I am almost at the end of the chemo road and thankfully have no rads to do … just five years of Tamoxifen and reconstruction. I’ve just realised I was planning to have the mastectomy breast reconstructed in spring next year (a year after mastectomy), I guess then there’ll be another op to tweak the normal breast to match (or implant if I go bigger), and then a further op to have a nipple placed. So another 3 ops? How much more time off work ? When does life get back to normal?
I’ve spoken to a few plastic surgeons and a few girls who’ve had it done and it is usually 2 or 3 ops. BUT it’s the first one that’s the biggie with the skin/fat/muscle/implant - whatever route you’re going down. I’m not sure of the recovery time, but I think it would be a few days in hospital and then recovery at home. Then the second op would be to tweak either the reconstructed breast or to uplift/reduce the natural breast if needs be. And then third to create the nipple. But the second 2 should be day jobs.
And then nipple tatooing!! But that should be a quicky too!
It’s a long, long process isn’t it!! I’ll be getting my new boobs in October next year (unless they decide that immediate reconstruction is best for me in October.
Why don’t you see if you can arrange a consultation with the surgeon and go through the process. Have you seen pics? What they do nowadays is pretty amazing.
I had a delayed LD flap last year. I found I was on the waiting list for six months for each op - that will depend on your hospital. I had the LD flap in Feb 2010, and had 6 weeks off work. Then in Aug 2010 I had implants in both sides (as I was very small and needed an implant in the recon - no fat on me - so thought I might as well get a decent pair while I was at it). That was 10 days off work (op on a Friday, then a week later it was the August bank hol so not back to work till Tuesday). Then Feb this year I had a nipple recon, again this was a Friday, I had the Monday off work due to a delayed reaction to the anaesthetic and was back at work on the Tuesday, and finally next month I am booked for the tattoo.
So it’s been a long process, but worth it.
Thanks for info … had a brief chat with my consultant regarding this months ago and we both agreed the back flap with implant would be the way to go for me. He seemed to think I wouldnt want it doing until summer next year … but the sooner the better for me. Think I will make an appointment to see him in September after chemo to discuss further … he said he didn’t want to see me till January but I’m worried if there’s a waiting list, it will prolong stuff. I have seen pictures. I just want it all over with.
I am in the process having had three ops so far mastectomy and implant(implant didn’t work out due to unexpected rads),reduction to other side then LD flap plus another expander implant operation four weeks ago. Another two ops next year plus nipple tatooing. I still have four more years of tamoxifen. I hate the waiting and having time off etc. I am thinking at the moment that the old normal has gone and that I am in the process of adjusting and making the new normal. What I am finding hard to get my head round is the uncertainty that they might do all this and the cancer could come back anyway( it was stage 3).If it came back I woould have wasted so much time on the reconstruction when I could be doing other things.
I think though when I have made some adjustments to my thinking I will be much happier.