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Reconstruction or not

13 REPLIES 13
josi
Member

Re: Reconstruction or not

My response may be a bit late if you have seen your consultant but .....
It's such a personal decision but I would listen closely to the ladies at the bottom of these replies who talk about not having recon and waiting for a while. I was ABSOLUTELY determined that I would have reconstruction and I wanted it at the same time as my mastectomy but my doctors wouldn't agree to it as they felt it was too much after all the chemo. I had the first mastectomy (by choice, I was offered a lumpectomy) and I hated every moment of being lop sided and couldn't wait to have my second mastectomy (again elective) and to get on with reconstruction. Again, my doctors wouldn't do recon straight away and wanted me to get to a better level of fitness first. Thank goodness they did! I cannot tell you how differently I felt when I was completely flat chested. The freedom and comfort for one thing and the quick recovery. I know I can have recon whenever I ask for it but it's been 3 years now and I have no regrets at all and I cannot imagine wanting to go through reconstruction. So, I would say wait and see how you feel. As I said it's a very personal decision and a lot can depend on those around you and how confident they make you fee. BUT do what YOU want and do. And do it for YOU. Good luck x

Lynberi
Member

Re: Reconstruction or not

What a great idea to start the website. I had a single Mastectomy in 2009 and a second elected Mastectomy in 2012. I had wanted both doing initially but wasn't allowed, being told I'd change my mind in 2 years! Needless to say I didn't and it was the best thing I have ever done. I am really happy being Breast-free and wear small Prostheses most of the time but often go "flat". I was quite big before and now am a 32A which suits my 4ft.11ins. frame much better and the worry has gone (well almost). I was an E cup before. On holiday it was a breeze as I wore a ruched bikini with no Prostheses and it was so comfortable. I can now also wear a strappy leotard for ballet which all my life has been a no no. The main point is I'm not looking for a lump in my other breast every day! It's a hard decision for some but for me it was a no-brainer. Good luck to everyone and trust your gut feeling xx

Just looked at your website breastfree.org and it's brilliant and so helpful! x

Zuleika
Member

Re: Reconstruction or not

Sorry, Janey, predictive txt !!
Zuleika
Member

Re: Reconstruction or not

Janet, I've had the same dilemma as you. On 12 th August I'm going to have mx with immediate recon with a tissue expander implant. I may have a silicone implant to the other side at a later date. They are going to try to preserve the nipple. I'm a 32A and thought I would be ok flat, but decided I wanted the implant. I'm happy with my decision and have tried superfine out as much as I can.

good luck with your decision, whichever choice you make, it will be the right one for you. It's a very personal ddecision take care
Z,
Lynberi
Member

Re: Reconstruction or not

What a great idea to start the website. I had a single Mastectomy in 2009 and a second elected Mastectomy in 2012. I had wanted both doing initially but wasn't allowed, being told I'd change my mind in 2 years! Needless to say I didn't and it was the best thing I have ever done. I am really happy being Breast-free and wear small Prostheses most of the time but often go "flat". I was quite big before and now am a 32A which suits my 4ft.11ins. frame much better and the worry has gone (well almost). I was an E cup before. On holiday it was a breeze as I wore a ruched bikini with no Prostheses and it was so comfortable. I can now also wear a strappy leotard for ballet which all my life has been a no no. The main point is I'm not looking for a lump in my other breast every day! It's a hard decision for some but for me it was a no-brainer. Good luck to everyone and trust your gut feeling xx

BreastFreeGirl
Member

Re: Reconstruction or not

Hi Janey,
Diamondlady is exactly right, that even if you decide not to have immediate reconstruction, you CAN have delayed reconstruction in almost all cases. I faced the same dilemma as you almost seven years ago. I had a consult with a plastic surgeon and, after considering the various options, it was recommended that the latissimus dorsi flap would be my best choice. I scheduled the surgery but then started feeling very anxious. I decided that I wasn't sure enough that I wanted reconstruction to go forward. As soon as I cancelled the surgery, I felt my anxiety melt away. That's just me, of course, but I did realize that my body was telling me something. So I would say, pay attention to your gut feelings about this.
As I approached my mastectomy without reconstruction, I found that there was virtually no information online about living breast-free, so after my surgery, I started a non-profit website, BreastFree.org. You might find it helpful to check it out. There are personal stories, photographs, information, and advice.
For myself, I've never regretted not going forward with reconstruction. I wish you the best of luck, whatever you decide.

Diamondlady
Member

Re: Reconstruction or not

Janey - I had this dilemna a few weeks ago but after 3 WLE's I decided, after much deliberation and discussion, NOT to go for immediate reconstruction when I had my 4th op (Mastectomy) on 2nd July. I was very upset, tearful and feelings of regrets but the fact that I CAN still have a reconstruction at a later date has helped. I have 'enjoyed' (perhaps not the right word) looking for mastectomy bras etc. At my last/final consultation the Surgeon did suggest that we talk about reconstruction in March if I want to.
Am getting used to my shape although nobody would know just looking at me. Dressing takes longer time but perhaps once I have my Contact prothesis and the outcome I can finally decide. The option is still there. This way my recovery was very quick and hopefully my body fully recovered by the time I decide whether or not to have a reconstruction. I hope this helps. It is not the end if you decide not to go for reconstruction now but at a later date.

Diamondlady
Janey160359
Member

Re: Reconstruction or not

Thanks Toni it all sounds positive.....will certainly re think things now
Janey
Janey160359
Member

Re: Reconstruction or not

Thank you for your support. I really don't want to wake up with no boob but hate the thought of undergoing more surgery afterwards. I thought initially I could live without a boob but not too sure now. I never had any symptoms and will miss my left boob desperately cos its never given me any indication anything was wrong. My cancer was found on mammogram. Oh well will have to go through the grieving process. I will have to discuss this with my Bcn and surgeon. Good look Helen and Deedee hope everything goes well for you both
Janey
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Reconstruction or not

Hi Janey & Deedee
I had an mx with an immediate tug flap recon four weeks ago. So far I've been ok, blistering of my breast (not the flap, that is fine) where my mx surgeon had to go so close to the breast wall to clear me of cancer. This is now like a heav scab which is gradually shrinking and looks like its not leaving any additioanl scarring.
My donor skin is absolutely fine. My leg where I had the donor taken from, the scar is about 1inch from my bikini line and tight, so was walking slowly at first, but have improved quickly. The cut doesn't go round under my bottom like I was told, it stops underneath, just before. I am a dress size 8/10 so guess they managed to get enough flesh, muscle and ahem fat, it looks like they took a wider slice than a longer one. I have noticed my bikini hairs are now growing lower that side, but I'd rather that than have them growing where my nipple should be, lol!
My leg has quite a lot of fluid which has been filling up the void, but it is being checked weekly as is my breast.
Once my boob heals, it will look amazing, the shape is spot on to my other boob, only better!
I am so relieved I took this option, I couldn't bear not having anything there although I was only a 34B to start with, that's why I decided to go for the immediate recon to get it all done and dusted at the same time.
I was told I wouldn't need any treatment once I had surgery, but I now need rads. I have since found out this type of recon is ok for rads.
I met a lady just before I went in to have my surgery, she had this exact procedure and was very happy with her outcome. I must say, she looked amazing, you would not know what she had done!

I hope this helps, I was 'very' confused right up until I made my decision and believe it was the hardest decision I have ever had to make!


I hope this helps!
Take care and good luck

Toni x
deedee215
Member

Re: Reconstruction or not

Hi jayney,
i have an appoint with plastic surgeon on thurs to discuss mx and reconstruction I'm like you soo confused don't know what type of reconstruction to go for or anything. At moment I am on chemo so still have a while To go yet.
Deedee xx
Helen15
Member

Re: Reconstruction or not

Hi Janey,
I am having MX, SNB and immediate reconstruction with LD flap tomorrow. When I found out I had to have more surgery (I had 2 WLEs last year) I was very shocked and confused but the one thing I knew was I wanted a recon straight away. I know it's a bigger op and a longer recovery time but I feel I want to leave hospital with something. Going back for further surgery especially if there is chemo or radiotherapy to think about as well wasn't something I wanted to consider. Talk to your clinic. My BCNs are fantastic. They and the doctors and surgeons gave me such good advice. And read posts on this forum as well. I have leant so much from the ladies here, I now feel very prepared for surgery and recovery. Hope it works out for you , take care.
Jo_BCC
Member

Re: Reconstruction or not

Hi Janey

While you are waiting for replies from your fellow forum users you might find it helpful to have a chat with the staff on the helpline here, lines are open now until 5pm, calls are free 0808 800 6000. Take care.

Jo, Moderator

Janey160359
Member

Reconstruction or not

Hi has anyone any advice. I have been offered a breast reconstruction at the same time as my mx. Really not sure what to do. Confused. Seeing Bcn tomorrow but would welcome others opinions thanks.