I have invasive ductal carsinoma grade 2. had a lumpectomy. tumour was 2.2 cm and the margins were not clear. I live in Shropshire and when i found out i would need WLE but may need a mastectomy asked about reconstruction.
I was told i could not have it for 6-12 months and my BN and consultant just would not discuss it or provide a consultation with a plastic surgeon.
I cancelled my appointment for surgery next week for the WLE and went to see a plastic surgeon privately. I am having a mastectomy and immediate reconstruction using a flap from my back because thats where most fat is in another hospital under the NHS. when he examined me he said a large chunk has been taken and the skin is tight.
The initial surgery has to be done correctly to allow a good reconstruction. In 2 weeks I have spent hours researching my condition, the possible outcome, types of surgery including plastic and hope i have helped you.
delaying surgery for a few weeks should not make any difference to the final outcome. I knew i would become seriously depressed if I became more deformed or had to be without a breast for a long period of time.
I was rushed by my carers into signing for surgery i was not happy with and today cannot wait to have surgery now that i am happy.
my consultant said when trying to talk me into the second surgery “you know cancer does kill people” how great was that, I like everyone else am scared of all of this but all women should be allowed the choice of plastic surgery.
What a timely post! I caught something briefly on the radio last night - so had a google
The National Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction Audit
Despite National guidance that women should be offered the option of having reconstruction at the same time as mastectomy etc. it isnt happening for a variety of reasons - and guess what - The Postcode Lottery rears its head yet again. But in this instance I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the NHS because eventually it is surely going to cost them more to delay the procedure. I could understand more if we were talking about several years delay but for one year!! Of course there are instances when it is right to delay reconstruction - where radiotherapy is necessary for instance.
But in that article it is recognised that for some, psychologically it is very important to have reconstructive surgery immediately - maybe we have to emphasise this aspect more when discussing this with consultants. It doesn’t seem right Chris that you have had to seek private surgery - but all credit to you for pursuing this and hope all goes well.
I’m also sorry that you have had to seek private surgery Chris but please do check with your new surgeon that there are no clinical reasons why you shoud not have reconstruction immediately.
The guidelines Dawn refers ot say that immediate reconstruction should be offered to everyone for whom it is appropriate. Immediate reconstruction is not always clincially appropriate… Sometimes with very aggressive disaese, where there are not clear margins and where radiotherpay is needed after mastectomy then immediate reconstruction is not the best clinical option.
best wishes with your operation.
I think you missed this bit Jane.
“Although for some women with aggressive disease or who need radiotherapy, reconstruction cannot be done immediately.”
which seems also to be covered by the phrase ‘for whom it is appropriate’.
thanks for the replies.
my new surgeon has filled me in on all the pros and cons of immediate recon. and if i choose to have it and take the chances with the radiotherapy then that would be my choice, my risk, my life and no one else would have pushed me into something i do not want.
Reconstruction can be done immediately even when having radiotherapy. the problem is the flap might also become damaged, ruined, and need to be removed. but hey whats next silicone have the other boob removed and have 2 perky boobs at 59.
I saw my new surgeon for a private consultation ONLY he insisted i be treated on the NHS for all the surgery etc as it is my right, he is fantastic!!! now i am so positive.
my old surgeon would not entertain my even speaking to a plastic surgeon!!! regardless of whether it was right for me or not he wasn’t interested all he wanted was to whip it out, i think he is still in the dark ages.
I asked on more than one occasion to speak to a plastic surgeon and was not given that opportunity.
i have always been a fighter but what angers me is that there are women who are so afraid of the cancer that they accept what they are told to do and not told what their options are.
we are all different physically and psychologically and must make our own decisions but to make those decisions we must be presented with all the facts and that’s what i was not being given and what is not being given to many others.
take care be positive, fight back
Well done for taking control.You have made your decision in full possession of the facts and are getting the treatment to which you are entitled.See you Tuesday. Love horace[Val]xx
I too live in Shropshire (Telford) and was told I couldn’t have immediate bilateral recon as they thought I may need chemo/rads, as it was I didn’t need either, now on tamoxifen and zoladex.
My surgeon eventually referred me to a plastic surgeon who I went to see privately to speed up the process (it would’ve been another long 4 months just for the first consultation). Like you he insisted I have the recon done on the NHS as it was my right to have it done also he would preform the op anyway, but I would have to go on the NHS waiting list. I agreed as the cost of it done privately would have been between 12 and 15 thousand pounds (bilateral). I had to wait a further what seemed at the time long 7 months for the recon which I had done in May 07. I have just had the nipple recon and hopefully later this year will have the tattooing done.
Pre cancer I was a C/D cup, now I am a B cup and a little disappointed as I was very happy with my body before the cancer and would so love to feel the same way again. I mentioned this to the surgeon who said I could go bigger at a later date if I wanted, I am considering this, part of me feels ashamed that I am not happy with what I’ve got and I should be grateful - which I am but another part of me so wants to move on and feel as I did pre cancer.
Do keep in touch and let us know how you are doing, are you being treated at the Princess Royal Hosp and who is your plastice surgeon would love to know if its the same guy.
my surgeon at shrewsbury was mr Prznyzna he was not interested ni my seeing a plastic surgeon and because of that i went to see a plastic surgeon in birmingham privately who is prepared to do an immediate recon. his name is Guy Sterne. I did try to see a mr prinsloo privately a plastic surgeon who operates at shrewsbury but he is away until april 08.
I am waiting for my records to be sent from shrewsbury to birmingham before any further treatment can be carried out and hope they do it soon.
I was a C cup and now have a C and B cup after having a huge chunk taken out of one. I too like the way i was and see no reason why i cannot be a c cup again, its not vain and we should not feel guilty for not being satisfied you go for it because i know i certainly would. i dont care what any one else thinks its my body and my life.
we are all different and should go with what is right for us.
my plastic surgeon said the recon. will take me to a C cup again. he is absolutely brilliant such a sence of humour and professional.
i am expecting to need the same drugs as you and hopfully no rads or chemo.
i will keep in touch take care