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    Moneysavingmom asked a questionBreast Cancer

    My Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer last week. She needs a mast and reconst. Deciding between standard with expander or trans flap?

    7 answers
    • hikerchick's Avatar

      I chose a double mastectomy without any reconstruction even though I was only 49 and had been a D cup. I have no regrets. I did not want any further surgeries or opportunities for complications, plus I knew I would likely feel like a reconstructed breast was foreign and not be comfortable with it anyway, because I'm athletic and feel close to my body and parts, if that makes any sense. To me, the normal consequence of scars is easier to accept than a breast that isn't like mine was. I was even uncomfortable with results after I had a lumpectomy (before I knew I had additional problems) so it was apparent I'm picky. Plus, I have yet to speak with a woman who has had reconstruction and not had any complications. That's not to say that they're not happy with having chosen reconstruction, just that it can be suprisingly complicated.

      almost 9 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Just one other thing to add......you said "She needs a mast and reconst". Why does she need reconstruction? Is it cosmetic or medically necessary? If it cosmetic, then not having reconstruction is an option that should also be considered. Don't let the surgeon push her into making a snap decision. She can decline reconstruction now and still opt for it anywhere down the road.

      almost 9 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      HOLD ON! Why the hurry to decide? TRAM using stomach muscle is now being phased out. I am facing a mastectomy myself, having already had radiation on my right breast, only to find out on Friday that I now have IDC on the same breast--9 years later! I have done my research and don't like the idea of implants--fear of rejection, leakage, etc.--would much prefer using my stomach fat (YES!) and a DIEP to make my perfect new boobies. Either DIEP or that fat injection technique that takes months--even though it might take me a while to find a doc who can perform that. I say, don't let anyone tell you what to do. Get exactly what you want--you've suffered enough with cancer--don't quickly make this decision and then have regrets! Good luck & be strong!

      almost 9 years ago
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    Moneysavingmom posted an update

    My 66-year-old Mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer last week. This week we found out that she needs a mastectomy (right breast). This would be bad enough but 5 months ago my 5-year-old nephew (her grandson) was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma (bone cancer). My family has been shaken to it's core dealing with my nephew and now with my Mother. Yesterday we met with a plastic surgeon. He wants us to make our decision by Monday to get her scheduled for her mastectomy. The choices he gave us were the standard reconstruction with the expander or a trans flap where they do a tummy tuck. I was wondering if anyone could share any advice with me. It is one thing to read about the procedures and talk to the Doctors but it would be better if I can hear from real people who have been there and understand what we are going through. Thank you.

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    • Scheryl's Avatar

      I agree with some of the info posted and also think it is awful to make this kind of decision in such a short time. I chose not to have reconstruction but I had some time to think about it. Diagnosis in last July 2011 and surgery first of March 2012. Once you get past the medical implications, this become a very personal decision that only the individual can fully determine. I do think your mother should ask about making this decision later if it does not remove any of her options. I made my decision based on following: (1) I was 66 and time of diagnosis and 67 at surgery. Symetry would have been an issue if I did not have double. I also decided at same time to have double due to aggresive nature of this type, smytry issues, and I did not want to start over with the same procedures in a few months or years; (2 My husband and I agreed that we wanted to do what what most expedient to my recovery. My surgeon told me that the door was not closed to reconstruction following mastectomy. We did not go into details as my decision was made so I don't know if some of the options available later would be different or fewer than immediate choices. Of my group of "breast friends", I am the only one who did not have reconstruction. However, they are all younger than I (early 30's to early 50's), and I would probably have made the decision for reconstruction if I were younger. All of them have some issues (all different), but all of them feel the issues are worth the effort - thus reinforcing the personal nature of the decision. I am reminded each night when I undress and take off bra and prosthisis and see flat chest and scars and they are reminded as they deal with their issues. I am very happy with my decision and still do not plan to have a later reconstruction. They are happy with their decision. Sorry, but this really becomes a "non-answer" to your question because I don't think one answer fits all. The bad part for your mother is not being given enough time to think it through to determine what is best for HER. I had time to think while completing chemo and feel totally comfortable with my decision for me. Will be thinking about your mother as she starts the process.

      almost 9 years ago
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