Reconstruction options - can't choose!

I am due to have mastectomy and can’t decide what kind of reconstruction option to go for. I’ve been given choice of implant, diep (stomach), ld (back) or TUG (inner thigh). Honestly don’t know how to decide even after speaking to plastic surgeon.

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Hi @freddy1 , welcome to the forum . If you have a breast care nurse maybe you could give them a ring and ask to talk through the options again ? You can also ring the nurses on the forum to talk about this I know others have found this useful 0808 800 6000
Here is a link to BCNs info on types of reconstruction Surgery for primary breast cancer | Breast Cancer Now

Best of luck with your op whatever you chose .

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Hello. I had an implant reconstruction after having a breast expander in. Recently changed to an implant last week! But it looks good and I am recovering well. I decided for an implant due to my situation with 2 children. Also the diep would be a lot to go through with regards to surgery and recovery time etc.
I would say it depends on your circumstances but try using the Someone Like Me service through Breast cancer now where you can speak to someone who has had these done. I used them and it helped me through my surgery and treatment.
All the best x

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Hi Natalie thank you I wasn’t aware of that service! Hope everything goes well for you x

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Hiya
When making this decision I found the speaker live events very useful as there was one on breast reconstruction and there may be something relevant on the you tube channel, if you click on all support services, then click on watch for the you tube videos. Then if you click on the younger women support button, it takes you to the upcoming speaker live events.

Hope this helps

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You could also get in touch with the charity, Keeping Abreast. I had a pap recon (a bit like a TUG but with fat only, rather than fat and muscle). I was put in touch with a lovely lady who had had the same operation and I found that really helpful. It is daunting. An implant would have been a far easier surgery but I am pleased with the natural feel of my breast.

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Thanks Jackie. How did you find the scarring on your leg? I’m concerned it would rub or be painful to sit on?

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Thanks Emmeline I didn’t know about that so will have a look!

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I’m 10 months along and it still feels tight along the scars but not painful. I’m a regular gym goer and have been back at the gym since about 6 weeks after surgery. Obviously, it takes a long time for your leg tissue to fully recover but there honestly wasn’t that much pain overall. In the first 6 weeks are tricky and tedious but obviously VERY doable. Like everything, the worry about the unknown is so much greater than the reality. It’s a big surgery, but I don’t regret it.

Thanks that’s really good to know. Did you get offered a choice between that and diep?

Diep wasn’t a good option as I didn’t have enough tummy fat, but loads on my thighs. The recovery from Diep is easier than Tug but I’m actually quite happy not to have a scar across my stomach.

I seem to have plenty fat supplies to choose from!:joy:

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Well, I was finally grateful to have chubby thighs!

Always a silver lining! I’m going back to see plastics nurse today so hopefully I’ll make a decision soon!

Myself and my wife really agonised over this. She really didn’t know what to do and I was really surprised by lack of expert advice in terms of what direction to go. My wife is a B cup and went with implant. In my view as a male is that it depends on size of your breasts. My wife’s breast was small and achieved good symmetry with implant she is very happy with the reconstruction (Jan 2024) and it was immediate reconstruction. If you have larger breasts harder to get symmetry look with implant and say diep flap better result. Also diep flap feels more natural but with my wife don’t believe major issue. Also if not happy with implant you can get a breast lift on other breast to improve symmetry.

You have to be aware also diep flap does have scar hip bone to hip bone and longer recovery.

Hopefully that gives some help but understand where you are coming from.

Thank you for sharing your experience. There are lots of things to think about and I’m glad it went well for your wife. I’m off to see surgeon again on Monday to discuss further!

Wish you the best of luck but you will get through this.

One watch out re surgeons is breast surgeons typically do lunpectomy and mastectomy operations and can do implant surgery. However a plastic surgeon is normally required for diep flap and attends same surgery as mastectomy.

We found some breast surgeons were steering towards implant as that’s what the could do. Maybe I’m being unfair as that’s what we went with in the end. Also plastic surgeons waiting times could be an issue too.

Also we found it difficult to get images of previous surgeries surgeon had done in terms of helping us choose between implant and diep flap. Again in my opinion small breasts are suitable for implant and if larger more complex in shape/size diep flap probably more suitable. Hope this helps and best of luck.