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Treatment

 
Treatment

Chapter: 6 - Treatment

Subchapter: 4 - Breast Reconstruction

Following a mastectomy, you have options to help you become comfortable with the changes in your body. They are all options, with benefits to each approach. What is best for you and your body may not be what is best for another woman.

If you are considering breast reconstruction, you should speak with your medical team before the mastectomy, even if you plan to have your reconstruction later on.

Reconstruction Methods
There are a few of options for breast reconstruction, and which one you use will depend on your age, body type, and treatment plan.

Implants
One possibility is to have breast implants. The breast is filled with silicone sacs of saline or silicone gel.

TRAM Flap, Latissimus Flap, or Gluteal Flap
An alternative solution is to use tissue the surgeon removes from another part of your body, like the belly (TRAM), back (latissimus), or buttocks (gluteal). The surgeon sculpts this tissue into the shape of your breast.

Surgical Summary
In addition to reconstructing the breast, the surgeon can add a nipple, change the shape or size of the reconstructed breast, and operate on the opposite breast as well for a better match. The plastic surgeon will be able to discuss with you the benefits and risks of each procedure, and help you decide what will make you feel the most natural.

Alternative to Breast Reconstruction
One alternative to breast reconstruction is a removable prosthetic breast that is worn in the bra. This will preserve the shape and look of the breast without the surgical procedures.

Summary
Whether you undergo breast reconstruction, wear a prosthetic breast, or choose to embrace the changes you have experienced, you should make a decision that is right for you. The goal is to prevent the discomfort of change, while enabling you to accept what has occurred and continue on with your life.

Related Questions

  • Thumb avatar default

    Has anyone had a wire-guided lumpectomy? Or a on Q painball after lymph node surgery?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 3 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I did just last week! It is like the biopsy. The wires were placed during a mammogram (very awkward, I agree) but the areas were numbed so the needles/ wires didn't hurt. They stayed in for the surgery that followed immediately after.

      1 comment
    • Lysa Allison Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had a wire guided lumpectomy.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Does hook wire hurt?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 3 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      To answer Vicki, a hook wire is a piece of wire that is placed in the tumor from the outside of your breast using and ultra sound, usually just before surgery, so it makes it easier for the doctor to locate the lump. I didn't have one because I had a mastectomy but I am told they are not that...

      more

      To answer Vicki, a hook wire is a piece of wire that is placed in the tumor from the outside of your breast using and ultra sound, usually just before surgery, so it makes it easier for the doctor to locate the lump. I didn't have one because I had a mastectomy but I am told they are not that painful.

      Comment
    • K G Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Are you talking about right before a lumpectomy? I had a wire placed the day of surgery, and it was similiar to the biopsy I had. It did not hurt me much.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    6years ago I had gastric band surgery.1 year after I was diagnosed with breast cancer(surgery,chemo&radiation). Now I'm having issues with lap band, that may require surgery(keyhole) Will having this surgery increase chances of cancer spreading/returning?

    Asked by anonymous

    25 days 2 answers
    • Lou Cam Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      Ask your oncologist about this, since it is a cancer concern . I would be surprised if abdominal surgery caused breast cancer to spread, but I am not a doctor. Have you heard that having other surgery can cause cancer to spread or return? I sure hope that is not the case. Hope the surgery...

      more

      Ask your oncologist about this, since it is a cancer concern . I would be surprised if abdominal surgery caused breast cancer to spread, but I am not a doctor. Have you heard that having other surgery can cause cancer to spread or return? I sure hope that is not the case. Hope the surgery resolves your problems.

      Comment
    • sharon s Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      We are not doctors.

      Cover this in your preop planning. Any surgery is generally potentially dangerous

      Comment
  • Isabelle McCoy Profile

    I have been diagnosed with Estorgen Receptor positive breast cancer...had lumpectomy

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    about 3 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Isabelle, Like Marianne, I am also sorry you joined our club. Where are you in your treatment other than having a lumpectomy? I read your bio and it said you had a large tumor, so have had surgery and have found it is estrogen +. I was also ER+ PR+ Her2-
      My internist said to me at one...

      more

      Isabelle, Like Marianne, I am also sorry you joined our club. Where are you in your treatment other than having a lumpectomy? I read your bio and it said you had a large tumor, so have had surgery and have found it is estrogen +. I was also ER+ PR+ Her2-
      My internist said to me at one point...."At least you have the good kind of breast cancer."
      Meaning it is hormone sensitive. I also see in your bio, you are living the life you are supposed to yet you still got breast cancer. One thing about this disease, it seems to not play favorites and can strike anyone. I never smoked, or drank alcohol, have no family members with breast cancer, live on a farm and work hard every day.... breast cancer at 59. You have a lot of sisters here... lots of women going through treatment, a few fossils like me, 5 years post treatment and cancer free. Please keep in touch with us. We are here to help anyone going through treatment. So sorry you joined the party.
      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Pat Lawrence Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2005

      Hi Isabelle I also had ER breast cancer. Had lumpectomy radiotherapy tamoxifen for 3 years and aromasin for 2 years. Have now been clear for 7 years altogether. Found it really helpful talking to others that had been and are going through it. Only they can understand !!! Hope all goes well with...

      more

      Hi Isabelle I also had ER breast cancer. Had lumpectomy radiotherapy tamoxifen for 3 years and aromasin for 2 years. Have now been clear for 7 years altogether. Found it really helpful talking to others that had been and are going through it. Only they can understand !!! Hope all goes well with you.

      Comment

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