Delayed Reconstruction

Hi Ladies - any views/advice gratefully received.  I have been trying to live with my mastectomy for 16 months now but am still nowhere near accepting it.  I am thinking of going down the recon. route.  I know from previously looking into this that I haven’t got enough fat for a natural recon. so will need an implant.  I am a perfectionist and am worrying that I will just compare it to my natural boob and may end up in a worse place than where I am now.  Can anyone who has had an implant let me know how they feel about it, how it compares to their natural boob, did they have to have lots of ops. to get it right - basically anything that might help me come to a decision.


As always, thanks you ladies for your help



Hi Scooby

Here’s the link to BCC’s reconstruction publication.  I’ve also put you the link to our animated guide for reconstruction.  I hope you find this helpful.

Take care,

Jo, Moderator

There is a useful book Boudicca Revealed ( I think) showing ladies with recons standing naked, scarred and proud. Your clinic may have a copy, or you can get it from Amazon. The photos may be helpful…





I had my reconstruction 16 days ago. I had DIEP not implants and I know this isn’t what you are considering for yourself, but I thought I would just write to say that which ever reconstruction you go for the important thing is being positive and getting your head round what the end results will be and being able to accept this is now you.  I’m not saying this lightly at all, but I think the first problem is how we look to ourselves and others, and then it is very much how we feel about ourselves inside and out.  I can relate to feeling as though my life was on hold and that I couldn’t fully get over having cancer until I had had reconstruction and looked relatively normal again. 


We know we miss our real boob (s) and for me I have lost both but having two now very small breasts for me is better than one as this made me feel unfeminine and odd. I would like to have kept the one I opted to remove but I was too scared of getting cancer again so on balance I was prepared to let it go.


I have lost myself a little but now it is up to me to get my head on straight and be glad that I’m still here. It is early days for me and the operation was a huge one, and so far I’ve had 2 further minor ops for problems that occurred so I have someway to go before I feel better.


So the message is about acceptance and being ready to go through reconstructive surgery.  Make sure you feel mentally and physically ready to have the operation and then you’ll be much better equiped to recover and be full of positivity.


Good luck, Caroline :smileyhappy:

I am also thinking of having a reconstruction, five years after my unilateral mastectomy. Unfortunately, I can’t have the method where they use your own flesh as apparently I am not fat enough (which surprised me). I could have the Tram Flap but dislike the idea of having a muscle moved.  So really, an implant alone is the only option – but then it wouldn’t look natural (I am 51) and my healthy breast would need a lot of hacking and lifting.


I’ve been to talk to the plastic surgeon twice over the 5 years since my mastectomy but just go round in circles. I’ve looked at Boudicca Within, it’s a great book, but I still can’t decide.


The reason this has become more of an issue is that I have pelvic prolapse, so I just don’t feel like a woman any more – I don’t feel like me.


  • Judith

I’ve had an expander in since last may - put in between chemo and rads. Booked in to have it replaced plus uplift on good side tomorrow.

Excited but nervous as suffered with infections after mx and immediate recon.

You don’t mention if you’ve had rads? My friend was told she couldn’t have an expander in irradiated skin as it won’t stretch so she had to go for LD flap.

Hi, yes it was done on Tuesday, still in hospital as still got drain in and surgeon doesn’t want me going home with drain because of previous complications. Unfortunately I got a hematoma on the top half of implant side on Wednesday. Luckily surgeon came to see me in the evening and after investigating with ultrasound confirmed that it couldn’t be drained off so went back into theatre to undo her work, remove the clot then reinsert the implant. Hence it’s all a bit swollen and mis-shaped.

She came in yesterday again and has taped the top of my boob with compression tape to reduce swelling and redirect any fluid to the drain.

The uplift side looks perky, more bruised than I thought it would be but not sore.

My friend who had the LD flap had implants inserted into bad side and other side a couple of weeks before me. They look absolutely fab, she came out of hospital the same day and was driving and mucking out horses the next day!!

I was hoping mine would look like hers but they don’t and I’m a bit disappointed. But my surgeon is happy with the result and confident that it will look good when swelling and bruising settle down. I’ve just got to behave myself and not overdo it to allow everything to fall into place.

I’m not convinced I’ll ever be happy with it naked, but I can see that there should be better symmetry when clothed. I’m 49 next week, got 2 kids so not exactly going to be strutting my stuff as a topless model! I’m very active so this is a better option for me than an external prosthetic.

Sorry for the waffle, hospital is boring!! Hope my ramblings are useful to someone xx

Thanks ladies. How are you all doing now? I am considering reconstruction. I think I have enough fat for the take from tummy option. Any stories?

Well a little over a year on and still not happy with reconstruction- I’ve put on two stone since diagnosis so that hasn’t helped as natural boob has got bigger and falsie stayed the same. Still very lumpy and bumpy. Nipple tattoo has helped me psychologically. I have an appointment to see plastic surgeon next month to discuss my options. I am now considering a DIEP as I’ve put on enough weight round the middle! Didn’t have any belly fat before and during treatment.

My friend with the LD and implants still looks amazing and even better now she had had a nipple made. Again something I can have as skin over my implant is very thin from the ops and rads.

Good luck with your research into the best option for you.