bi-lateral mas with implants

Hi All,

I have just recently finished chemo and I am due to have a bi-lateral mastectomy with implants on 14th Aug followed by rads. Has anybody else had this done and what can i expect? Met with the plastic surgeon today and feel a little concerned about the results. I am 31, i don’t have children (having zoladex injections in the hope that i may at some point) and i am feeling v nervous about the result. Finding the whole process upsetting… Any advise is greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Melanne

Hi hun

I am almost a year down the line from my bilateral mastectomy and tissue expansion reconstruction. I’m going back in on 30 July as my permanent implants (fitted in March this year) aren’t the right size for my frame. I am very happy with the way I have been handled/treated by my consultants. I thought that they would tell me that I had a set of implants already, and that I should be happy with what they have given me… instead, they have took into consideration my mental state and my views on how I see myself.

With regards to the actual surgery, it wasn’t half as bad as I originally thought it would be. Ask for a couple of extra pillows to put under each arm after surgery, it makes things a little more comfortable when you’re sleeping. Don’t be afraid to mither the nurses if you feel uncomfortable/upset/just want a chat… that’s what they are there for.

Feel free to private message me if you have any specific questions you want answering - I’ll do my best

xxxxxx

Thank you so much for your comments. It makes it harder when you do not know who to ask sometimes. I hope it all goes well for you and i shall definitely bear in mind what you have told me.
xxx

I don’t want to interfere but I am puzzled that you are having implants and then radiation afterwards. I was told that radiation damages tissues and can cause complications with implants so it is usual to wait some months after rads before having implants. If you are having the implants first, I would be very interested to know what your doctors have told you about this, because I would so love to have had immediate recon and was told I couldn’t.

Hi Melanne,

I had bilateral mx with expander implants in May. The operation took 4.5 hours and I was in hospital for 6 days (including a bank holiday). I’m now 8 weeks post op and going back to work (short days) on Monday as I have been spared rads and chemo. Age 44.

I was a 34B and want to keep the same size. My surgeon expanded the implants during the operation (400 ml each size) which have ended up bigger than required so no further inflations (thanks very much). I don’t think many surgeons do this - it was good from the point of view that I had something there as soon as I came round from the op so it hardly seems I had mastectomies - but my chest was so tight I couldn’t take a deep breath until 4 weeks post op and initially would be light headed just walking across the room.

The implants are flatter and harder than a natural breast, but there is a sort of cleavage - I’m not wearing a bra (none of mine fit now) but have bought some “Secret Support” vests from M&S which are comfortable and give a bit of shape. Hopefully your surgeon has shown you photos of some of his work or you could look on the Cancer Bacup site recon booklet which has a few photos, or try to get a look at the ‘Boudica Within’ by Elaine Sassoon which gives case histories and photos in non clinical settings of approx 20 women. As you’'ve got a bit of a wait for the operation, you may have time to some research and ask as many questions as you can of the surgeon.

I did all the exercises and most movement is back now though it’s difficult not to overdo it with bilateral as you don’t have a good side to rest the other side. One thing I would recommend is a V pillow esp if you’re used to sleeping on your side as this will be too painful for several weeks. With the V pillow I experimented and found comfortable positions eventually either half sitting up or half on my back half on my side.

Very best wishes for the op and hope the time passes until your op without too much anguish.

Misha

Thank you ladies

Snowwhite, they are performing the recon at the same time because i am currently a 32e, i am 31 and do not have enough fat for the alternatives. I have been told there is a risk of it going wrong but it is easier for them to complete the surgery this way. I may need to have one re-done (so to speak) post radiotherapy. I have another meeting with my plastic surgeon in 2 weeks but they are currently suppporting this decision.

Good luck with your op.x

Misha,

Hope all is going well for you now x

Hi

I had a bi-lat mastectomy with tissue expanders last November. I found it a bit painful, especially the first couple of days, just because of the chest muscle feeling very tight. This lasted for a few weeks, but gradually subsided. Had expansions over a few weeks with 500ml in each side to make roughly a C/D cup. The cancer side needed Rads and so this side is still tighter and also they left more skin behind on the non cancer side - thus they are not quite even, with a padded bra it looks great.

Going for a DIEP with Miss Sassoon in January I hope.
Good luck and feel free to ask any questions as you think of them!!!

Ali
xxx