Mastectomy - Reconstruction choices aaarghh!!

Hi! I’m 42 and have a loving partner and a beautiful 7 year old son

I was diagnosed with breast cancer after finding a lump following a bad fall. Initially it was thought to be fat necrosis but the radiographer ‘had a feeling’ and biopsied it. They found a 16mm cancerous lump so then followed MRI and ultrasound which revealed more cancerous cells and that it was present in a lymph node too…I’ve been very lucky that it has been found but the jump from fat necrosis to needing a mastectomy is a big one and the decision to have immediate reconstruction is the next to take.

Can any of you lovely ladies offer advice or give me personal experience of the decisions you made and the reasons for them please? I’m back to see my consultant on Tuesday 21st.

Thanks and hugs and positive vibes to anyone reading ??

Sorry you find yourself in this position, yes its a big shock. I had mastectomy 5 years ago and was offered immediate recon which I wanted to go for as I would have found it more upsetting to be flat. Mine was a skin sparing mastectomy. The options are baffling, but sometimes decided by things out of our hands, so you will get advice about the most suitable options from your surgeon I’m sure. I did not have enough spare flesh for the tummy diep types (but could not have faced that amount of surgery anyway) so my choices were an implant or the shoulder flap, which would have still needed a small implant to balance up to the right size. I decided to go for the least amount of surgery and not to have scars or possible weakness anywhere else, so I have an implant type. It took a few months to get used to and does not move like a real breast, but feels and looks ok, especially since adding a nipple recon and then a tattoo done by my BCN. You will probably find more on recon on here if you look at the Going through Treatment, Surgery threads. Good luck whatever you decide xx

Hi there, I had a a skin sparing mastectomy and immediate reconstruction with the back muscle some 10 years ago when I was 41. On the positive side, my reconstruction is amazing and it was great for my self esteem. My surgeon was a real artist and it really looks so realistic. I used to be really proud showing everyone! Certainly once I had recovered it allowed me to feel as normal as possible. However, I would say it isn’t an operation for the faint hearted. It was a really big deal and took a lot of getting over. Even after the initial recovery, in the early months my left arm was a lot weaker and I was conscious of tightness in my back, reminding me of the op. However, this gradually disappeared over time and my arm is pretty strong these days. I’m glad I had the operation because of the excellent results, but in truth if something now happened to my other side I don’t think I could face it a second time.