Need some reconstruction advice

Hi, I am due to get a double mastectomy in next 4-6 weeks, find out next Tues when I go back to see surgeon. I was 1st diagnosed back in Sept 16 with triple neg in right breast, had chemo, lumpectomy and reduction of both breasts and rads. Then in Jan this year I was diagnosed with Her2 positive in left breast, hence the double mastectomy. I’ve just finished chemo and now the decision has to be made on recon.

I’m 43 and single (my boyfriend left me couple months ago blaming the 2nd diagnosis), and have 2 teenage kids. I really want the recon and was going for muscle from my back being used to recon, can’t remember the technical term. But my surgeon has now thrown a spanner in the works by suggesting expanders. Can any ladies share their experiences of either. I think I favour the expanders now for the quicker recovery as I need to get back to work for financial reasons.

Now that chemo is over I’m so emotional about it and am on sleeping tablets as having horrible nightmares. I know as lot of it is to do with my break up but with the surgery looming and big decisions to be made I’m just a wreck. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Bless you. I’m sorry I can’t offer any advice but I didn’t want to just read & run. This is My first post but I have been lurking for a few weeks. I’m sure the lovely ladies on here will advise you soon. Maybe pop it on an already busy thread too as that could help get a quicker response? All the best
J x

Hi Snoozysuz

First of all I’m going to send you a big hug. Not surprised you feel emotional with all that is going on.


I had a single mastectomy and an implant, not an expander, but I’m happy to give any info on that if it helps at all. It’s not quite the same, but I imagine similar in terms of recovery. I chose it because of the quicker recovery.


Like JuliaA I didn’t want to just read and run - I hope that our replies will bump your question up and someone else will come along who has had the LD flap (I think that’s the name for the back muscle op) or expander.


As I say, I’m very happy to share my experience. The best advice I received was to take one day or even one hour at a time when the going got really tough.


Evie xx

Thanks for replying ladies. Evie I’m worried about just getting one done and the other in a few months, worried they don’t look even. I keep changing my mind, I know the expanders have a high risk of failing but was so scared to ask what failing meant. I really need to brave up lol. My breasts are too big for the largest implant my hospital does so those are ruled out. How was your recovery?xx

Sorry I should have explained better. My surgeon wants to do the surgery in next 4 weeks, and is trying to book an all day theatre with enough surgical staff but it won’t be at my usual hospital. If he gets that it will be the double. If he can’t get it in the right time frame he will do the op himself but if I go for flaps he will do them one at a time, as he won’t get a theatre for long enough. He will however be able to do both himself if I go for expanders. There are 5 points they consider for failure, rads within a year, previous scarring, smoking, diabetes and obesity. I hit 3 of these with scarring, rads and diabetes, albeit type 2 caused by chemo last year so have been tested again.

I know I need them both removed but scared if I only get one done and I have a bad time I might not go through with the other boob, but as I’ve had cancer twice in a short space of time I know I have to, for my kids sake more than anything else.

I don’t think I’m getting rads this time, my surgeon said no but oncologist hasn’t ruled it out yet, I’m seeing her early next month so might find out more then.

Hi, saw my surgeon yesterday, and he had a change of tune. He wanted me to have the double but not have recon till next year to give me time to recover from chemo etc. This however is not an option for me, I want boobs of some sort. So as a compromise we are going for the single mastectomy with an expander. If all goes well and heals ok he’ll do the right one later in the year with expander. If the expander fails then we’re going to wait and he’ll do the right one and I’ll get the back flaps recon later in year on both. It’s a risk I’m willing to take as mentally i know I won’t be able to cope looking at myself with no breasts at all. So I had a bit of an emotional rollercoaster day. At least I have a date that suits as kids will be away with their dad on hol so won’t have to worry about them. It’s in 4 weeks so trying to mentally prepare myself. Thanks for asking ? xx

Thanks Evie I will do, will def need the hugs nearer the time. Just wish it was all over now xx