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Mastectomy - Reconstruction choices aaarghh!!

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Kip Community Champion
Community Champion

Re: Mastectomy - Reconstruction choices aaarghh!!

Hello Sarah and Delly,  I remember having those decisions to make.. I chose to go flat,  being  very small chested anyway there's not too much difference really.  I just didn't want lengthy surgery, my surgery was over all done in a morning and I was home mid afternoon on same day.  I'm quite OK with my flat side but still have the option. On recon in the future. I was shown photos of what the different options would look like and that helped too.  It's  very personal choice so you go with what feels right for you,  I did a poll of all my friends to see what they would do and we all chose very differently.  As felt said until the minute you're gowned up you still dither.. But you'll get there, just don't rush it.. Good luck and with the chemo too.  Had that as well and rads which was another factor why I chose to stay flat.. At least for now.

Kip

Member

Re: Mastectomy - Reconstruction choices aaarghh!!

Ps. - Have you been shown photos of what the different procedures are likely to look like? !

Massively helps to see what a recon boob actually looks like, following it all, and the different procedures. Certainly helped me, but I was coming from a delayed perspective. I decided I didn't not want another scar on my boob or elsewhere on my body, coupled with less healing time, so plumped for my original one with an implant. Heart xxxx 

Member

Re: Mastectomy - Reconstruction choices aaarghh!!

Yeh, can sooo relate to feeling a silly ditherer.

For my first op 2006, I still hadn't decided on my lumpectomy (with rads) or mastectomy (without rads), until standing in the ward bathroom, looking at myself topless early hours of the morning of actual op(!!), and pinching in what removing an extra 3cm sphere from my boob would leave. Not much. So mastectomy was the resounding answer. Didn't have your options, but just saying, so you feel your "dithering" feelings are sooo bloomin normal, girl. 

And so Sarah. Breath in. . . and a long  o    u    t  . . .  It'll come to you, perhaps suddenly and calmly at yoga?! Hope so.

Lots of lurrv again 

Adele xxxx

Member

Re: Mastectomy - Reconstruction choices aaarghh!!

Hi Dellypoos!

Thanks so much for checking in!

I was a right silly ditherer at my appointment and ended up coming home without giving an answer. I am almost decided to have a temporary expander in whilst I go through treatment to preserve the skin but be able to start treatment ASAP and decide on permanent reconstruction later. The other option is the one you were offered, taking muscle from the back. The one thing putting me off is the extra healing that needs to be done. The surgeon gave me 30th January as a surgery date if I let them know in a couple of days but did stress that this can be put back...I don't see the point though as another week won't bring me more information...my noggin is only small so is near spontaneous combustion so I'm off to yoga to see if some complete mental stillness will bring the epiphany I seek! Will keep you posted! 

I'm Sarah by the way.

Lotsa love to you too 

Xxx

Member

Re: Mastectomy - Reconstruction choices aaarghh!!

Hi Sarjaba

 

How did you go on today? Anything any clearer for you and your "noggin"? Or may have it have complicated it all further, with the options now available??!

Soooo difficult, I feel for you, because you don't want to put off chemo any longer than necessary.

Even if you don't go for "immediate" recon, you've always the option of "later".

I wanted "immediate" recon - only implant though, but there was a misunderstanding with what I wanted, so ended up with delayed. Would have coped much better had it all been done at the same time, as life has a habit of throwing other delaying factors (s**t) at you, other unforeseen and affecting traumas etc. so ended up being 7 yrs later to just "embark" on recon! Still isn't finished now, due to other things getting in the way. You just never know. Just letting you know from experience, without wishing to add extra pressure (but probably am doing).

Please let us (me) know how you gone on today, and where you're up to with it all.

 

Lotsa lurrrv, Dellypoos xxxx   

Member

Re: Mastectomy - Reconstruction choices aaarghh!!

Hi Delly,

Thanks for replying. The whole thing really is clear as mud in my little noggin! 

I'm sorry you seem to have had a complicated journey and but glad to see that you are supporting others in theirs.

I will aim to go to my appointment with all the questions I have for each type of reconstruction and narrow it down using those. I know they say to take your time with the decision but I don't know what waiting longer would tell me and I think having at least one thing sorted must help mentally when so much is out of my control.

Big hugs 🤗🤗

 

Member

Re: Mastectomy - Reconstruction choices aaarghh!!

Hi Sarjaba

Crikey, - it's difficult enough for you to decide recon options, without chemo being bought into it all as well.

Without chemo considerations, I was offered Lat flap with my first mast, being smallish sized. But opted for implant - it being the easiest option, healing wise. I didn't want the extra comps of the healing, or speed of, for a large scar on my back. being a walker and wishing to avoid chaffing with rucksacks, as well as extra scar to the immediate boob area. But I ended up being a very "delayed" recon, in my case, so different to you. 

The "flat" decision?? Have read many women who have gone that route. I ended up being without two for 7 yrs, and hated it. But it's very personal. I coped so much better with the loss of one, still not happily, but did NOT with the second. Fortunately not your case.

Afraid, I will always be pro recon than "not" or "none". Especially if it's "immediate", and that being dependent on whether it IS an option, given other treatments, rads wise, for instance, and it affecting the skin. But gladly, you've only mentioned chemo, not rads.

But then, you going flat! You would still have the option of later recon.

I don't envy you you're decision, sweetie, but I do wish you well with it all. That it's the right one for you, and you stay and keep well.

Lots of love from me xxxx

Member

Re: Mastectomy - Reconstruction choices aaarghh!!

Thank you for replying BluebellTime :-)

I have been given lots of options but, as you said, I am leaning towards the ones with least additional surgery and quickest recovery times as I want to get the chemo started ASAP.

Unfortunately I have more than enough spare in the tummy area but seems the most complicated option...

I wonder if I could just be flat and have a chicken fillet in my bra?! 

Will check out those threads.

Xxx

Member

Re: Mastectomy - Reconstruction choices aaarghh!!

Sorry you find yourself in this position, yes its a big shock. I had mastectomy 5 years ago and was offered immediate recon which I wanted to go for as I would have found it more upsetting to be flat. Mine was a skin sparing mastectomy. The options are baffling, but sometimes decided by things out of our hands, so you will get advice about the most suitable options from your surgeon I'm sure. I did not have enough spare flesh for the tummy diep types (but could not have faced that amount of surgery anyway) so my choices were an implant or the shoulder flap, which would have still needed a small implant to balance up to the right size. I decided to go for the least amount of surgery and not to have scars or possible weakness anywhere else, so I have an implant type. It took a few months to get used to and does not move like a real breast, but feels and looks ok, especially since adding a nipple recon and then a tattoo done by my BCN. You will probably find more on recon on here if you look at the Going through Treatment, Surgery threads. Good luck whatever you decide xx

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Mastectomy - Reconstruction choices aaarghh!!

Hi! I'm 42 and have a loving partner and a beautiful 7 year old son

I was diagnosed with breast cancer after finding a lump following a bad fall. Initially it was thought to be fat necrosis but the radiographer 'had a feeling' and biopsied it. They found a 16mm cancerous lump so then followed MRI and ultrasound which revealed more cancerous cells and that it was present in a lymph node too...I've been very lucky that it has been found but the jump from fat necrosis to needing a mastectomy is a big one and the decision to have immediate reconstruction is the next to take.

Can any of you lovely ladies offer advice or give me personal experience of the decisions you made and the reasons for them please? I'm back to see my consultant on Tuesday 21st.

Thanks and hugs and positive vibes to anyone reading 💖💖