Mastectomy - immediate recon vs delayed?

Can anyone offer an opinion? I’m due to have a mastectomy in about 10 days, and I have to decide whether or not to go fo immediate reconstruction. I’ve still to have radiotherapy, so can’t have the LD flap recon immediately. I can however have a tissue expander implant. So do I go for no immediate recon and have the permanent flap recon after 12 months, or do I have the implant which will last 5-10 years (I’m 35). I know it’s basically down to personal opinion, but I’d love to hear from anyone who has been in a similar position and whether they regretted their decision later. I’m leaning towards no implant, simply because of the faff of going back and forth to have it inflated later, but am worried I may regret it when living without a breast for a year.

I had an immediate LD reconstruction 4years ago followed by chemo and rads with no problems. I did have my implant changed 2 years ago, but this would probably have needed doing anyway. I found making the decision hard and was guided by the advice of my surgeon and breast care nurse. I have no regrets about my decision but you have to go with what feels right for you and your surgeons advice.
Good Luck

I’m having a mastectomy on 29th Jan and surgeon suggested inserting a tissue expander after the operation too but like you i am unsure what to do. I will see my BC nurse on friday to get more infor. I want to know how many weeks and how often do I need the tissue to be expanded and how long it will stay there until they put a permanent implant.

Let me know what you decide and we can share our exp.


Hi Sari,
I saw my consultant yesterday and had a long chat with the BCN and have decided to go for the tissue expander. In the end I realised that it would bother me not being able to wear v-necked tops. The expander does sound a bit of a palaver, and as I’m starting radiotherapy 4-6 weeks after surgery (21st Jan) it sounds like there will be days when I’m going to one hospital for rads and another for tissue expanding, but hopefully won’t take too long. There’s also the possibility of surgery to the other breast to make it match up! I also asked about where the scars will be (depends on your size and ‘droopiness’!). I was told the implant would be good for 5-10 years.

Let me know how you get on and if you find out anything else useful!