Reconstruction - any advice appreciated


My Mum has had a lumpectomy and a further clearance but unfortunately there are still pre-cancerous cells and they have advised her to have a mastectomy. She is OK about that but she doesn’t know what to do about reconstruction. They have told her about having an implant or having a full reconstruction, either by taking skin from her back or stomach. She is torn between having the implant or the reconstruction by taking skin from the back.

We were almost certain on the implant but then she met with the surgeon yesterday who told her they can be prone to infection and then she would have to have it out. I just wondered if anyone could offer any advice, either if you have had an implant or reconstruction with skin from the back - how recovery was, how you have found it to be after?

I particularly would be interested to know what people felt like and what you could and couldn’t do after having a mastectomy. I am an only child and my parents are divorced and will be caring for Mum after.

Many thanks,


Hi Michelle

You may find it helpful to post this in the reconstruction room as you may receive more information from the others users about their experiences of reconstruction.
It may also be useful for you to have a look at our booklet on reconstruction. This can be found at the following link:-

I hope you find this helpful.

Best wishes

BCC Facilitator

Hi Michelle

I have had a mastectomy and immediate reconstruction using the LD muscle and tissue, (no implant needed). This is suitable for smaller sizes, (I am 34c). I was in hospital for 7 days and had no real pain, just discomfort, and apart from the fluid build up in my back after I left hospital, which had to be drained twice, no other problems. It is now 6 months on and I have been able to do everything I could before and it is great. I don’t know how old your mother is, but I was 60 when I had it done last Nov. and I am really pleased with the result, it is more natural than with an implant. I decided against an implant, but the LD op is very long (8 hours) and you need to be fit and prepared to put yourself through it.

Good luck to your mother with her choice, whatever she goes for I’m sure she will be pleased.

I have had an implant for three years with no problems and would recommend this since you have no scarring on the rest of your body so can easily wear bikinis etc. I’ve had no problems with infection at all but even if the implant does ever have to be replaced this would be a very small operation - nothing like having another masectomy. Surgeons always tend to recommend the procedure they are best at doing or have the most practice at. One thing with implants - I think c cup is the most you can go to

Good luck

Hi Michelle, i too had the LD muscle and implant, only a small implant, didn’t have too many problems with it, i am more than happy with the results, maybe your mum could ask to see some photos? they do a section on reconstruction on that might help
all the very best to your Mum on what she decides to have done, and how nice to have such a caring daughter

Hi Michelle,

I had a partial mastectomy and immediate reconstruction using the LD (latissimus dorsi muscle) three weeks ago and I’m feeling fine. I stayed in for five days and initially felt like an old woman ( I’m 37), even going to the loo was a major effort, but it is quite a major operation. I didn’t need an implant as well as I’m on the small side.

I needed someone at home with me for the first week, just to help with stuff like lifting things (which you shouldn’t do too much of initally). The op wasn’t particularly painful, it all just feels a bit strange initially as you have a muscle wrapped around part of your armpit and side that wasn’t there before. But my body seems to be adjusting to itand I feel more like me again.

Would recommend lots of books, DVD’s etc whilst she recovers, and an ear if she feels low - I had a good cry on the loo when in hospital from sheer frustration, but feeling loads better now!!

Andrea x