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advice about reconstruction

12 REPLIES 12
Steph J
Member

Re: advice about reconstruction

Dear Moijan 

I have just noticed on another thread you are still undergoing treatment , may I please rephase my last sentence , I hope you have managed to have had plenty of good days and experiences amongst the not good ones  ... and to be able to offer advice still youre another remarkable lady thank you xxx

Steph J
Member

Re: advice about reconstruction

Thank you so much for the honesty Moijan . For me that is the most important aspect of all . I can prepare my questions better , It may seem premature planning a mastectomy but thats me .Its not being negative I would just rather be prepared prior and then I am not wasting time making a decision . Im not rushing Im being practical I think lol ... the worst scenario will be if they say radiotherapy and see how it goes ...now that will throw me ! But hey ho Ill have to deal with it . As  Iv already said though it is widespread so cant see too many options available unless 2nd result extremely different from first .

That s why I  had started to think  mastectomy  ( and Consultant has already mentioned it and  I would think of recon and strattis but obviously if radiotherapy an option there are the risks to any implant . I like your advice everything does not have to happen at once ...you are  so right . Well two more sleeps to go now and I will have final picture of options ....and cant believe I am actually sleeping ...ha I must be very odd .

This information is so valuable I cant thank you enough xx

I am very sorry your treatment has been so traumatic and not as you could have foreseen , its a lottery I suppose and I dont say that flippantly either . I truly hope you have managed to enjoy life again xxx

Moijan
Member

Re: advice about reconstruction

Hi Steph J

 

i had a lattisimus dorsi reconstruction( moved back muscle to support an implant. In 2001. I did spend quite a while researching beforehand because i had pre op. Chemo to see if it shrank the tumours.

 

unfortunately, it didnt sufficiently shrink the tumours and so I decided to have the recon when 

I had the mastectomy.

 

i later had to have chemo and radiotherapy following my surgery. However, it was the radiotherapy which had a negative effect upon the implat, it got quite hard. The worst thing about it was that the breast got infected several times and I ended up with arm lymphoedema. As well. Some years later I needed to have the implant removed. i now have a prosthesis in my bra. 

 

all of this is in the distant past now, but I really wished later that I had waited till after my radiotherapy, to have the recon performed. Obviously the skin gets affected by the radiotherapy, but at least the implant might not have become hard and might have been more successful.

 

i hope this info helps because another lesson i  learned was that not everything has to happen at once....

anyway. Best wishes for a good personal choice, after research and reflection.

love and hugs

 

Moijanxx💚💙💜

Steph J
Member

Re: advice about reconstruction

Hi 

Thank you all for your replies . Its so overwhelming . I will most certainly utilise someone like me , the support here is fantastic. And I have def picked up lots of advice and ideas of what to ask . Ruth , Sue and Liz you all sound so inspiring and all your advice is priceless to me . I have read each word over to ensure I take it all in . I go on Monday to find out my fate . I dont know what to expect it could be better or worse but at least a plan of some description will be commenced . Iv pretty much concluded a mastectomy is on the cards as widespread is widespread so unless one half of the breast has harmless calcifications which can be left alone I really dont know what else they can do . But I only have 3 more sleeps to find out . Goodluck to you all and thank you so much . I will most definately ask more questions as I think of them . Possibly in a few minutes when I read your comments again ha xx

Steph x

Sue H-S
Community Champion

Re: advice about reconstruction

Hi again lisad

I presume from your post that you have had an expander with the implant being inserted at some point??

 

I had skin conserving surgery - with the pocket and implant put in straight away - so no fluid pumping for me, lol. I am a 36 B

 

Sue xx

lisad
Member

Re: advice about reconstruction

It was for my breast implant.
She just inserted xxx amounts of fluid , one more to go until I get to 40DD!!! Woman LOL- my size is actually 38B xxx

Sue H-S
Community Champion

Re: advice about reconstruction

Hi lisad

pumping up? Not had the need for any of that - it was big enough, lol.

 

Steph J - sorry I forgot the link to all the options - Please excuse my chemo brain - 

https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/publication/breast-reconstruction-bcc7

Sue xx

 

lisad
Member

Re: advice about reconstruction

That's exactly what I have had done Sue. 

 

Due to healing I have only just had my second dose of pumping up doneWoman Happy  I have the final one on the 3rd, but have a long way to go as I will not be having radtion until probably April time onwards, so it will interesting to read from you the impact of radiation has on the implant.  Like you my surgeon has advised that that can sort all that any issues casued by raidation afterwards.

 

Happy Days! Woman Sad

PeggyCat
Community Champion

Re: advice about reconstruction

Hi Steph,

 

I'm another one in the implant camp. Hopefully someone will be along soon with experience of another type of surgery but until then just to say that, like Sue, I've found it to be a very positive experience. As I say to everyone who wants to listen Smiley Happy I would much rather have my original boob back (disease free obviously) but I'm pretty happy with the result. I was fortunate in that my tumour was far enough away from the nipple so that I was able to keep that and being only a B cup bra size an implant was a good choice for me. I did look at the other options and the plastic surgeon I saw said that, despite the fact that I'm quite slight, he could have made a new boob for me from my tummy, albeit a bit smaller than its left counterpart.

 

I was very nervous about having another part of my body used to replace my breast tissue but at the time of my decision had never had any kind of surgery so just wanted the quickest option and the surgeon I saw was very confident that an implant would work well for me. I was also told that if the implant fails in the future then an own tissue reconstruction is still open to me. That said, now that I've been through surgery and found it was in no way as awful as I imagined it was going to be, if I do have to go for an own tissue donation surgery in the future then I think I'll be far less anxious about the prospect.

 

I do hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions.

 

Ruth xx

 

 

Sue H-S
Community Champion

Re: advice about reconstruction

Hi Steph J,

Sorry you have to find yourself here, but it is a great place for support, as all of us are going or have gone through a similar journey to yourself.

I do not know whether you have found this publication anywhere. It is very informative about the types of breast reconstruction. Not all might be right for you, as much may depend on your shape, size, health, etc., etc.

I had a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction and I love the outcome. It was done with an implant and as mentioned by someone else, it does not quite feel or move the same, but visually it is perfect.

My oncoplasti surgeon even managed to reconstruct a nipple or bud, as they like to call it. It just looks just like one, it only will need 'colouring in' when all is done! Unfortunately, post op, it turned out that I had to have chemo and radiotherapy treatment, which is likely to impact on the implant. However, I have been assured that it will be replaced, should it become necessary.

It certainly was the right choice and I would, despite looking at options, which would give a softer more natural feel - not change my mind.

The op was quick, after two weeks I was able to drive again and after three was back at work.

Sue xx 

lizred
Member

Re: advice about reconstruction

HI Steph,

I had a mx a few months ago with immediate implant recon but it took me quite a while to come to that decision - like you, I tried to get a range of opinions / experiences and looked into all my options. After meeting with a plastic surgeon we both pretty much agreed an 'own body' recon was not an option for me (recent abdominal surgery and slim build so not much spare to work with) so we were lookng at an implant or staying flat. I joined the Flat Friends facebook group for a while and people shared their reasons why they had chosen to have no reconstruction and in the end I decided to give an implant a try. I also looked at photos of various real life options with my breast care nurse, both those with 'good' and not so good outcomes so I had as clear an idea as possible what I was signing up for. I found the whole process really difficult and finally realised I was trying to find a solution which covered every possible 'what if', but actually that was not possible and I just had to make a choice and go with it.

While it obviously is fairly major surgery I didn't find it too difficult afterwards - only needed paracetamol for pain management and gradually got back full range of movement (I had lymph node biopsy as well so affected nerves down arm etc) with the stretches etc you get given. I'm happy with the result of the implant - it does look and feel quite different to my other natural breast to me - fairly solid and little natural movement - but, as I am small breasted, there is no appreciable difference with clothes on.

Hope that helps, do ask if you want to know any more. Good luck with your decision and results / treatment xx

Collette_BCN
Moderator

Re: advice about reconstruction

Hello Steph, 

 

I am sorry to hear that you have been recently diagnosed, I am sure some of our forum users will be along to offer some support soon.

 

In the meantime you may be interested in using our Someone Like Me service which puts you in touch with one of our trained volunteers who have had personal experience of breast cancer and have experience of the issues you may be facing. We have volunteers who have had various different types of reconstruction and can talk to you about how they made their choice and how they feel now. 

 

If you would like to use the Someone Like Me service please do get in touch by email on:someonelikeme@breastcancercare.org.uk or by calling the service directly on 0114 263 6490.

 

Warm wishes,

 

Collette

Service Worker (Someone Like Me).

Steph J
Member

advice about reconstruction

Hello 

I have been diagnosed with low grade DCIS but as yet have not had my final diagnosis . This is due this Monday . All I know is I have widespread DCIS . I have seen my pictures and the calcifications seem to be wide apart although Im no expert. The consultant has already suggested possible mastectomy. I cannot see how this can be avoided if I have widespread DCIS . So Im trying to read up on reconstructions ...if anybody can offer their experience on types of reconstruction I would be very interested . The one thing that I have observed from reading so far is that noone has said with hindsight they would have chosen a different type of reconstruction .