• Reconstruction.

    Asked by Selene on Saturday, September 1, 2018

    Reconstruction.

    Please share pros and cons of breast reconstruction.

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • suz55's Avatar
      suz55

      I had the TRAM free flap reconstruction on my left breast in 2013, a year after my mastectomy and 6 months after my last chemo treatment. The plastic surgeon wasn't available at the time of my mastectomy surgery, and I didn't want to delay having that tumor removed! So I took my time deciding whether to even go through another surgery. But as the end of the year approached, I decided to go ahead because I had already met my deductible. I thought I would have an implant because it seemed easier for recovery, but after meeting with the surgeon, chose the TRAM. The pros: very realistic, it's my own tissue, and I have a flatter stomach where they removed my fat and tissue. The cons: very long surgery, very long recovery, can be very painful. The incision across my abdomen is from side to side, and it took months to recover those muscles. I was retired, so didn't have to work. I believe the DIEP flap is the improved version. Just make sure your surgeon has lots of experience and a good success rate if you choose reconstruction. Mine was excellent, and I am very pleased with mine. And I have many friends who just said no, no more surgery, and are very happy with that decision! Best wishes. I know it's tough deciding what to do!

      over 1 year ago
    • Helayne411's Avatar
      Helayne411

      I had DIEP flap reconstruction at the time of mastectomy. It was an eight hour surgery. The worst part was recovering from anesthesia. I never had unmanageable pain and was thrilled to leave the hospital with breasts formed with my own tissue. My surgery was in June. I made a full recovery within 8 weeks. I was well enough to begin light workouts 6 weeks post surgery. Bottom line-I look and feel awesome. Yes I have a scar across my lower abdomen but next summer I plan to wear a two piece bathing suit to celebrate my new body and I know the scar will be well below that. I have a very positive mental and emotional outlook because it was important to me to not lose my breasts. Everyone is different. You’ll make the right decision. BTW I’m also undergoing chemo at the moment and my positive attitude helps with that as well. Good luck with your decision.

      over 1 year ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Here are over 1400 conversations or comments about "reconstruction". http://bit.ly/2wC0Ucq

      over 1 year ago
    • Songwriter's Avatar
      Songwriter

      This just some dumb male's perspective about this. I'd say Never Ever do it because men are fixated and Obsessed over Breasts. NEVER....When a friend many years ago was diagnosed with BC she worried and stressed over how men would react. She was 55 and divorced at the time. I express myself better with my songs so I wrote her one called "BREAST CANCER, WOMEN AND THE MEN WHO LOVE THEM....You can find it on my Barry Butler YouTube page....NEVER....

      over 1 year ago
    • MLT's Avatar
      MLT

      I tried the unilateral Mx for a few months before deciding to have reconstruction. I didn't like wearing a prosthesis. I investigated the different types of recon and knew I didnt want implants due to radiation. I was pretty sure I wanted a prophylactic Mx on the other side and DIEP flaps. I saw 3 plastic surgeons, prayed about it, and made my decision. My PS had a 99% success rate. It was a long surgery and recovery, but I did well. I have been told by my other Drs and nurses thst my PS did an excellent job. I do not have a flat belly, the fascia seperated. Had to have repair done there.
      Overall I am very pleased with my breasts. I have no desire to have nipples.
      I had the surgery for me, not anyone else.
      Wish you the best in making your decision.

      over 1 year ago
    • Sheryl88's Avatar
      Sheryl88

      I had a bilateral mx with expanders in 2016. Chemo then radiation. Had implants done in 2017. Chose implants over the flap surgeries because it’s a much shorter surgery and recovery is much easier. I am happy with the results.

      over 1 year ago
    • Judytjab's Avatar
      Judytjab

      I had a bilateral mastectomy with expanders in 2014. I had the implant exchange 6 months later. Because of an old gallbladder scar on my stomach, I wasn’t a candidate for the diep surgery. Everything was fairly easy and I am very happy with the results. I also opted to get the 3D tattoos.
      You have to do what’s comfortable for you.

      over 1 year ago
    • Mamaswagon's Avatar
      Mamaswagon

      I am undergoing reconstruction right now. I had immediate reconstruction at the time of my bilateral mastectomy which was 4 weeks ago. The best procedure of reconstruction is going to be different for each person and their cancer treatment. I would consult with a really good plastic surgeon that specializes in reconstruction. Everyone acted like reconstruction was getting a free boob lift it's clearly not. My surgeons worked in tandem in the operating room. I was unable to save my nipples and areolas but was able to save skin. He used cadaver skin sutured to my chest wall to make a pocket to hold the tissue expander and later the implants. I did not opt for reconstruction for my husband, I am doing it for me. It helped me wake up from the mastectomy and have a little XXX on my chest. I had large breasts they removed 2300 cc of tissue almost 5 lbs. So the 600cc with 300cc in each expander was far less but something. 4 weeks later I have regained my range of motion, I'm sleeping in my bed, I still cant lift over 5 lbs and have some restrictions but I'm getting back to a little gardening and cooking which I love. The expanders are uncomfortable. The steri strips and skin glue is coming off now and the suture lines aren't as bad as I thought they would be even at this point. The surgeon did an upside down T cut so vvb knce I get my 3d tattoos you wont see any scars they will all be hidden in the crease under my breasts. But you have to go into it knowing it's a 6 to 12 month process.

      over 1 year ago
    • akwendi's Avatar
      akwendi

      In 2017, I had bilateral mastectomy, expanders about 8 weeks later, then implants about 6 months after that. I will say that the expanders were the downside. The expansion process is very uncomfortable. They are hard. But the surgery when they put in the implants was easy and you get immediate relief. I've been happy with the results. Now I say #perkyforlife!! They are most definitely for me. My husband was fine either way. I have opted not to do the nipple reconstruction and plan on getting the 3D tattoos done soon. Best of luck.

      over 1 year ago
    • gpgirl70's Avatar
      gpgirl70

      I could not do reconstruction at the time of my mastectomy due to significant lymph node involvement. At the time, I told my surgeon to give me the "cleanest" result surgically. I didn't want a bunch of extra skin or flaps. I had larger than average breasts and really loved them. It took me awhile to get used to not having breasts. I did ask my surgeon about the various reconstruction procedures at one of my follow up appointments and just decided that wasn't for me at the time. Now three years later, I'm not even close to thinking about reconstruction. I just go flat and it is kinda fabulous. I occasionally wear prostheses but less and less as time goes by. I did get a full chest tattoo of birds and flowers which I just love looking at. My chest is so numb that the tattoo only hurt in a few places. I don't know anyone in my area or breast cancer social circle who has not had reconstruction and I know some people think I'm a freak or trying to prove some kind of point. Which is definitely not me. I just like not having weights on my chest and I hate having surgery. I will say that everyone I know who has had reconstruction is very happy. The only complaints I heard were about expanders and that is temporary.

      over 1 year ago

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