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Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

14 REPLIES 14
Cate M
Member

Re: Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

Hey Matty, thank you so much for reporting back. You have answered my question and also reassured me about the squishing involved during mammograms. This is so strange because I have reassured quite a few work collegues and friends that mammograms aren't that bad. I feel like an old pro, I'm 45 but have at least a dozen mammo's under my belt (or above, which ever way you look at it Woman Wink). 

 

Now I can just call up my clinic and reschudule my annual mammogram and not say anything about the recon until I roll up in 6 months time. 

 

*No one called me back to answer my original query anyway*

 

PS......the Foobs are all yours Woman Wink

Matty2
Member

Re: Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

Hi

Back from first mammo today.

Both foob side and boob side done.

With foob side she put machine on manual, when i saw the picture it looked like a half moon, didn't squeeze too hard.

With boob side it was the standard squash on automatic, saw that picture as well - have no idea what I saw!!

 

Now to wait for results

Cate M
Member

Re: Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

The good thing about reconstructed breasts is that the breast tissue that remains is very close to the surface and therefore easier for a mammogram to pick up any changes. Its also easier for you to notice any changes. Another upside to mastectomy and reconstruction. Smiley Very Happy

 

I will continue to bug my clinic until they give me a definitive answer. 

Ele J
Member

Re: Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

Hi - I wonder whether an MRI is another option in this situation? I had a mammogram when I found my lump, which didn't give a good view (partly as my boobs are quite firm/dense which I had always thought an advantage until now!!) so then also had an ultrasound so they could biopsy the lump.

I was then also sent for an MRI and the MRI showed a second lump which wasn't seen on mammo or ultrasound, and turned out to be a second tumour.

Luckily because they were close together my surgeon was happy to still do WLE/ mammoplasty rather than full MX, but once I'm done with chemo and rads and (hopefully) get into regular surveillance I'm planning on asking if I can have MRI rather than mammograms, as I don't think I'd get confidence from mammos.

For anyone who hasn't had a boob MRI, you lie face down on a frame with holes for your boobs to dangle through, so with implants it would be much more comfortable and I assume get a better view of remaining breast tissue.

Not sure whether they will agree either because of cost, or because of too much radiation if done annually, but I plan to ask!!
Cate M
Member

Re: Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

Thank you for your reply. I would feel more comfortable if my annual surveillance continued because I've had skin sparing and nipple sparing mastectomies. I'd rather continue the monitoring because, as pointed out, not all breast tissue is removed during a mastectomy.

 

I don't think my breast clinic is used to performing mammo's on reconstructed breasts becasue they acted surprised when I asked. I might try calling them again. 

I had very small breasts prior to the mastectomy and mammograms were always uncomfortable, glad they won't be that much of a chore with my reconstructed ones........can't feel a thing! 

Nolton9
Member

Re: Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

Hi. I have had a unilateral reconstruction and at the moment have a yearly mammogram-both sides. I understand this is because around 5-10% of breast tissue can remain in the skin flaps after a skin sparing mastectomy. I have had one or 2 interesting conversations with the sonographers when they spot my situation!! as its not the norm in the UK but I feel much safer with it. But I think its an individual thing!!!!
I had my first one 3 months after a further op to my reconstruction and it wasn't painful at all..just odd like the other one!! I think as skin sparing mastectomies become more the norm hopefully both side surveillance will increase too...
Matty2
Member

Re: Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

Wore mine for ages and if I felt unconfortable after that would slip them on for afew days.

 

the bliss is going to buy a REALLY pretty bra again (makes me sigh with pleasure just remembering it):smileyembarrassed:

 

I ended up slightly uneven and have now had a fillet so, for example if I wear stripes they are now straight againWoman LOL

 

Like the word FOOB - now in my vocab Woman LOL

Cate M
Member

Re: Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

It seems that no one has had a mammogram on the implanted foob side. I actually received my annual mammogram appointment this morning. I called them up to postprone for 6 months as I'm only 4 weeks post op. I told them that I've had a bilateral mastectomy with implant reconstruction and the person I spoke with was going to talk to the radiographer and ask them for their opinion. Maybe I should have mentioned that I had a nipple sparing mastectomy. If they can't do the mammogram will they switch to an annual ultrasound instead? 

 

Or did I misunderstand my Consultant? I remember asking her twice because I was surprised when she said I should still keep up the suviellance mammograms. 

 

Can I ask how long did everyone wear their post op bras for? I'm still wearing mine 4 weeks in and I'm still compressed becasue of it. My foobs are flattened and solid. The BN told me the longer i could wear it the better the results will be. 

Yvie178
Member

Re: Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

I have implant and strattice and when I went for my first mammogram post surgery they only screened the real boob.  I see the surgeon once a year for her to check the foob.  I have had an ultrasound on the foob which detected some cysts but no one has ever suggested a mamogram.

RoadRunner
Member

Re: Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

I have an LD flap with implant on one side, and a smaller implant in my good side to even me up.  When I go for a mammogram they only do the good side, and you have to tell them you have an implant so they don't use so much force.  I remember my initial mammnogram, on finding my lump, as being very painful, but now it's not.  

 

When you get the letter with the results it warns you that the implant can obstruct the view so they can't say for certain that you are clear.  Interestingly, when I was still in the five year post diagnosis follow up, I didn't get this warning.  It's only been since I went on to the standard three year screening program.

jillybee
Member

Re: Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

I used to just have had one side done,following an implant.Despite getting Pagets a few years later as well.Used to say I was saving NHS money as only having the mammogram one side. 😀

Matty2
Member

Re: Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

Am having a mammo next week.- first post treatment

I have been wonderiing what they do with the reconstructed one as well. I have an implant

 

Will let you know Smiley Wink

B

Cate M
Member

Re: Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

I've read that there is a third image that is taken on an implanted reconstructed breast, I can't imagine what that is. I would be so very interested to know. 

newey47
Member

Re: Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

I feel exactly the same. I only have the one, but cant imagine having a mammogram on it at all.  You cant squash it for a start.  maybe they just leave the plates wide apart and take the imaging like that.  That would work  I suppose.  My final check up tomorrow so will ask that question.

Cate M
Member

Mammograms on Reconstructed Breasts

I have had a bilateral prophylatic mastectecy with immediate reconstrution using implants and strattise. My surgeon has told me that I will still need to attend my yearly mammograms, I started surveillance 7 years ago at the age of 38. Every mammogram resulted in recalls, followed by ultrasounds and more mammograms. I'm not faulting the diligence but thought that as I have so little breast tissue remaining there is hardly anything to look at. I also thought that as the implant in under the pectoral muscle all my remaining tissue has been pushed to the surface, thus making any abnormalities easy to spot. 

 

I was hoping that I would be like the general population and only have mammograms every 3 years and only when I reached the age of 50. 

 

Has anyone here had mammograms on reconstructed breasts, especially with implants, and was it uncomfortable? I mean is it even possible? I'm only 3 weeks post op and can't even imagine putting these firm boulders between those plates.