i have to make a decision can any body help?

Hello i have recently been diagnosed with DCIS and have been advised that i will need to have a mastectamy, with immediate reconstruction. i have been told that i would get a better result with a tummy tuck and small implant. i am confussed and scared and i am looking for some advice from anybody that has or is going through this, i have so many questions that i need to ask but have no answers apart from i need this surgery can any body help me??.

many thanks Polly x

Hello Polly

So sorry you have to go through this, it is only natural that you feel scared, but you will get through this, i was terrified of the operation and was crying when i got to theatre, my breast care nurse came with me and i set her of too; but I did it and you will to.

I had a mastectomy back in Oct with an immediate reconstruction, I chose implant only with tissue expansion i don’t have large breasts so I think it is more suitable for the small breasted women.

I opted not to have the tummy or LD recon, because i didn’t want the rest of my body to be marked or messed about with, but that was me and everyone is different,

I am sure you will make the right decisions, please feel to pm me if i can help you any further

Ann x

Hi Polly
I had the same dx and treatment that has been proposed for you, DCIS and mx with immediate recon. However, the surgeon kept the skin of my old breast and inserted the implant inside, using the skin like the flap of an envelope. Could that be an option for you, I wonder? I didn’t have to endure the additional discomfort of having skin taken from elsewhere in my body.
I am now 5 weeks post op and recovering well. I was in theatre for two hours and experienced minimal pain. Believe me, I have a very low pain threshold so was pleasantly surprised how bearable it all was. However, I was careful to take all the painkillers prescribed and rested loads.
My recon is causing me problems at the moment. It’s rock hard, has moved from its original position, making me feel lop sided and clamps down on my chest wall like a vice every now and then. I don’t know if this is perfectly normal and a sign that’s its settling or whether this is just happening to me! I’m seeing my surgeon on Thurs so I’ll know more then.
When I first had my dx I was filled with feelings of fear, bitterness and anger. Why me? I felt fit and well, no lump, no pain, no discharge. All I had was an xray full of spangles which they called DCIS, a condition I had never heard of before. I felt an mx was mutilation and every cell in my body screamed out at the thought of having the op. However, after the op, the path report revealed that 8mm of the 52mm of DCIS had been invasive and that the mx, was not only necessary but had saved me from having to endure a cancer that would have spread quite quickly and I would have had to have chemo as well. Now I don’t, and that’s a blessing in itself! So, I’m now more accepting and able to put things into perspective more easily. I only recount my own experiences to give you hope that you’ll get to the point I’m at now too.
I feel for you because my memories are not too far away from me not to remember the anguish I felt, the fear and the loneliness of having a disease that none of my friends had. But you’ll get through it, I know you will. The waiting is the worst part of all of this. I had to wait 7 weeks from dx to op, so I know!
Take care and use this forum, as the ladies here have been so supportive to me and will be to you too.
Annys x

I have just had a left masectomy because they found high grade DCIS in 3 places with no clear margins. It was discovered through a routine mammogram. I had no symtoms or lump etc and I agree it seems very shocking and radical to take off the whole breast , but I was told that I could have a 50% chance of developing into invasive cancer , so what choice do you have ? The op was suprisingly low in pain and discomfort as I chose not to have a reconstruction ( I’m 59 ) couln’t bare the thought of other parts of my body being used to make a breast . The scar is very long!! and my chest very FLAT, but with the aid of a pillow at night down one side I’m managing to sleep ok and recovery has been quick . I wear a soft bra and prosthesis during the day and look forward to having a silicone one . Everybody says already they can’t see any difference . The only difficulty so far is remembering to keep a good posture and that my husband has found it difficult to look at the scar which I find upsetting but can understand . These things take time. Any advice there most welcome ? I think I would have found it too traumatic to have to cope with all the shock of the diagnosis and op and then to cope with an entirly foreign breast only time will tell if I will eventually go for a reconstruction but so far I feel that I made the right choice for me.

Hi Polly

I had a Mastectomy and immediate tram flap reconstruction 3 weeks ago, my op was 9 hours long. I was very nervous and did get upset just before I was taken in for my op.

I am also a chronic asthmatic so they had to do all the checks to see that I would get through the op okay. For up to a week or so after the op I wasn’t sure if having this op was the right decision for me due to my breathing flared up, and I did have a lot of pain on the right side of my tummy so coughing was pure hell but 3 weeks down the line - I have a almost flat tummy as it is still quite bruised/swollen and my breast though still swollen and bruised is my own flesh so in time will feel same as the breast I lost.

Recovery is longer than the other ops but I wanted my new breast to feel as natural as possible, hence I chose to have this op.

I hope this helps you in deciding which is best for you

x

hello every body thank you very much for all your reply’s they have been very helpfull with my decision. i hav now chosen to have a expandable tear drop implant my mx is on the 11th of march im really scared but i no it has to be done…results for my node biopsy have come back clear so thats encouraging, although everything is still a blur, i feel rushed from me having a 4mm effected area after my local i found out that there had been another two areas found that made up 35mm of high grade DCIS. just finding it really hard to get my head around everything but i’m in next week for this life changing procedure.

thankyou all again polly xx

Hi Polly
Great news about your nodes being clear. Good luck for the 11th March, I’ll be thinking of you.
Annys x