"I did not want to have to look back in hindsight and say why didn't i take care of this then? And opted to go ahead and have both breasts removed," said Lutz.
Catherine turned to Dr. Steven Pisano, a plastic surgeon specializing in a reconstruction procedure called DIEP flap. That stands for deep inferior epigastric perforator. Surgeons remove skin and fat from the lower abdomen and transplant the tissue to the chest, reconnecting blood vessels and hooking up sensory nerves to end up with lifelike breasts. It does not involve abdominal muscles.
"Even though the tissue's not being moved from one person to another, it's still a transplant. And that's what makes this method of reconstruction unique among all the methods of breast reconstruction," said Dr. Pisano.
The DIEP flap is a microsurgery that takes about five-and-a-half hours. The results, doctor say, are cosmetically pleasing to women.
"They avoid the depression and anxiety and the loss of feeling feminine that comes with the mastectomy," said Dr. Pisano.
Last year, about one in ten American women who had the DIEP flap got it in San Antonio. Patients come from all over the country.
"I don't have breasts with a whole bunch of scars all over them that's a constant reminder that you have breast cancer," said Lutz.
Less than 50 U.S. Surgeons perform the DIEP flap procedure routinely. Advocates say more women need to know that implants and prosthetics aren't the only option.