im so sorry you are having to go through yet another op after 2 previous operations. That in itself must be extremely difficult to deal with mentally and physically.
Im 47 and 11 days post op from right sided mastectomy with immediate reconstruction and lymph node biopsy.
I decided to go for the Braxon implant instead of using any of my tissue. For me it was a no brainier because I wanted to be back home ASAP and less of me to heal up afterwards. I was overnight and came home last Wednesday afternoon.
For me and us as a family, it’s better that I was home recovering sooner. We have almost 10 yr old twin daughters who have been wonderful helping get me things, watching me doing fragmin injections, generally trying to offer help and showing quite an interest. My husband is being an absolute star too. He’s literally doing everything because I just can’t or know my limits and do only minimal amounts. I’m walking our garden daily to keep my circulation moving, tracking my distance.
With regards to personal hygiene, it’s been easier than having to keep two areas dry. Just having a dressing over my breast has made shallow bathing possible in the first week. Now my dressing is changed I’m able to shower daily which is absolutely wonderful. Just little things like that can make such a huge positive impact on your mental well being during such a awful time. I think the positive outlook really helps with my healing too.
I hope that this helps you in some way.
Its got to be the right decision for you.
Good morning and I’m sorry to hear that you are also having to make this difficult decision. I decided to use my own tissue and had a DIEP flat reconstruction in December. I had spoken to a couple of people who had implants and they had not given them a natural looking breast, they had experienced hardening, ridges, rippling. My plastic surgeon agreed that using own tissue does give a more natural looking shape, the breast will age with me (droop!) and it eliminates the need for surgery in the future as implants would probably need replacing. Although having an implant would have been a much simpler operation I saw it as short term pain for the longer term gain.
I’m now 4 months in and I’m happy with the decision I made. I was in hospital for 5 days and came home with 1 drain which I had for another 4 days. I was lucky that it was Christmas so all my family were home and able to wait on me but I was very mobile quite quickly. That said, I was very fit before having the op which obviously helped.
The breast was very hard for about 6 weeks but with daily massage it gradually softened and has now settled. There is a little ‘valley’ around the top which my surgeon has offered to fix with lipo filling and he is going to tweak my other breast slightly to make it look as pert as the reconstructed one.
I hope this helps, I remember that it felt like a mammoth decision to be making on top of everything else I’d had to deal with and I just wanted my surgeon to tell me what to do. If you need anything else please do not hesitate to ask - I’m home all the time with nothing to do but heal!
Much love and good wishes x
Hi Hope213 - thanks for sharing your info about the life of implants, I think I have read/heard that number somewhere else too. I chose an implant for the same reason as you did. I also wanted to wish you all the very best for your op on Saturday - don’t forget we are all here for you and will be right there with you holding your hand. Evie xx
I’m sorry to hear you have had 2 unsuccessful lumpectomies. This must be such a worry for you and I imagine you are feeling frustrated too. I am 43 and have recently had to make the decision regarding implants or own tissue. I was hopeful to have a lumpectomy but further tests revealed 3 lumps so it was decided a mastectomy would be the better option. My operation is on Saturday. Eeek! I have opted for the implants. From my understanding the operation is much bigger if you use fat from your tummy and so 2 surgical teams are needed. The recovery is longer and the risk from 2 procedures is greater. I did fairly quickly decide on the implants. My consultant said he would expect them to last 10-15 years. He said more women generally opt for implants. I’m guessing the operation to change them would be more straight forward than the initial mastectomy operation. I hope your operation is able to happen soon and I wish you a speedy recovery which ever route you decide. Take care, xx
Hi mumandmidge - I have just had my appointment and I asked about how long my implant might last. My consultant said there isn’t a fixed time - it depends on whether the implant hardens and is too uncomfortable to keep in place, or if it splits. Some people are apparently happy to live with a hardened implant, it seems to be very personal. Unfortunately this was a new consultant and he didn’t seem keen to go into much detail.....clearly he was running late! I need to continue my own research - I’d be interested to hear any information you find out, and will let you know if I find any more info.
I’m glad you have got an appointment with your BCN and that they are going to show you some pictures, and hope that it won’t get cancelled again. Please do feel free to ask me any further questions. Evie xx
Thank you Evie, I would be very interested in hearing what happens when you meet your surgeon. I do now have a meeting with the breast care nurses next week and they are going to show me some pictures. It’s just a difficult time with COVID as this appointment has been cancelled twice!
Thank you for sharing your experiences x
Hi mumandmidge - I had a mastectomy with immediate implant a few years ago, so I’m happy to chat about implants if I can help. One thing I don’t remember my plastic surgeon talking about was how long they last or if it will need to be replaced - so I’m afraid I can’t answer that one. I’m meeting my surgeon this week so I plan to ask that question and can let you know what he says. I was 49 when I had my surgery.
Reconstruction is a very personal decision. I chose implant because of the shorter surgery and recovery time, but I don’t believe implants look as natural as own tissue from what I have read. It doesn’t worry me as it looks fine under clothes and I’m now used to it without - I would do the same if I had to make the decision again. But it’s important that you explore the options so you can make the right choice for you.
You might want to ask your surgeon if he/she could show you photos of reconstructions they have done so you can see what yours might look like.
Please feel free to ask any questions you think I might be able to help with. I wish you all the best for your operation whatever route you choose. Evie xx
Thank you for your post.
I am sorry you haven't had any response yet. I hope that my response will help our members to find your post and share their experience and advice.
Please remember that for any clinical question our breast care nurses are here and happy to talk.
Sending you our warmest wishes,
Having had two unsuccessful lumpectomies to remove DCIS from one breast my consultant is not recommending a third try but is suggesting a mastectomy and reconstruction instead. I have a decision to make about whether I go for implants or use some tissue and fat from my tummy.
I was wondering if anyone here could share their experiences of both of these options. I’m a bit wary of the implants as I’m 47 and don’t want to have to worry about them in the future.