Double reconstruction and horses!

I have low grade DCIS combined with family history and am considering options for bi-lateral mastectomy. I am thin and my consultant told me it might be risky doing LD flap as it could affect my ability to ride. I do not compete or anything, but horses are a big part of my life and it would get me down if I felt unable to ride safely aagin. Does anyone have any experience of this or implant reconstruction? How long before you were able to muck out, lift water buckets, push wheel barrow etc etc. (Of course this will all happen as the winter slog commences!)I don’t mind not riding for a while, so long as I can in the future. Any thoughts would be welcome!

hi purple horse… im not sure of the answer in relation to horses but i know that the LD op is a bigger op than the implant only one as you will only have surgery in the breast area with implant only but with the LD you will have wound sites on the back and the front so potentially more risk of problems and some people feel their back isnt perhaps as strong afterwards.

i was told id need at least two weeks off following the implant only surgery which im due to have in about about 4 months but that fully recovery can take about 6 weeks and you wouldnt normally be allowed to do any heavy lifting, shovelling etc in that time.

i was told the recovery time following the LD would be nearer 6 months than 6 weeks, and that id have to take at least 6 weeks off work if i went for that option.

i think so long as you have somebody to help you in the short term with your horses and are fully recovered before you go back to mucking out or riding etc then you shouldnt have any problems regardless of the op you have so long as your fully supported in the same way you would taking part in any sports.

best of luck

Thanks for your comments. I am swaying towards implants too now. I also have 2 small children and not much support so have to be realistic about recovery etc. I have another meeting with consultant in a few weeks, I was a bit blown away with so much information at the first appointment. How long did they tell you the surgery would be for double mastectomy and implants? Are you having expanders? He told me he might be able to put my proper implant in straight away as I am small.
Anyway, hope all goes well for you with your surgery.

There is a new form of reconstruction ’ strattice’, this is where a tissue membrane is ussed instead of taking your ld muscle. So you recover much quicker from it, and your back is untouched.

If you search the forums for 'strattice; you should fime some information on it.

I had a double strattice recon 6 weeks ago, and am recovering well.

good luck


Thanks CrystalT, My surgeon did not mention this, I had seen postings here about it though. I think it would mean going elsewhere which would take more time and I have a young family to think of. Really glad it has worked out well for you though.

hi purplehorse

the strattice tissue is extremely expensive and some units wont fund it… mine were going to introduce it but have reverted back to permacol which is a slightly cheaper version and apparently doesnt quite give the same cosmentic finish as you get with the strattice.

there is another tissue matrix called alloderm which i think one of the consultants at my trust is trialling , but dont think its widely used in the UK but does seem to be having some good results in the US.

even when using these tissue matrixes (is that even a word?) they will often use implants as the tissues is used to create a pouch for the implant at the bottom of the breast and your own tissue covers the implant at the top.

i was offered strattice but been told the funding isnt there anymore so if i still go ahead it will be permacol.

its worthwhile having a chat about all the options to your breast and plastic surgeon before making a definite decision.