Newbie looking for surgery/reconstruction advice

Hi everyone, I was diagnosed last week and informed I need a macectomy of the left breast and possibly follow up chemotherapy and hormone treatment. Still a bit unclear on diagnosis as told the large area hasn’t worked out how to spread by I’ve a 2cm more aggressive area. Also HER2 positive. Lymph node clear on biopsy but will be checked during surgery. I’ve decided I do want immediate reconstruction and have been given appointments with an implant surgeon and tummy graft (sorry not sure technical term!). My worry is they haven’t checked my other breast and if cancer is there at some point, I can only have tummy graft once - also, I don’t want to delay surgery and he’s on holiday until a week before my suggested surgery date. Could I get the implant and have a bit of a reduction of other breast to match?? That sounds vain, but I don’t want to end up riddled with scars; although I know breast implants are not for life. Surgery pencilled for 23rd June and I don’t want to delay this. I am 34e chest. Any experiences or thoughts welcome. Thank you xx

Yeah you can do an implant and a breast reduction at the same time. Whether your plastic surgeon has the time scheduled to do that is the question. I’m in the US and we like to do surgeries asap for breast cancer so I couldn’t schedule my reconstruction at the same time as my double mastectomy in a comfortable time period. I ended up doing a delayed reconstruction. Not optimal but at least I got Bastard Bob out within five weeks of diagnosis. So that’s what you’d have to make sure of - that you can schedule your surgery in a time frame that’s optimal for cancer recovery.

As far as the difference between implants and a diep they’re substantial. Definitely lots of scars with a DIEP and recovery is more fierce. The benefits are that you’re one and done and once healed it can be a natural look. Implants are an easier surgery but sometimes they do not look as natural as people want. Plus long term wise there tends to be more complications. But it’s whatever you’d prefer. I ended up doing a double DIEP. I am allergic to sutures, tape, and adhesive, all things that they use :slightly_smiling_face: So fun for me as far as healing goes. But it’s coming along nicely despite my healing taking a little longer, it looks pretty good, and I think I’ll be satisfied in the long term. I thought about implants but had a feeling my body wouldn’t like them very much. Considering how I react to stitches I’m probably right. But I know lots of people who took that route and are very satisfied and had no complications. So any reconstruction path, as long as you want it, is open I would think.

Hi Moomin47

I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis. 
I can share my experience with you as was in a similar situation having to decide the impossible!

I underwent 2 surgeries (lumpectomies) on my right side. Unfortunately on both times they found more DCIS. I was then given the option of a 3rd attempt or a mastectomy with immediate  reconstruction, either implant or DIEP.

I really didn’t want a long recover from the DIEP or to put myself through a long operation after having 2 surgeries in the space of 3 weeks. I chose to have the implant and also had a reduction on my left side. I have had a tear drop implant which is a more natural shape

I had this done just over 3 weeks ago and already I am pleased with the outcome. I was a DD cup and I know mine are still settling down but think I will be around a C/D now. 
When I went back for my results I didn’t realise but they test the tissue that is taken out of the good breast that they reduce.

Also to mention that I asked my surgeon at the time? If I wasn’t happy with implant, could I have the DIEP further down the line. He said I could hit it would be elective surgery so would be a waiting list. I think this made my mind up as know I still have that option in the future but to be honest so far I am more than happy with what I have got.

Good luck with your treatment and here if you have any questions. I’m sure you will make the best decision for you…follow your gut instinct!

Cookie x