• Recent posts about Breast reconstruction. Did you get adequate counseling before surgery? What can you share to help those considering it?

    Asked by MsScribe on Wednesday, January 2, 2013

    Recent posts about Breast reconstruction. Did you get adequate counseling before surgery? What can you share to help those considering it?

    Lets tell others what we wish we we had known when we made the decision. Do you like the results? Are they what you expected? What questions should we ask our surgeons?

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • karen1956's Avatar

      My PS only did expander/implants....I looked into lat flap, but was scared off by the invasive and long surgery and additional recovery.....I pretty much rushed through the whole thing from Dx to Tx...I had my bilat 26 days after Dx.....I am content with the results....I had rads so it made recon more difficult.....but in clothes, I look pretty normal....like a small chested woman. if I had to do it over, I probably would have done the same surgery (or no recon), but I would not have done any of the other procedures. I have small silicone impants....but I didn't do the "finishing touches".....so my chest looks more like two hamburger buns than boobs, but like I said, dressed I look good. The biggest piece of advice I have is to have confidence in your PS and whatever procedure you go with, make sure the PS has done many, many procedures.....

      almost 4 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      Everything happened in a rush. I was given 2 choices, one which proved unviable once I opted for a double mastectomy. Frankly, there's not a lot of choice.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      I write a blog about my experiences inclduing pictures of my reconstruction. I did not have counseling per se, but my PS was a friend from elementary school so he made sure I knew what to expect and what my results would be.

      almost 4 years ago
    • polgara's Avatar

      I have not yet had recon but had a consult with ps for an hour abd ahalf she was very through in explaining my options but I already knew I did not want implants. She took the time to explain in detail the d flap and showed me pictures if before and after of prev patients. She even asked if I wanted to talk to a prev patient who lives in the same town as I do. So I guess it deoends on your ps. If you have any doubts, then I would get a second cknsult with someone else. Best of luck to you. Also do you go yo any group meetings there's one run by a social worker from the hospital maybe there is something simular in yours?

      almost 4 years ago
    • speedy's Avatar

      I was diagnosed in February 2012, my surgery was not until April 2012. I must have had the best doctors. My breast surgeon sent me to the plastic surgeon she works with. He talked to me and my husband for a long time about the different options I have. Then I talked with the oncologist and then decided together with my husband and surgeon. I had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. Ask your doctor a lot of questions about the different surgeries. Make a list of questions you want to ask. Best of luck to you.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Julie99's Avatar

      I did a lot of research on my own online (breastcancer.org) for information before I made a decision of mastectomy. With that information, I already was aware that I would not be able to have a flat reconstruction and my only real option would be implants. My surgical oncologist said she felt the same way but I would need to discuss it in detail with the plastic surgeon.
      I am (or was) a very athletic person with not too much body fat. I'm having a bilateral mastectomy in 5 days. The PS said I wouldn't have enough tissue to make one breast, forget about two.
      I also knew that I would want immediate reconstruction. I want something there for me.
      My surgical oncologist said if it was her sister she would send them to this PS who was incredible to me. We saw so many pictures to help with decisions, plus spent over an hour in the office for that initial consultation. I feel extremely comfortable with my decisions. I will need a 2nd surgery for the swap out from the expanders to perm implants which will be done after chemo, most likely in June or July. Apx 3 months later she will shape nipples on. Apx 3 months after that I'll get my areola tattoos. LONG process, but the right one for me.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Momofivedcisbc's Avatar

      When I was initially diagnosed with dcis w/comedo necrosis my first breast surgeon recommended biopsy. When confirmed we did lumpectomy. Could not find dcis, marker had moved. First breast surgeon recommended lumpectomy #2. I joined our local cancer support group at hospital and young survivors breast cancer group @ Breast Cancer Options. Did not get clear margins. Had lumpectomy #3. Did not get large margins but recommended radiation with extra boost and tamoxifen. Signed up to meet with Social Worker with breast cancer experience one on one. Tried to get 2nd opinion with two different surgeons. Lots of paperwork. I went for a 2nd opinion in NY city over 1 1/2 away. He recommended at least one mastectomy. 1. I was young 2. I had dense breasts 3. I had 4 surgical procedures already lots of scar tissue difficult to detect reoccurrence 5 had comedo necrosis. Met with plastic surgeon and set a date for double MX. Then the other breast surgeon called could see me locally 45 min away. She confirmed additional reexcision is necessary did not recommend radiation until there were clear margins. She felt MRI still showed additional dcis/cancer. Two doctors agreed. My insurance only covered surgery w/DIEP flap procedure in NYC. Went to city still had dcis in 7 out of 33 segrments. Removed both breasts, fibroidadenoma in other breast. DIEP surgery was long but my body is healed after three months. Feels natural. Just had nipple reconstruction Phase 2. Nipple tattooing next in 3 months. I would definitely recommend and do all procedures again. I had confidence in all 3 breast surgeons. I trust my plastic surgeon. All nurses, drs and anesthesiologists extremely compassionate, caring and great educators and counselors. I would talk with anyone about my experience. I get physical therapy and the psychological counseling that I get to talk through feelings and decision making is valuable. This disease is not just physical it affects our whole body, mind, soul and body centers. I live every day in the moment and I am grateful for every breast navigator, nurse, counselor and volunteer I have spoke to. The greatest help comes from other non-judgemental breast cancer survivors. Thanks.

      almost 4 years ago

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