Reconstruction advice DIEP vs implant

Hello, I have just been diagnosed and need to have a mastectomy. I have been told I will probably need radiotherapy after surgery.
They have given me two options for immediate reconstruction: having an implant or DIEP.
I’m 37, I have 32 G boobs at the moment, just wondering if any of you ladies have had either of these reconstructions and any thoughts? They have already said they can’t match the size of my other boob with the reconstruction so will need a reduction on the other side at some point.
Thanks in advance x

Hi Becci

Im sorry to hear that you are having to deal with this especially so young.

i am having a double recon with a diep and have researched widely on all options I am genetically at high risk of BC

I would ask a lot of questions about having an implant then having radiotherapy as I know of two people who have had a problem called capsular contraction with the implant following radiotherapy. My preference would be diep but it is a far more demanding surgery and is of course a personal choice. good luck with your surgery whichever you choose x

Hi Becci I had mx with implant recon 3 years ago when I was 47. Implant has a much quicker recovery time than DIEP and can be damaged by radiotherapy. I had trouble healing and had to have the implant removed during chemo. I then had a temporary expander implant put in to stretch the skin before rads as it shrinks. 6 months or so after rads I had it replaced with final implant and natural side reduced to try to improve symmetry. That was Easter 2016.

My experience was positive because I was never flat and I have seen others who find that a very difficult emotional experience. I am not symmetrical, the implant is higher and smaller because of rad shrinkage. It is also quite lumpy because of all the messing around with it. Normally the implant goes under muscle but my muscle was very tight and bunched up when implant was removed. My surgeon tried to flatten it and stitch it down and had to put implant on top. My skin is very thin after rads and I liken it to a Christmas cake which had been iced without marzipan!

I had a 3 d nipple tattoo recently and a prosthetic nipple mounded on my real one which makes ms feel much better. However, I have put on 2 stone since treatment and so my real boob has grown but implant obviously stays the same so the difference is much more noticeable. I was going to have another reduction but have instead decided on a DIEP - might as well make use of all that weight gain!!

I am not sure if DIEP is affected by rads, you should ask your surgeon. If it is then in your shoes, with benefit of hindsight I would ask for a temporary expander with a view to having a DIEP in the future.

I know there are more risks with the DIEP but hope it’ll be worth it x

Thank you both for sharing. I have met with my nurse this morning and I think I am going to opt for the DIEP.
I want a more ‘natural’ look and feel if I can. I was also worried about capsular contraction with me probably needing radiotherapy. Also my body isn’t great with foreign bodies, have very reactive skin always rejects IV lines!!! Fun for the Drs later I think! Not sure it would cope with an implant.

Just want to say you are very brave strong ladies, thank you for sharing and helping me stay positive x