recon or not

hello ladies
i apologise for posting questions all over your forum but im a bit all over the place

i am waiting for my mri date to come through so they can check we are just dealing with what hes seen on the ultra sound

then so far ive been told its some sort of surgery most likely part breast removal but until he gets in he wont know?
then deffo rads maybe not chemo, and drugs

anyway, he asked straight away when i got my results 2 days ago whther i wanted reconstruction straight away in one go
of course i said yes but after reading some of you dont
i wondered why? does it made the rads sore
isit better to wake up and see something there??
thankyou for listening

Hi Lincslady,
Ask away,we are here to help.
I too was offered an immediate recon and straight away said yes.I have worked with BC patients in the past(mammography) so had a better idea what I was facing than some.I was not facing rads though so that cn sometimes influence the decision as they can cause problems with an implant if used.However I am now facing possible rads after it was found they missed a tumour! (I had 3)
I was happy to wake up with 2 boobs, my OH was shown it the first evening in hospital when they checked my wound so there was no worrying about an unveiling.He thinks its a marvelous feat of engineering!
I later developed depression and do wonder if it would have been worse if I had not had a recon.Maybe,maybe not but it makes you realise that a recon is not the whole answer to an easy recovery.Its still a mastectomy and has a huge pyschological impact on the woman that I think is vastly underestimated by BC teams.
A year down the line ,it looks great,has softened and with a bra on looks fabulous.My scars are fading and I await a nipple recon.
The decision was 100% right for me ,but everyone is different.I didn’t feel brave enough to not have a recon.Others may see it differently.
Do loads of research and take your time,
Good luck

Hi Lincs lady and dotchas
I think we need to stop apologising for asking questions and feeling all over the place, we are in the mire and need each other.
I had a mastectomy 12 years ago and waited 2 years for a recon because tram flaps weren’t that common in 97. I was so depressed that I could not carry on with life as I had known it, and recon changed everything for me. I set up a local bc support group with the bc nurses and talked to women who did and didn’t want recon, and the main thing that affected outcomes was making your own considered decision.
I love my new body and my 10 year old recon, and when I was diagnosed again I was very frightened of losing it again and falling back into that world - thankfully that hasn’t happened, and while I’m now wetting myself about chemo (starting next week) I am very glad to still have my 2 breasts.
Lincs lady, read the comments, do the research, talk to your bc nurses about your own circumstances but think about what it all means to YOU and base your decision on that.
I hope everything goes well and that you will keep talking on here. please don’t apologise for wanting support - its what this is all for!
take care and best wishes

hi all,
My situation, like everyone is different. I didn’t have the option of a recon straight away. He was more concerned about getting the mx done. I then had chemo but luckily didn’t need rads. I have nearly finished a years course of Herceptin and am having a diep next month. I took one stage at a time and did a lot of research at each point. A decision of what’s best for you is very individual xx talk to as many ppl as possible, the experts can give the facts, the ladies on the forums can give you understanding and a personal perspective xx good luck with your decision

Hi Lincs lady, hope you are doing OK, it is a minefield isn’t it?

Just my experience as well… I was dx in May 2007, mx, chemo, rads, herceptin and currently on Tamoxifen. I decided not to have a reconstruction for a few reasons:

I was told radiotheraphy might compromise the recon
I wanted to be back on my feet as quickly as possible to look after my daughter, I really couldn’t face a big operation at the time

But I think most importantly, a reconstruction wasn’t an essential thing for me, I was much more concerned with getting on with the treatment. I still haven’t had one and I’m totally comfortable with that. I remember steeling myself after the op to look at the mastectomy site and it was fine, the surgeon managed to leave a wee bit of cleavage as well, good man!

I wish you all the very best, take care


Hi all

I had a mx in 2005 and could have pushed for immediate recon but decided to wait. I didn’t know if I needed chemo or rads and wanted to deal with the cancer and think about recon later. I was lucky that I didn’t need chemo or rads and knowing how huge the op for recon is I took over 2 years to make the decision. They were the right decisions at the right times for me. I’m delighted with the outcome as I now feel more balanced and don’t have that constant visual reminder I’ve had BC. As the others have said you have to do what is right for you and there are loads of comments here that will help.

Good luck


It was inappropriate for me to have an immediate reconstruction as I had to have rads, which would have affected an implant (had one been in situ).

And I am very glad that for about 13 months I had to live with one breast - because I proved to myself that I was no less a woman with one breast rather than two.

I had an LD flap recon over last Christmas and am on the waiting list for a similar op on the healthy breast to achieve better symmetry (with the healthy breast, the PS removed the breast tissue and inserted an implant, but because I am very muscular due to sports, the result is not as it should be).

I really rate the LD flap because it is a relatively short operation (compared to a DIEP or TRAM flap), and of course the scars are out of sight (what you can’t see, you tend not to worry about) and generally speaking are hidden under the horizontal bra strap.

hi all
thankyou for your experiences
my immediate reaction now seems to be wait to get better 1st as like someone said i have a 4 yr old to look after on my own

the thought of having a sore back as well i probably dont need

all the different types of ops i dont understand i suppose i will get info nearer the time?

i want to be in hospital as short a time as possible but also dont know if i could ever face going in again?
anyway thankyou for sharing

Dear lincs lady

We have an animated guide to breast reconstruction on the Breast Cancer Care web site. I thought this may help you understand a bit more about the different techniques. I have posted the link below:

I hope this helps.

Very best wishes



Hello there

Please invest in Dick Rainsbury’s book “Breast Reconstruction - Your Choice”. Do your research and get second opinions and DO NOT fall for the line about LD being easier, simpler etc. because it can be more disabling than ANY of the other options. If you can have a tummy flap then opt for that because the outcome will likely be better and you won’t need an implant. Implants are not natural and they do not feel natural. There is a lot to read up on and generally you only get once chance as this so get it right because you’ll have to live with it for a very very long time.


Hi Lincs lady
I’ve just been to see my surgery about arranging MX and immediate recon, I have had a second opinion from a surgeon in another city as he was recommended to me by a plastic surgeon who did a talk on recon for Breast Cancer Care in Middlesbrough.
My surgeon will be doing a MX with skin saving surgery and LD flap as I haven’t enough tissue on my stomach, he is also going to use an implant as the flap won’t give him enough tissue.
At the same time he’s going to lift my other breast and put in an implant, if I’d chosen not to have my breasts enlarged he would have waited a few months to allow the site to settle but as both are going to be man made he can do them at the same time.
Also unbelievably he is going to reconstuct my nipple at the same time. I did a lot of research on the surgeons in my area and even though it is all on the NHS I have been able to request the surgeons and they’re not even at my local hospital! I 'm lucky that I’m in a position that I’ve been told i can afford to wait a few weeks for treatment so I’m scheduled to have op in seven weeks when the surgeon is able to fit me in.
I would recommend that you really check out your surgeon and get a second opinion at another hospital as the same hospital can’t give another opinion as the same team will look at your results again.