• I had a unilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction in June. How can you tell when the temporary implant fills are enough?

    Asked by oskygirl on Monday, September 10, 2012

    I had a unilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction in June. How can you tell when the temporary implant fills are enough?

    Once the temporary implant is taken out and the permanent one put in, how much smaller will the breast be? Does it shrink 10 - 20% or stay the same?

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • KarenG_WN's Avatar

      Hello, I don't have the answer to your question, but I thought it might help to read through some other conversations about reconstruction: https://www.whatnext.com/questions?utf8=✓&question_query=reconstruction&commit=Search

      over 8 years ago
    • ruthieq's Avatar

      You can ask your PS about it, and about what size you were expecting to be. It may depend on what size the other breast is and what he/she might want to do to perk up the remaining side. (If that hasn't been done already or needs it). IE you won't be a size B if the natural side is a D. The PS will try and match the breasts to make you more natural all around. This may take several fills as the skin needs to be stretched to be able to insert the form, and look natural around it. It also depends on how willing the skin is to be stretched. If your skin is still tender say after a couple years after radiation, then it may take longer also. Talk with your PS (plastic surgeon) about it.

      over 8 years ago
    • jamrck's Avatar

      I had a bilateral so didn't have to worry about matching, but I would say I saw less than 10% difference between the expander and the implant.

      over 8 years ago
    • Laurie's Avatar

      1. How big do you want to be (there are limits, however)
      2. Have you expanded enough to do it (realizing the permanent one won't be as flat or as big around as the expander--it may be the same cc, but the shape is more rounded and more natural looking---and isn't as ridiculously hard as the expanders, by the way)
      3. They guesstimate about the size you want to be and pick an expander that fits. That is, if you are a small women with small breasts, they aren't going to put an 800 cc exapnder in you (which, by the way, they often overfill to stretch you more than needed for the permanent one to give them some room to work with). Then, at replacement time, they pull a size or 2 that might work and put 1 in. If doesn't look right, change to another during surgery.

      Hence, the ART part of plastic surgery. Being able to look at someone and figure out about what size to use to balance them, where to put it, etc.

      over 8 years ago

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