• Questions about breast reconstruction

    Asked by laurie2025 on Thursday, March 7, 2013

    Questions about breast reconstruction

    I have stage 3 breast cancer, my turmor is rather large so a lumpectomy is most likely out of the question for me. I am trying (with the help of my surgeon) to make a decision about removing the cancerous breast only or both, and am looking for information on reconstruction. If anyone can point me to some viable links, or provide some information, I am especially interested in the diep flap, but am concerned about it "taking". Thanks very much!!

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I had both breasts removed and did not have any cosmetic reconstruction although I had to have a diep flap because there was not enough skin left after my mastectomy to close the wound.

      The reason I chose a bilateral mastectomy was symmetry. I didn't want to have to try to match the removed breast to the remaining breast. As it turns out, since I had to have the diep flap on one side, I still don't have that symmetry, but I still prefer that over full reconstruction.

      Even without reconstruction, I had 5 surgeries to remove the cancer with clean margins and to close the wound. The last surgery, which was the flap transplant was by far the longest and most complicated. The primary concern is being able to establish a new blood supply to the transplanted flap so the transplanted tissue does not die. Fortunately, mine did take and has healed quite nicely.

      I had considered at one point of either having the flap removed or getting a cosmetic flap for the other side, but at this point, I am use to the way it is and really can't see going through more surgery just for that. .

      over 3 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I had bilat......with TE place at the time of bilat and then eventually silicone implants....both surgeons I interviewed recommended a bilat and since it was a question near the top of my list, I was happy to do the bilat....I'm 7 years out since Dx and bilat....DIEP wasn't presented as an option for me.....I'm happy with the implants..in clothes I look like a small chested woman...the best complimet I received from a gf was that I looked like me before all this!!!! All the best to you...

      over 3 years ago
    • alliek78's Avatar

      I too had stage 3 BC at the age of 33- I chose to have both removed. I had the expanders in first b/c I had to go thru 7 weeks of radiation. I chose to have both removed b/c I didn't want to have to go thru the fight again if it were to come back. So I lowered the risk.... I just used the skin that was there and the expanders stretched out the skin till I hit the max (800 cc I think??). I had the expanders switched to silicone and am very pleased with my decision. At first thou I was not, I wouldn't look down and was falling into depression. I had to snap out of that as that is not me...
      Before I decided I asked a lot of woman and even my Dr. and Nurses. The few woman I met that had only one removed ALL said they wished they did both... that right there was enough for me as they were all much older than I.
      Good Luck on your decision and if you have any questions Please don't hesitate to ask (=

      over 3 years ago
    • MarS676's Avatar

      I chose to have a BMX with immediate DIEP Flap reconstruction. Due to several factors I was unable to have both surgeries at once and had the BMX with TE in December and last Tuesday had the DIEP Flap. Having had the experience of TE which were inflated several times before surgery I have to say I hated them, they felt like rocks! My PS tells me that if I hadn't decided on DIEP Flap it would have taken months to get my skin expanded enough to achieve the size I wanted. Recovery from DIEP Flap has not been that bad and my breasts feel real! They don't quite look real yet but it's only been 12 days since surgery. I expect that with time they will look great.

      over 3 years ago

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