Reconstruction or no reconstruction



I am new to the forum. I have just finished 6 months of chemotherapy and now having 12 months Herceptin and Pertuzumab. I am waiting to go and see my surgeon to discuss my operation. 


I keep changing my mind whether to have reconstruction or not. The thing that worries me most is the skin graft and the recovery afterwards. If I did go for reconstruction, I’m not sure which would be the less evasive option.


Can anyone offer any advice or help me to make the decision.


Thank you





Hi Lisa


Congratulations on completing your chemo. I’m 6 months further on - still experiencing side effects but apparently it’s early days. I hope you get constructive responses to help you get a picture of what you might expect. Reading your post, I did wonder what’s really going on. In the end, having a reconstruction will surely depend on how important having an apparently ‘natural’ pair of breasts means to you. How do you feel about your mastectomy scar? I’m quite happy with being single-breasted but I’m no longer the age for boob-flashing so I quickly dismissed the offer and am happy with my prosthesis and Knitted Knockers, less happy with the bras. I also naively thought the absence of a boob would give me less to worry about in the future but apparently you still have to check along the scar for bumps and lumps and unwanted changes!


Good luck with your decision.

Jan x

Hi Lisa 

I finished treatment in jan, and was discharged in July 19. 
I had a single mastectomy in Dec 19, 6 months of neoadjuvent chemo. 
I have my pre assessment  surgery appointment on the 6th Jan for my reconstruction. 
I have changed my mind so many times re construction, however the other night I was looking at the curve of my other breast, and that convinced me to have the reconstruction, I realised I have missed my breast. 
The surgeon who referred me for the reconstruction has recommended I use my own tissue from my abdomen. 
Lots of luck with whatever you decide to do. 

Hi Lisa, it’s really hard making these decisions because there’s so much to take in. My approach was to make a list of what my priorities are and write down some questions to ask the surgeon. First Q would be to ask what reconstruction types are available to me (eg, to have own tissue used you need to have enough fat; if you’ve had radiotherapy that might affect the stretchiness of skin for some recons). I would also ask them about whether your tummy muscles or back muscles would be affected. Personally I have back problems so that ruled out using the shoulder muscles for me. All this helps to narrow things down a bit. I would also ask how long the recon would last and whether I would need further ops. The fact I really find ops scary was a big factor for me. Also ask about recovery times and chances of complications (my own situation meant I needed to recover as quickly as possible). If you don’t have reconstruction at the same time as the surgery it is always possible to have it at a later date if you can’t get used to having no recon, but do ask what the differences are in how it will look, ask to see photos too. Also ask to see a prosthesis. I only need a smallish one but I’ve heard people who need larger ones can find them a bit heavy. First you’re given a temporary light prosthesis but I was really pleased with the natural look my permanent prosthesis creates and I forget it’s there now, my bc nurse helped me choose one. Also ask how the reconstruction will physically feel to you. Ask about the different sorts of inserts in artificial reconstructions. In the end I think my fears and imaginations were worse than the reality and the Macmillan nurses and nurses on the phone here are really helpful to talk it through with. All the best to you. 

Hi Lisa,

  I had reconstruction, later to go flat, I dont wear fakes. Implants just had problems. Now I feel better, and I hope explant was my last surgery ever. Hope this helps.