I have become quite resigned to the idea that I will have a pretty poor looking reconstruction - even the photos they showed me were of women who had much different breasts to me - I am a 32D cup. But this is the decision that has been made and given the size and grade of the cancer I'll go withwhat ever they tell me. But what they did say was that if I needed it then I could have a furhter recon later. Just have to wait and see.
I am having a double mastectomy and immediate recon on 17.5.08. Have been waiting over 5 months now and then all rushed at the end. Wanted DIEP recon. Am size 12- 14 but have handfulls of stomach. Am 4' 11", 9 stone 1 lb and a 36C at moment. Only knew I needed the second boob off on 21.4.08. Agreed to have the LD as was told I didnt really have enough fat for 2 new boobs with DIEP to be the same size as I am now. I didnt mind going a cup size smaller, but said they couldnt guarantee my size with the DIEP. I asked if they cut put an implant in with the DIEPand they said not as defeats the object of a natural boob. I had so looked forward to a tummy tuck. Am stuck with LD and implants now. Hope they turn out ok. Will go on a diet or have liposuction to my tummy later if I can go through with it.
I wanted own-tissue recon (and had skin-sparing mastectomy with immediate DIEP). I didn't want implants, way past wanting pert 'Barbie' boobs and just wanted a very natural match for my 3-kids-later B cup, but was told in any case that implants would not be used if there was any likelihood of radiation being needed because it causes the implants to harden. My Sentinel Node Biopsy confirmed a lymph node was involved, so radiation was on the cards before I even had the mastectomy, but I had already decided to have a DIEP - size 14 and always had a bit of tummy, so I'm delighted it's flat now - shame about the steroid-induced weight gain around the waist, but it looks good side-on! Lyn xx
Just got back from my pre-admission checks etc. I asked a much more questions regarding why this operation etc of both the doctor (still not he person who will be carrying out the op apparently) and the BCN. It really helped having your comments in the back of my mind when I was doing this. I am still going to go ahead with the straight implant and have been told that other reconstruction options can be explored later, feel happier with the stated recon and reasons as well. As the cancer is big, stage 3 etc I just want to go with getting the surgery done, chemo, rads etc and then seeing what is left at the end of it!
I thought the bcn were a waste of time at Barts they just back up whatever the surgeons say
who have you got?
I had Eileen something or other and occasionally spoke to ann vaus as Eileen always seemed on leave - neither of them was much cop in my opinion
Thanks for your comments Mole and Sally,
I had a bad day yesterday as the more I thought about this the less happy I was, esp not having any opportunity to meet the surgeon ( I suggested this to my BCN but she made me feel like I was being v awkward). She is my 3rd BCN and I was meeting her for the first time (I was at UCH and then transferred to Barts last week for some reason). Now I want a second opinion but I don't know what I can expect on the NHS, never having had to deal with anything like this before.
Once again thanks for replying, this all seems too much to deal with at the moment.
Hope you are both doing well now.
I had a DIEP a year ago and as I apparently didn't have enough tummy I had an implant as well (I'm a 32E). I was offered a reduction on my other side, but I didn't want to have any unnecessary surgery on that side. I was lucky enough to be in Norwich so my operation was performed by Elaine Sassoon and I believe she will operate on people outside Norfolk - just google her name and you'll get her website - I really recommend you email her. She put together the book The Boudica Within which is a brilliant book of her reconstructive surgery.
Hope this helps,
I went to UCH to see Professor Sainsbury who is now in Southampton I believe. I've also been to Winchester to see Dick Rainsbury. I had a partial mastectomy, not a mastectomy but it was all done in such a rush I had to get my second opinions after I'd already had surgery. If I were you I'd get opinions before you opt for something that you are stuck with.
Jacqueline Lewis at charing x hospital specialises in oncoplastic surgery - she does cancer and plastic surgery together and she has a website which is owrth looking at
Can I ask where you got the second opinion? Also what did you end up having done? I wish I had thought about this before because when it comes to it I just want to get on with treatment.
thanks for you response
NB when I was there they didn't have a plastic surgeon - the one they had decided he would only do private work, but they didn't tell me that
I've been treated at Barts, I also felt i got the surgery that the surgeon could do, however, you can always ask for a second opinion. I was told i was too slim for an LD flap, another surgeon elsewhere disagreed
Am due to have a masectomy and implant on the 15th at St Barts in London. However I came away from my appointment when this was discussed feeling that I was being offered the easy surgical option, rather than the best result for me. Now of course I want to get rid of the cancer and get the operation as quick as possible but should I just have a masectomy? From what I understand this operation will be done without involving a plastic surgeon whereas the DIEP would be by the PS.
One thing that bothered me was that the consultant said that I did not have enough stomach for a DIEP, but I am not particually slim and have a handful (or two) of flesh there (I am 42 and have 2 kids under 5).
I am feeling pretty low generally and am not sure how to challenge this.
Has anyone else had a similar experience or been treated at St Barts.