Mastectomy and Strattice Reconstruction

Hi all
I was diagnosed with DCIS a couple of weeks ago and last week advised to have a mastectomy and possible reconstruction. I have already gone through breast cancer treatment from July 2007 to Dec 2008, including wle, chemo, rads and a year of herceptin. This new problem was picked up on my latest mammogram last month, and after visiting the plastic surgeon this week, he has offered me a choice of an immediate delayed reconstruction with an implant, and as my BMI is over 30 I cannot have the back flap operation straight away until my weight has reduced. After revisiting him yesterday, he also offered me the choice of a recon with a strattice reconstruction which uses cell tissue over the implant and then grows to cover the breast tissue and so make a more natural looking breast. It all sounds quite amazing and I understand its also very expensive. However, he did point out it is all relatively new procedures and of course there are things to bear in mind that could fail. I know this can happen after any operation, and to use cell tissue sounds better than taking muscles and flaps from the body which can cause trauma and other problems. So, has anyone had this procedure and been successful, I would really like to know. Of course, the other pathway is for a immediate delayed reconstruction then a backflap when I am ready to commit myself later in the year.

Thanks ladies, would really appreciate some feedback on this.
Annabelle xxxxx

I had this operation 6 days ago. (both sides)

I had the operation on Monday and came home on Wednesday.

Feeling okish, but very sleepy and have four drains in.

Will update you when I feel a little less tired.

I had this operation in February and so far everything is going ok.

The new breast felt very tight and “high up” at first, if that makes sense, but has gradually felt softer as the weeks have gone by. It was quite painful for a couple of weeks when I came out of hospital but that went too.

I wore a sports bra and front fastening bra at first but after about a month I was back to wearing normal bras.

Hope this helps, feel free to pm me if you want to know anything else.

Beverley xx

Hi Ladies
I am also interested in this subject- I had bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction in 2008. I have not been happy with the shape and after talking to my surgeon about this he has offered to use strattice to give me a better tear drop look to the breasts.

would be intersted to pm you beverley if that was ok ? and to hear how you are going on crystal .

good luck with your decision annabelle


Hi Ruth - by all means pm me and I will try to answer any questions you have.

Beverley xx

Hi ladies,
Thanks very much for your feedback, it is all really helpful. I phoned my bcn and told her my decision but was away with my friend last week in devon. I have since received a call asking me to go to see the plastic surgeon again on tuesday morning. Hope all is okay and he can proceed with this, but I will have to see what he has to say.
Beverley, thanks for your comments I have found them very useful.
Crystal, good luck with your recovery, have you had any problems with seroma at all. Hope you are feeling better.

Annabelle xx

Hi Ladies,
I had a tissue expander and starttice reconstruction in Jan this year. I am really happy with the stratticeit it looks really good and it is soft compared to the tissue expander element. I wish they could have used strattice for the whole replacement! The look I have ended up with is much younger than me!!I had the tissue expander filled to the maximum but then had some fulid removed because I ended up with a PEC rather than a boob. I now have a very good clevage. Currently wear a prosthesis while I decide what to do re mastecomy or recduction of the other boob.

Love jano xx

this is the procedure im having when i have my bilateral Mx next year… however the strattice is very expensive swo i have recently been told they may have to use permacol which is a similar type of tissue but apparently the strattice gives a better effect.

they are used regularly in hernia operations and are called a mesh repair.


I had this procedure two weeks ago.

I will today be posting a new thread in the reconstructive surgery section detailing all about the operation and my recovery.



Hi ladies
Well I am back home after my right mx and strattice reconstruction. I had my op last Friday and came back home yesterday, pretty good by most recovery standards I am told. Still have 2 drains in but the local outreach nurses are coming each day to change my dressings and empty the drains. My saline implant is apparently 550 mls and the ps said its the biggest hes used, lucky me! Its still half the size of my natural left breast so I am hoping it will soften up in time and like Beverely it feels quite high up, but its early days.

If anyone has any questions re the procedure do feel free to contact me.The staff on my hospital ward were particularly impressed with my recovery time.

Annabelle xxxx

My wife has had a double mastectomy 5 weeks ago in London for DCIS (in left breast: she elected to have right breast removed prophylactically due to very poor family history)and the Strattice technique was used in both breasts. This past week she developed a spreading rash on the under-side of the left breast that grew darker and then presented with spotty rash on inner lower arms and legs. She felt a very painful spot just in the middle of the Strattice sling on the left breast. She was admitted to hospital and put on IV antibiotics and an antihistamine for 4 days. This pain has somewhat dulled after painkillers but not fully subsided. Her registrar surgeon feels this is a likely allergic reaction to the pig collagen sling: has anyone out there had a similar reaction and if so, what ensuing results?

Incidentally, her left breast has always presented her with problems - she had a sentinel node biopsy nearby as well - and is much more swollen to the side than the other and she is concerned about when this swelling will go down.


Hi Mark

So sorry to hear of your wifes problems with the allergic reaction.

I had the strattice on both sides 2 months ago, and so far no rash.

Good luck and I hope that it sorts itself out soon - what does the PS plan to do?