immediate reconstruction or not?

Hi. I was dignosed with invasive lobular 10 days ago. At the time i was in complete panic and shock and opted for mastectomy with no reconstruction as just wanted it gone. My operation is on Tues 7 Dec and although the last 10 days have just been shock and tears, today i am having second thoughts about my decision. i know this still feels very new and raw to me and to make such a big decision now without really thinking and just rushing in seems wrong. at first i couldn’t bear to look at any photos but i’m now thinking that a reconstruction now would be better as long as it doesn’t detriment my treatment. Confused??? Help!!!

Joanne xx

Hi Jo-Jo

I remember the shock of being dx well, it was almost 2years ago now, you do get your head round it eventually. I was dx with IBC which is very agressive and told that mastectomy was needed, from the beginning I wanted a reconstruction. I had to have chemo first to shrink tumor and after mastectomy I had to have rads so couldn’t have an immediate recon. You’ll need to find out what other treatment you need etc. Contact your Breast Care Nurse tell her how you feel and they will probably make another appt. for you, I’m sure they have had ladies that have changed their minds before. I’m now 3 weeks from having my recon op. I had to wait 12 months after rads to let my skin recover. I’ll need some lipo-suction etc to even them up but am very pleased with it (I’ll end up with a better pair than I had before). Even if you can’t have immediate recon. once your treatment is over you can start planning when you want to have it. In the mean time the prothesis is wearable, M&S do a lovely range of post-surgery bras - lots in same designs as their other ranges but with pockets for the prothesis.

All the best for your op. are you having node clearance as well?

Hope the above helps a little,


Hi there

I had a mastectomy last autumn. I was fitted with a tissue expander at the same time. That was removed in June and replaced with a permanent one. My surgeon did the other side for me a couple of weeks ago - uplift and implant.

Although at the time, i did not care about recon, now i am glad i had it. It gives me some shape and i look 'normal ’ under clothes.
I do not like my new chest much at the mo, (minus one nipple on one side and a swollen painful breast on the other). I am hoping in the months to come, it will all look okay and i can feel good about my body once again.

Naz x

thanks for your comments. i just feel that i made such a quick impulsive decision without giving myself the time to think of the consequences. i’m still struggling to come to terms with the whole thing and initially everything was overwhelming. i’m now trying to concentrate on one step at a time. As far as i am aware i’m having full node clearance too and probable chemo. will the reconstruction affect these, my appt is a blur? it’s typical of me that i change my mind on a Saturday morning when there is no-one to discuss it with at the hospital!

Hi jo-jo

Use sometime tomorrow to write down what you want to say when you ring after weekend.I find this helps as I put the phone down and remember something else!! You can then jot down advice/answers that they give you. I do the same for appts. Especially when I was going thro treatment. Is there someone who can go with you if you get another appt. so there is someone else to listen! Once I knew the routine etc. I was fine but to start with its too much to take in!

best wishes xxx

Hiya. I had mastectomy and full node clearance with immediate LD flap reconstruction 3 weeks ago and I am delighted with the results. It was important for me to fall asleep with two breasts and wake up with two! I have to wait for a reduction and uplift next year on my other breast as a am very lopsided at the mo but will do this once I have finished chemo - I see this as a final happy ending at the end of this difficult journey - I have always yearned for smaller boobs! My surgeon said that he was happy to do an immediate reconstruction even if I needed radiotheraphy afterwards - some surgeons are happy to do this others aren’t. There does seem to be so many different routes you can go down and it’s difficult to decide, but you have to do what right for you with the help of your medical team. I agree with fudgeincornwall it sounds trite but you do need to write down what you want to know and then jot advice/answers you get - my mind has been complete mush since my diagnosis!
Good luck! Let us know how you get on

Hi, jo-jo!

Do not torture yourself, you will be able to carry out the reconstration at any time - even after mastectomy and chemotherapy.I also decided to do a reconstruction later. I read many medical studies from different countries and came to this conclusion.I am 42 years old.


Hi I have the same delema I could have had mastectomy last Mon but decdided to go to QE to see Doc about an immediate reconstricton. At present I have non invasive DCIS
My appointment is 6 DEC I expect I will have to have more tests but that is fine a second opinion is always good but my worry is how do you get throught Christmas period with this hanging over your head.
If I have reconstruction when do you start to feel normal.

Hi there

It might be a good idea to talk this through with someone on the helpline before you ring the hospital. It’s such a difficult time to make decisions. I found it immensely helpful when deciding what to do.

I was told though that an immediate recon wasn’t recommended as I was having radiotherapy. You haven’t mentioned rads but given what you’ve said it would seem a strong possibility.

take care and I hope whatever you decide, all goes well. Elinda

Hi, thanks everyone. They mentioned that i probably wont be radiotherapy. My concern over the reconstruction is also because i feel uneasy about removing muscles from my back or abdomen to use as a breast. Having an implant or inflatable thingy would seem to me much better, but am i missing the point. i assume that not everyone can have an implant on reconstruction? if i leave it till later is an implant no longer an option? i looked at some photos on the internet and the implant reconstruction seems to look more realistic but again am i missing the point?

Joanne x

Hi Jojo.
On 20/9 I had Mx with an immediate reconsruction. I had size AA cup breasts and am too skinny to have any of the flap recons and so I had a skin saving strattice recon, with a tissue expander in the first instance. I am scheduled 16/12 for exchange surgery to replace expander with a permanant implant and also at the same time to have the other breast enhanced with an implant to balance them out - so I will wake up to a pair of size C cup boobies. This kind of reconstruction is not suitable for everybody (for me it was suitable because I had small boobies, did not need radio therapy and also I could not have the other type of recons) but it is worth enquiring about it as the results are cosmetically very pleasing.

Hope this helps - StellaG xx

Posted for new user Lynda
Jo, Facilitator

Hi jo jo.Id say if you are not sure then dont rush into anything.I changed my mind almost daily for over three weeks before i finally decided on immediate reconstruction and my op date was changed twice,my surgeon was very understanding and didnt seem to mind me messing him around.I have had a ld back flap recon and the new breast is amazing although the surgery is very long and i am still in quite a lot of pain two weeks on.I am to start my chemo in two weeks and its not expected to effect my new breast.I had a full lymph node clearance so under the arm is very sore at the moment.When all treatment is finished my surgeon is going to lift my other breast and insert an implant and then a nipple reconstuction,so all in all at 46 i will have a nice i say dont feel as though you have to rush into anything and good