advice about reconstruction


I have been diagnosed with low grade DCIS but as yet have not had my final diagnosis . This is due this Monday . All I know is I have widespread DCIS . I have seen my pictures and the calcifications seem to be wide apart although Im no expert. The consultant has already suggested possible mastectomy. I cannot see how this can be avoided if I have widespread DCIS . So Im trying to read up on reconstructions …if anybody can offer their experience on types of reconstruction I would be very interested . The one thing that I have observed from reading so far is that noone has said with hindsight they would have chosen a different type of reconstruction . 

Hello Steph, 


I am sorry to hear that you have been recently diagnosed, I am sure some of our forum users will be along to offer some support soon.


In the meantime you may be interested in using our Someone Like Meservice which puts you in touch with one of our trained volunteers who have had personal experience of breast cancer and have experience of the issues you may be facing. We have volunteers who have had various different types of reconstruction and can talk to you about how they made their choice and how they feel now. 


If you would like to use the Someone Like Me service please do get in touch by email on: or by calling the service directly on 0114 263 6490.


Warm wishes,



Service Worker (Someone Like Me).

HI Steph,

I had a mx a few months ago with immediate implant recon but it took me quite a while to come to that decision - like you, I tried to get a range of opinions / experiences and looked into all my options. After meeting with a plastic surgeon we both pretty much agreed an ‘own body’ recon was not an option for me (recent abdominal surgery and slim build so not much spare to work with) so we were lookng at an implant or staying flat. I joined the Flat Friends facebook group for a while and people shared their reasons why they had chosen to have no reconstruction and in the end I decided to give an implant a try. I also looked at photos of various real life options with my breast care nurse, both those with ‘good’ and not so good outcomes so I had as clear an idea as possible what I was signing up for. I found the whole process really difficult and finally realised I was trying to find a solution which covered every possible ‘what if’, but actually that was not possible and I just had to make a choice and go with it.

While it obviously is fairly major surgery I didn’t find it too difficult afterwards - only needed paracetamol for pain management and gradually got back full range of movement (I had lymph node biopsy as well so affected nerves down arm etc) with the stretches etc you get given. I’m happy with the result of the implant - it does look and feel quite different to my other natural breast to me - fairly solid and little natural movement - but, as I am small breasted, there is no appreciable difference with clothes on.

Hope that helps, do ask if you want to know any more. Good luck with your decision and results / treatment xx

Hi Steph J,

Sorry you have to find yourself here, but it is a great place for support, as all of us are going or have gone through a similar journey to yourself.

I do not know whether you have found this publication anywhere. It is very informative about the types of breast reconstruction. Not all might be right for you, as much may depend on your shape, size, health, etc., etc.

I had a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction and I love the outcome. It was done with an implant and as mentioned by someone else, it does not quite feel or move the same, but visually it is perfect.

My oncoplasti surgeon even managed to reconstruct a nipple or bud, as they like to call it. It just looks just like one, it only will need ‘colouring in’ when all is done! Unfortunately, post op, it turned out that I had to have chemo and radiotherapy treatment, which is likely to impact on the implant. However, I have been assured that it will be replaced, should it become necessary.

It certainly was the right choice and I would, despite looking at options, which would give a softer more natural feel - not change my mind.

The op was quick, after two weeks I was able to drive again and after three was back at work.

Sue xx 

Hi Steph,


I’m another one in the implant camp. Hopefully someone will be along soon with experience of another type of surgery but until then just to say that, like Sue, I’ve found it to be a very positive experience. As I say to everyone who wants to listen :smileyhappy: I would much rather have my original boob back (disease free obviously) but I’m pretty happy with the result. I was fortunate in that my tumour was far enough away from the nipple so that I was able to keep that and being only a B cup bra size an implant was a good choice for me. I did look at the other options and the plastic surgeon I saw said that, despite the fact that I’m quite slight, he could have made a new boob for me from my tummy, albeit a bit smaller than its left counterpart.


I was very nervous about having another part of my body used to replace my breast tissue but at the time of my decision had never had any kind of surgery so just wanted the quickest option and the surgeon I saw was very confident that an implant would work well for me. I was also told that if the implant fails in the future then an own tissue reconstruction is still open to me. That said, now that I’ve been through surgery and found it was in no way as awful as I imagined it was going to be, if I do have to go for an own tissue donation surgery in the future then I think I’ll be far less anxious about the prospect.


I do hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions.


Ruth xx




Thank you all for your replies . Its so overwhelming . I will most certainly utilise someone like me , the support here is fantastic. And I have def picked up lots of advice and ideas of what to ask . Ruth , Sue and Liz you all sound so inspiring and all your advice is priceless to me . I have read each word over to ensure I take it all in . I go on Monday to find out my fate . I dont know what to expect it could be better or worse but at least a plan of some description will be commenced . Iv pretty much concluded a mastectomy is on the cards as widespread is widespread so unless one half of the breast has harmless calcifications which can be left alone I really dont know what else they can do . But I only have 3 more sleeps to find out . Goodluck to you all and thank you so much . I will most definately ask more questions as I think of them . Possibly in a few minutes when I read your comments again ha xx

Steph x

Hi Steph J


i had a lattisimus dorsi reconstruction( moved back muscle to support an implant. In 2001. I did spend quite a while researching beforehand because i had pre op. Chemo to see if it shrank the tumours.


unfortunately, it didnt sufficiently shrink the tumours and so I decided to have the recon when 

I had the mastectomy.


i later had to have chemo and radiotherapy following my surgery. However, it was the radiotherapy which had a negative effect upon the implat, it got quite hard. The worst thing about it was that the breast got infected several times and I ended up with arm lymphoedema. As well. Some years later I needed to have the implant removed. i now have a prosthesis in my bra. 


all of this is in the distant past now, but I really wished later that I had waited till after my radiotherapy, to have the recon performed. Obviously the skin gets affected by the radiotherapy, but at least the implant might not have become hard and might have been more successful.


i hope this info helps because another lesson i  learned was that not everything has to happen at once…

anyway. Best wishes for a good personal choice, after research and reflection.

love and hugs