancer. While the results were good, Dr. Tanja has also arranged for me to speak with an oncologist, as well as a plastic surgeon, should this become necessary. I am so grateful that within a short period of time a solid plan that I have great confidence in has been put in place.

I developed a varicose vein over a decade ago, while pregnant. It became progressively more uncomfortable over time, and finally quite painful over the past 3-4 years. I finally booked to see Dr. Tanja, and am so happy that I did. It was decided that the vein could be resolved with surgery. Everything went smoothly, and the recovery did not take long. Although there is an obvious aesthetic benefit to the surgery, I had not realized just how much pain I had been in, and the fact that I am now pain-free has had a big positive impact on me. 

I've been going to Dr. Tanja for over 12 years. I've found Dr. Tanja to be very thorough, professional and always ready to answer my questions and explain things so I that I can understand. Dr. Tanja was there for me when I discovered I had Breast Cancer, during Covid in 2020. She explained the findings, my possible options and then performed all 3 of my surgeries. I know she saved my life and I'm forever grateful to her. You want Dr. Tanja on your team, period! I do not hesitate to recommend Dr. Tanja and I continue to see her to this day.

Dr. Ebanks is an amazing surgeon! She performed a lumpectomy on me in September 2021. Before the surgery she came into my room to make sure I was calm and reassured me everything would be ok. She even held my hand several times and rubbed my arm.

After they wheeled me into the surgical room I started feeling extremely nervous. Then Dr. Ebanks walked into the room with a big smile on her face, grabbed my hand, gave me some more reassurance and said “See ya on the other side.” After the surgery, she came to check on me right away and was there bright and early the next morning to check on me again.

Months before my surgery, Dr. Ebanks told me there might be a strong possibility that I might loose my nipple. I did not want this to happen and asked her to save if she could. Well with her wonderful surgically gifted hands she was able to save it!

Through this whole process, I appreciated her straightforward and firm approach before and after the surgery and now during my recovery phase. If there comes a day that I need another surgery, Dr. Ebanks will be the first person I call.

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