I am 61 years old and had a bilateral mastectomy last July. I have had expanders fitted and am now having saline injected into them each week. It was a small op. and it doesn't hurt at all having the saline put in. As you say, I still have to have the expanders changed for implants, but when I look in the mirror now, I have a good shape. I believe that there are expanders which can be left in and just the ports taken out, but I wasn't given this option.
Good luck to your Mum with whatever she decides.
I was lucky to be able to have an immediate recon. and only one side was involved, but I was 60 at the time, so age is no barrier. I had the extended LD flap, no implant, and it is great.
If your mum has had radiotherapy they usually do not use implants as they cannot stretch the skin. If she has not had the rads, there are dual lumen extenders where 50% of the volume is silicone and then they inject saline to increase the volume gradually to the required size. These expanders are left in situ so only one op. I should ask if this is an option.
My op was long, but as Karen says, more uncomfortable for a time than painful, I was pleasantly surprised afterwards.I feel great now, 5 months on.
I think if I was in your mum's position I would try for the implants.
Thanks Karen, That really is good news and I am sure it will help her as she's doing the whole "Is it worth it at my age"thing and to me she still sooo young and I want her to feel as proud about herself as we all are of her.
I'll print out your message and give it to her - Really has lifted my mood today and its not about me just like knowing that there is something out there she can do to get her feeling of 'Normal' back!!
Thank you sooo much again!! WIll let you know what she decides!!
I was in your mothers shoes when I had to have a bilateral mastectomy in Aug 06 (aged 41) so I know exactly have your mother is feeling. I found not having anything there very traumatic in fact I took the news I had to have the mastectomy worst than being told I had cancer, I think that is because both my mum and sister had survived breast cancer.
I had bilateral recon using the skin and muscle from the back and implants in May 07 and feel absolutely fabulous. It was done in one op, I had another op in Feb this year for the nipple recon which is normally done under local but because I had quite abit of excess skin under both arms I had that removed at the same time. I am now waiting for the tatoo just to finish off the job.
I know that having the recon was the best thing I've had done my confidence is through the roof, after the op I was more uncomfortable than in pain and now I am back to my kick boxing and feel great.
While I was in hosp. there was a woman in the next bed who had a single recon using the skin and fat from the stomach and it looked amazing as was she as she was 71 years old.
I hope my story is of some help and would say to your mum to go for it !! I feel so much better for having it done.
Please let us know how your mum gets on, you are obviously a very special daughter who wants to take care of her mum.
I Went yesterday with mum to see her surgeon to discuss her reconstruction options.
She is now 1 year down the line after having a double mastectomy last April. She has handled the whole illness very well and coped with chemo but she does get down when she looks at herself and know it bothers her having nothing at all there. She often says I just want something there to feel feminine and so i can wear nice tops in the summer without people being able to tell.
So when we went yesterday we talked about tram flaps which we agreed was too extreme for her. The surgeon as at her age (68) what does she really want and then we talked about implants which is what she was thinking of initially. The surgeon mentioned needing 2-3 op's to get it right which i think has scared her and shaken her as she was hoping for 1 op and then life gets back to normal.
Just wondered what info you people had and any stories you had to help her make a decision?
When she had her bilateral mastectomy she had no choice and was told what she had to have done - Now she has a choice she's sooo daunted and it feel harder for her and i want to help her make the right decision but ultimately I want her to be happy in herself 68 isn't old and I don't want her to think she's on the scrap heap and get drawn into herself because her self confidence has plummeted.
Any help would be great!!