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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

  • Debbie Carss Profile

    I had a double mastectomy on December 6th of last year. Am now looking at a breast reconstruction. I had a big infection on one side and it has left me with some scars. Will this be a problem when/if I get a reconstruction?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 3 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Debbie Carss Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I would try just about any thing

      Comment
    • Debbie Carss Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thank u so much. This has worried me since I had an infection for 3 months.

      Comment
  • Linda Hubbard Profile

    Should I have had a mastectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    almost 2 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Only you can answer that. Prayers to you.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I chose not too have one, Where my lump was at the doctor didn't recommend me too have one, If I did I would have, It's people who have a mastectomy and still come back on the other side, So go with your first mind and heart.

      Comment
  • Conny Kutzner Profile

    The masectomy I had was deep, left me with a deep concaved chest. Over the last few days it has suddenly filled out....up anyone else had this?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    7 months 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Me too but it stayed that way. It never hurts to check with your surgeon as it sounds like swelling to me.

      1 comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Do you still have drainage tubes in? If not it could be a seroma which you don't want to mess with as it can become infected. If it is indeed a seroma and you don't have your drainage tubes any longer they can use a needle and syringe and take it off that way. See your surgeon and see what...

      more

      Do you still have drainage tubes in? If not it could be a seroma which you don't want to mess with as it can become infected. If it is indeed a seroma and you don't have your drainage tubes any longer they can use a needle and syringe and take it off that way. See your surgeon and see what they say.

      2 comments
  • Karen Milburn Profile

    Anyone have dx of triple negative , brca1/2 neg , did chemo first and then had surgery? who did you decide what type of surgery? what did you consider regarding why to decide. chemo ends 2/27 and surgeon visit 2/21.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    10 months 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Fats ferreira Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      Mom was diagnosed with stage 1 tnbc...September 2012... she had lumpectomy, chemo then rads... what I've learnt is that everyone is different... this forum is great and has an awesome bunch of ladies who were my angels when my mom was diagnosed.. but check tnbc foundation. .. everyone there was...

      more

      Mom was diagnosed with stage 1 tnbc...September 2012... she had lumpectomy, chemo then rads... what I've learnt is that everyone is different... this forum is great and has an awesome bunch of ladies who were my angels when my mom was diagnosed.. but check tnbc foundation. .. everyone there was diagnosed tnbc... all the best with the remainder of your treatment... and decisions that have to be made.... God Bless

      Comment
    • Brandi Mixon Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I was diagnosed with TNBC July 2012. After being given all my options and discussing with my husband, I choose to have a double mastectomy followed by 6 rounds of TAC chemo. Because I chose the BMX, I did not have to have radiation. Last summer I had expanders placed to begin the reconstruction...

      more

      I was diagnosed with TNBC July 2012. After being given all my options and discussing with my husband, I choose to have a double mastectomy followed by 6 rounds of TAC chemo. Because I chose the BMX, I did not have to have radiation. Last summer I had expanders placed to begin the reconstruction process and had my exchange surgery 12/26/13. The biggest part of my decision was to get rid of everything that could host the cancer if it decided to come back. I am very happy with my decision.

      We are all so different and there are so many options out there, we just have to weigh all the options presented to us and talk with those closest to us to find what option suits us best. You will get through this!! Hang in there!!! God bless you!!

      Comment

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