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Options after mastectomy and reconstruction of left breast


Re: Options after mastectomy and reconstruction of left breast

Hi pigofhappiness


Thanks for your post with questions about having reconstructive work on your right breast. This can be a difficult decision and it’s a good idea to look into all your options.


It’s difficult to predict how long you would need off work after this surgery as surgical techniques and people vary so much but it shouldn’t be any longer than you needed for the mastectomy and reconstruction. Your surgeon should be able to guide you on this.


You will still be able to have mammograms if you have an implant but you will need to let the radiographer know beforehand.


Many women find that breast forms (prostheses) are a good option for them. They are usually made of silicone and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and skin tones with some specially designed for women who have had part of their breast removed.


You may already have seen our Breast Reconstruction booklet. The British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic surgeons (BAPRAS) also produce information about reconstructive surgery that you may find useful.


You could also talk to your breast care nurse about your options.


Here at Breast Cancer Care we offer a range of free supportive services that you might be interested in. This includes face to face support at a number of locations throughout the country. For more details about all of these services, please see the information on the link.


You could also call our free, confidential Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The number is 0808 800 6000.


Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.  


Please be aware that we will be closed on Tuesday 18 June for staff training.


Best wishes




Breast Cancer Care Nurse


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Options after mastectomy and reconstruction of left breast

Good morning.


I am looking to find out information about how to make my breasts symmetrical post surgery.


5 years ago I had lobular cancer in my right breast - I had a lumpectomy and subsequently lymph node clearance followed by chemo and radiotherapy.  Since then, my right breast has always been slightly smaller but 'in bra' it was not too bad.


3 weeks ago I needed a mastectomy with reconstruction on my left breast (following a discovery of DCIS).  All very lucky, no invasive cancer only pre-cancerous cells.


My recovery has been very good and my left breast is settling down but is understandably a little swollen.  It is, however, very different to my right breast both in size and shape.  I have an appointment with the surgeon to discuss options in August but am trying to find out some information before then.  My questions are:


  • What is the recovery time post surgery if I decide to have some reconstruction work done to make my right breast match my left?  How long would I need to be off work for? 
  • I will still need mammograms on my right breast - will I be able to do this post any surgery?
  • Is the operation for lifting the breast and possibly putting in a small implant as big an operation as the mastectomy and reconstruction?
  • What non-surgical options are there?  I have been looking at breast forms but am not sure if they are comfortable and secure.

If anyone has any experience or information (some links to things I could read would be wonderful) that would be very helpful.


Thanks to all who may read this and hope you are all having a good day today.