• PSL's Avatar

    Reconstruction or not?

    Asked by PSL on Friday, March 20, 2015

    Reconstruction or not?

    I am needing to decide what I want to do after having a bilateral mastectomy not sure about doing the reconstruction which would be with the implants or just wearing a bra with the inserts!? Anyone wear the bras and how do they stay in place? what if you stretch and your bra moves with your fake boobs?? this is what I am wondering how they fit? any info on reconstruction also anyone have any problems with that also? Thanks!

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • Penny82's Avatar

      As a radiation therapist, if you still need radiation I would recommend waiting on reconstruction until after your treatment is finished. The expanders can make treatment uncomfortable and they make tumor bed treatment impossible.

      over 4 years ago
    • bunny2's Avatar

      I had bilateral mastectomy 2 years ago followed by radiation. I opted for no reconstruction. I am still asked about it at every check up. I wear tight fitting cami's everyday and am very happy and comfortable with that also lots of scarves. I have worn the bra with inserts only two times. No sifting I have a few dresses that only look good with breasts other wise I am very comfortable not having breasts, scarves are great as a cover up. I just could not handle the thought of more surgery. I love not having to worry about wearing a bra.

      over 4 years ago
    • Judytjab's Avatar

      I had bilateral mastectomy in August 2014 with tissue expanders. I did not have radiation or chemo so that wasn't an issue for me. I went once a week for fills where my PS only injected 60ccs of saline so it wasn't ever painful....just a little achy for 24 hrs. And I didn't feel anything until the 4th fill. I had my exchange surgery to implants in January and am very happy with the results. Good luck with all your decisions.

      over 4 years ago
    • Mandegirl's Avatar

      I had the diepp flap surgery last August. by having the tummy tuck you are repositioning parts of your own body and only had the surgery recovery. My breasts look and feel normal.

      over 4 years ago
    • baridirects' Avatar

      When I had my double mastectomy in April of 2013, I made a decision not to have reconstruction, mainly because I did not have health insurance at the time, and didn't want to pay out of my pocket for yet more surgery, nor did I want to go through the additional recovery time. Because the BC did not involve the skin, my surgeon was able to leave enough so that I could pursue reconstruction in the future if I felt it was important. I now have several pairs of prosthetics - the regular ones I was fitted with, which look perfectly natural, a lighter pair suitable for when I go swimming and/or take water aerobics classes, several pairs of the post-surgical puffs, which work when it's really hot in the summer...I even have a knitted pair, which are really lightweight and comfortable, although not as big as perhaps I'd like them. They all give me a natural contour, and I've never had a problem with them shifting during wear. To be honest, I often simply go without - my body image had never really been dependent on my breasts, and I'm entirely comfortable either way - I guess that's fairly consistent with the fact that when I lost my hair due to chemo, I never felt it necessary to wear a wig. I will say that it certainly makes a difference how certain clothes fit whether or not I wear my prosthetics, so I do take that into account, especially when clothes shopping.


      over 4 years ago
    • MoveIt2012's Avatar

      I did not have a bilateral and have been using the foam form as I decided to wait until after radiation to be fitted for prosthetics. I'm still trying to make the decision regarding reconstruction and have decided that until I'm absolutely sure that more procedures will improve my comfort level I don't need to go there. Honestly, at this point in time, I would prefer to remove the other breast just to even things out but I suspect that I will have a better idea after this summer. Of course, it will depend on the outcome of scans that I had this week and (hopefully) after completion of radiation. However, I am single and have been so for some time-that probably impacts my decision too. Best of luck to you as you go through surgery and recovery.

      over 4 years ago
    • Ratbike's Avatar

      I opted for no reconstruction. Wasn't up for the additional surgery and discomfort involved. I was quite large-breasted, and I love the new flat-chested me! A properly fitted mastectomy bra with prosthetics (now a perky B cup) is very comfortable, and some clothes do look better with boobs. But mostly I go braless. My BMX was 9 months ago.
      The post-surgery camisole was fine for the first weeks when I needed the compression it offers, but the "puffs" wouldn't work right, and the cami would ride up until they were under my chin! LOL! A friend has had a single MX, was playing cards with friends, and discovered her prosthetic perched on her shoulder. She has now learned how to avoid further "escapes".
      So it's up to you to discover what works for YOU. Most importantly, it needs to be what is comfortable and makes you feel confident.

      over 4 years ago
    • PinkyPromise's Avatar

      At 42, I elected to have reconstruction after my double mastectomy. I am fairly thin, so I wasn't a candidate for using my own tissue in the surgery; I have tissue expanders. I don't regret my decision, but I will say that the whole experience has been far more uncomfortable than I expected. I can feel the expanders ALWAYS, and when the PS (who is excellent) injects 50 cc of saline, I get very sore for a few days. In my case (again, I have a small frame), the expanders are pushing inward as much as they push outward.
      If I had it to do over again, I would still choose reconstruction, but I do wish I'd had a better idea of what to expect. Talk to the PS about how your frame will impact your options, and factor in lymph node removal, which may cause tightness on that side.
      Good luck with everything!

      over 4 years ago
    • penny364's Avatar

      I had a bilateral mastectomy in July 2013, with no reconstruction. In Sept. I was fitted for a mastectomy bra and got some silicon forms. They are fairly heavy, although they are supposedly lighter than some. Once I put them on I don't notice the weight, however. The mastectomy bras are snug at the band in order to not ride up. Most of the time I wear a stretchy regular bra without underwires or formed cups, and some foam forms I found on the Internet. I removed the slick covers and just wear the foam against my skin and against the bra. They don't slide around at all this way and are very comfortable. I wash them every couple of days. For swimming, I wear two scrunchy nylon puffs that you can find at the dollar store or in any bath dept. I cut them down a bit to my size and put them in the formed cup area of any swim suit, or into the pockets of a mastectomy suit. Hope this information helps you to feel confident that if you don't get reconstruction, the forms are a good way to maintain your appearance. When I'm dressed, nobody would know I have had the surgery. Good luck making this decision. I know it's a really difficult time and I hope you get enough information to know what will be right for you!

      over 4 years ago
    • Suehendogirl's Avatar

      Like pinky promise, I had double mastectomy with reconstruction. My expanders also hurt like XXX, but they come out in May and I can't wait. Even with the pain I am glad I had the surgery. Again a very personal decision and whatever you decide go all in. No regrets! Love your body, just get rid of the nasty cancer. Best wishes and hugs go out to all.

      over 4 years ago
    • Kathy1's Avatar

      Due to health issues I was not a candidate for reconstruction. Initially I had a very difficult time dealing with the thought I couldn't have the surgery. I am large busted and they removed only my right breast. About a month and a half after my surgery I was fitted with a silicon gel prosetic and bras. You can't tell! Its amazing! The bras have a pocket and you insert yur prosetic into it. The bra has a banding that keeps it in place. You wear the bra slightly lower than a regular bra. It is not hot. As a matter of fact the majority of time I don't even know I have it on. The silicone gives it a real appearance. I am much happier than I ever thought I'd be but you need to explore all options and decide what is best for you. Just wanted to share my experience. Best of everything!

      over 4 years ago
    • ld_105's Avatar

      I have an implant and had reconstruction on the opposing breast. After a year and a half I am glad that I decided to have both done. The tissue expander was placed right after the mastectomy so I came out with a breast. After I started taking an aromatase inhibitor my remaining breast dropped even more so a reduction was needed to even out the two. The exchange surgery was pretty easy and took place five months after the mastectomy but could have been done sooner but I needed to wait for summer vacation. Overall, I would recommend reconstruction but it depends on your wants and needs.take care.

      over 4 years ago
    • mofields' Avatar

      I had a single mastectomy with a tissue expander, followed by radiation. Six months later had my implant put in. Inbetween I went to a store that specializes with mastectomy bra fitting - best thing I ever did. Got 4 bras and a silicone prosthesis (all paid by my insurance). They fit great and helped me look symmetrical. As I am still recovering from my implant surgery, I still wear the mastectomy bra with the insert until the implant settles into its place (which my plastic surgeon said could take up to a year).

      over 4 years ago

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