should i go ahead positives please

hi i am really scared about mastectomy and reconstruction at same time. if i dont do it at same time i wont do it but is that a bad thing i wonder. i read all info on here and it sounds a major op with lots of problems nice to be aware but no one says good things… the type i am having is back and gel implant. i have decided to go ahead. but would love to hear some good things. i am feeling sick as getting a phone call tomorrow with a date to go in… but i also had MRI scan on other one Tuesday so will also have results on that as well. bad news could change my op and my feelings. thanks in advance . have a good day.xxxxxx juliexxxxx

Go for it girl.
I had it done with back muscle and implanrt and think it’s fab. It is a long op, but 1 hour or 4 hours makes no differance to you, you’re asleep and when you wake up you have a mound and within a couple of weeks you can be wearing low cut tops/ bikinis again.
I can only speak for myself but from the moment I looked down my gown, I loved it.
I asked my con if i could go bigger, he agreed if that is what i wanted. It currently matches the other boob (B cup) but is purposely a bigger implant that he will continue to fill with saline to get me to a C cup and then put implant in healthy boob to match. This will be done next year when he does my nipple. I will have to wait on a list as it is purely cosmetic. I cannot recommend it enough. I don’t read the reconstruction pages these days so not sure what you have read but I would soooo recommend it.


hi thanks for that i am really appreciative. i thought must be ok as people go ahead and if not succesfull they wouldnt offer them. i have read so much negative things pain not working, muscles still contracting as a back one etc that it totaly put me off. yes this site helps with problems its gt but also worries me in what i read… have you noticed how many people on here are called julie. i cant believe it is there something in the name… i may ask others. thanks again i get results of mri and date for mastectomy today so a nervous wreck. have a good weekend.xxxxxxxx julie.xxxxxxx

Hi Julie

I had an immediate TRAM recon. Yes it was an 8hour op but I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I am extremely happy (would have preferred not to have been in this position at all) with the result.

Go for it and good luck.

Marilyn x

Hi Julie

I would say go for it too ! I had my mastectomy on 3rd October but didn’t have immediate reconstruction as have got a tissue expander in instead. My reconstruction should now be Feb/March next year.

However, I do have a friend who I met through having BC and she had a mastectomy and immediate reconstruction, and was very pleased with the results, and as far as I’m aware has had no problems at all. Her boobs look fab too !!!

Good luck with your MRI results

Julie xxx

Hi everyone

Just wanted to jump on this positive bandwagon. I had my mastectomy and immediate recon using the back muscle in April 05. I was back at work in scoop neck t shirts in the summer and received comments like ‘if you’ve got it - flaunt it’. Great confidence booster. Even reached the point of getting to people to guess which one had been done! Yes, you will have to retrain muscles and in this respect I really must emphasise the need to exercise and do what your physio tells you. All in all, no complaints - still get a little discomfort following a session with the iron and I find my new boob a little heavy when sleeping on my side. But hey - my husband takes over the ironing when I’ve had enough and I just rollover and sleep on my back!

I followed up with nipple recon and tattoo and am happy to sunbathe topless. Actually, I’m rather proud of my recon and during my last check up I had most of the staff coming in to have a look! Prior to my op I was given the opportunity of meeting up with another patient who talked me through it and showed me her ‘finished product’. Ask your nurse if this would be possible for you as I found it very helpful. The photos they show you are not particularly flattering and you may find them off putting.

Best of luck to you. I live in mid Kent if that’s of any use to you.

hi Sandra
thanks for your comments i feel better every time i read one. the pictures they showed me were disgusting. i am going to go ahead providing nothing needs doing on the other one. do people have double mastectomy and double recon or is it too big an op. thanks again you have made my day, off to firework party tonight feeling happier. what stage are you at with this monster.

i live in bedfordshire
have a good weekend
julie x

hi julie im in the same confused mind set as you, reading other posts are really helping, im interested to know why someone would have expanders done first before recon is this a skin thing or a size thing, why cant someone have implants done immediately?, have you considered living with your mastectomy for a while before you decide?, theres such a lot to take in at this early stage, lots of info isnt there. most people are very positive and pleased with their results which is very encouraging eh?
good luck julie x

Hello Julie - I hope this bit of positive news will help! I posted a similar text some time ago but in short, diagnosed with DCIS, I was given the choice of mastectomy with immediate recon, or lumpectomy with radiotherapy and took the former. As my breasts were 38E and not attractive, and no reconstruction would ever have looked like the “other one”, the breast surgeon asked if I would like to consider a bilateral mastectomy. Not only was that an aesthetic consideration but of course also meant I would not have to worry about cancer in the other breast. The recon option of taking skin from the stomach was not recommended, and I did not fancy the back muscle one, so went for silicone implants (with the final size being implanted immediately after the mastectomy, under the muscle). I chose a 36B. I was more than happy to get both things done at the same time (one anaesthetic, one hospital stay, one lot of recovery). I am more than satisfied with the results. The only discomfort was because I had four drains (two each side) for three days, but once they were removed, it was fine. I had to be careful lifting things etc for a while but was driving after a week, holidaying after three weeks. The scarring was minimal and has almost completely faded. The op was done in December 2005 and in Sept 2006 I had nipple recon which, again, was uncomplicated and looks great. On the “psychological side” I am amazed what a change has been wrought in me! I wear all sorts of clothes and colours I wouldn’t have dreamt of wearing before, people compliment me on how I look years younger now (I am coming up to 65!!!), and I feel really confident.
I hope this might be able to help you and if you have any questions where you think I might be able to help, do contact me. Very best wishes,

hi Petitepart
thank you so much for your support. the more i hear the better it gets. i am at present having one done although waiting for
MRI results on other so things might change. If there is any chance i have it in other i was going to go straight for two off. i cant cope with more hospitals i hate it. Of course the op frightens me but i am so scared of staying in hospital. so do you think they would do a double reconstruction. Earlier on this week i was convinced if in both i would have two removed and no reconstruction but now hearing good things for a change i am unsure. thanks to all again
julie xxxx

Hi Julie - I had mastectomy with immediate back muscle recon and implant in September and am very pleased, It looks great and I had very little pain. It is a major op and i was really worried before but wasn’t half as bad as I thought and I reckon I could wear a bikini now and apart from scar on my back no one would know. The scar on my back isn’t bad -a thin line about 8cm long under the bra line so not even visible!! I need to have the other side done next year and will go for the same op and have no worries about it. I was driving within 4 weeks and love that fact that when both have been finished I can be pumped up a bit to be a C cup!! My implant was silicone with a saline pocket in the meddle which can be pumped up or down. Haven’t had the nipple done yet so can’t advise you on that bit.

Good luck

Sarah x x x

Hi Julie
If you would like to speak to someone in person about breast reconstruction our helpline will be able to give you details of our ‘Peer support’ service whereby you can be put in touch, by telephone, with someone who has had reconstructive surgery. Our peer supporters are people who have had breast cancer and are trained by Breast Cancer Care to offer support to others.

The helpline number is 0808 800 6000 and is open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm, there is more information about Peer support under the ‘Support for you’ tab at the top of this page.

Best wishes
Breast Cancer Care

Hi Julie

I haven’t been on this site in some time. I had an immediate DIEP done in 2006 and it was brilliant. If you have the chance to have an immediate recon I would do it as the end result is better. They usually do a skin saving op so I’ve only lost the nipple and a small area around it. It’s all over and done with in one op no having to go into hospital twice. If the op takes 1hr or 6 hrs, like mine, you don’t know about it and my op wasn’t painful just a bit uncomfortable. Take it easy immediately after and you will soon be bouncing around! I never used to wear low cut tops before this but now I’m always wearing them and yes, I also have played guess the fake boob!
Good luck

hi everyone,
thanks for all your helpful advise and comments about your own choices and surgery,i am going to go for immediate recon, seeing the plastics team on the 12th, sentinel node biopsy this week on the 7th, its all starting and is beginning to feel real now, im a bit scared. and also good and ok at same time,
going to get on with it, ive read lots of good tips about what to take into hospital is there any thing else, like supplements for wound healing or has anyone used homeopathy post op.

julie xx

Just like to say thanks to all and i am glad i started thisthread. I have decided to go ahead and now waiting for that phone call on Fri with MRI results and date to go in. Mind you MRI results could change things. i pray they don’t. i should have had results last fri but was told not enough time to study them from Tues late pm to Fri am. i hope that’s true. anyway there is one thing i would like to ask you kind ladies and that is… how long did it take to look good. i don’t mind its just those photos the breast nurse showed me were sickening, i know i have to see the effects straight after and problems to make me aware but i never saw any nice ones…i cant imagine from the pics how anyone could NOT know the difference… have a good day. i am using my waiting time wisely and going to be making mince pies this pm. as not sure hw long it will take me to get back to normal after.

Hi Julie

I too had the mast and recon at the same time using the back muscle (didn’t need implant as only small boobs). I had mine Sept 06 and am very happy with the result, just waiting for the nipple doing now!

I was the same as you, if I had waited, I wouldn’t have wanted to have more surgery. My recon boob is just the same size and shape as the other one and if it wasn’t for the fact that I am minus the nipple, you wouldn’t know which one it was.

Best wishes for whatever happens, lots of love and hugs, Deborahxxx

hi deb,
that was really good to hear,if you didnt have an implant, is the recon boob same as natural?, my natural size is 34a , were you offered implants in both? how does the recon boob feel, how was your scar healing and do you have any advice?

thanks for writing i realy appreciate it ,

julie x

hi all
today is the day iget the phone call about my mri scan and date for mastectomy and recon. i am still mixed feelings just want the monster out and the quickest recovery i hope and pray the mri is clear on other one i dont think i have anymore tears left.xxxxxxxxxxxx

hi all
its me again i had a phone call this mornig to say mri in other breast was clear i still cried buckets of relief… i was promised a call this afternoon with an appt to see consultant for measure up for gel implant but no call…

Hi jal7777! I was really glad to read that your other breast is ok. I’ve only just caught up with the messages and saw your query about how long it took to look ok. My bandages were taken off three days after the mastectomy and recon (final implants) and looked ok - the scar line was still a bit dark (amazing how quickly it faded, perhaps thanks to gentle creaming) and I had no nipples but the shape was fine. I might add I asked the plastic surgeon to choose the shape of the implant as I felt she had more experience of what suited each patient. She did not want to do the nipples until at least six months after the op as she said the implants had to settle into position, and I got to the stage where I nearly didn’t bother with them. However I am really glad I did as she did a terrific job and they looked great as soon as the immediate post-op signs had gone away (took 2-3 weeks). What’s that in a lifetime?!?! I went topless (in the shade!!!) on hols this year and was much admired by my girlfriends. Didn’t have the courage to do it on the public beach, though - but who knows, next year??? Hope this helps. All the best. petitepart