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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

  • Susan Green Profile

    Has anyone had the dye for mapping out the lymph nodes before surgery had this done without a local anesthesia?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    about 5 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I must have been born with non-functioning nerves.... I, too, had the mapping done and don't remember it being anything other than a bit of stinging but tolerable.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had it done without anything - it was horrible. I remember my surgeon saying "it will feel like a bee sting" and she gave me the injection. I sat straight up and ( I can take pain) and had tears running down my cheeks and said 'oh my goodness' "NO"!!! She said 'what's wrong' I said that wasn't...

      more

      I had it done without anything - it was horrible. I remember my surgeon saying "it will feel like a bee sting" and she gave me the injection. I sat straight up and ( I can take pain) and had tears running down my cheeks and said 'oh my goodness' "NO"!!! She said 'what's wrong' I said that wasn't a dang bee sting it was a swarm or hornets and she said "GREAT ; that means it hasn't moved out of the lymph nodes"! That was true it hadn't but it was the worse feeling ever!!! I know what your talking about.

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Will you please pray for me? I'm going in for surgery in two hours. Thanks for all your support.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years 14 answers
    • View all 14 answers
    • Lisa Taylor Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      When prayers go up blessings come down! God has it all under control , Take Care!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Dear Jayme,
      I know every one of us are going to be with you in spirit, and with prayers.... supporting you and your surgeon on your path to stomp the heck out of this lousy disease. Blessings and love to you. Sharon

      Comment
  • Karen Milburn Profile

    Failed root canal - root canal and cap done 27 years ago. need surgery but in chemo. Dentist will talk to oncologist. The root is abcessed and on antibotics for 10 days. Hoping this does not delay my treatment next Thursday :(

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    about 3 years 2 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Had lots of teeth problems during chemo lost crowns, believe chemo weekends your gums. Prayers to you IJ

      Comment
    • Karen Milburn Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      sorry, 544 hours of short term disability not days

      4 comments
  • Sherry Binion Profile

    I was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma on Sep 25th. I don't see the plastic surgeon till Oct 15th and they still haven't scheduled surgery, Getting really scared this is taking too long , how long does it usually take to get to surgery?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 4 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Yashmira Devine Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Hi Sherry
      I was diagnosed 8/13 and had surgery on 9/4. In between those dates I met with breast cancer specialist twice, plastic surgeon for reconstruction, had mri, brac gene test, sought out second opinion, had more tests done in order to be cleared for surgery and saw my primary physician who...

      more

      Hi Sherry
      I was diagnosed 8/13 and had surgery on 9/4. In between those dates I met with breast cancer specialist twice, plastic surgeon for reconstruction, had mri, brac gene test, sought out second opinion, had more tests done in order to be cleared for surgery and saw my primary physician who needed to "clear" me for surgery. It sounds like a lot but you get it done. I had also hit a bit of a problem and I began to freak out because there wad a possibility that my surgery would be delayed a week. It was mentally prepared for the 4th so delaying was not on option for my brain then. Call your doctor's office and speak to her nurse practitioner she can guide you and let you know if other appointments need to be scheduled. Maybe she can help you schedule them since she's calling directly on your behave. Good luck, try and keep your spirits up. Do something fun or a few fun things in between all those appointments. My wedding anniversary was on 8/23 and we spent that day on my second opinion appointment but we had a really nice lunch that day in the city.
      Do some fun things in between and call doctor's office for guidance. Goo luck.

      2 comments
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I got the same diagnoses 1/25/2011. I approched differently I didn't consider reconstruction as part of my treatment I waited almost a year from my last radiation to start reconstruction. I wanted to get cancer out of me. I was diagnosed on a Wednesday I was in the surgeon's office on Friday...

      more

      I got the same diagnoses 1/25/2011. I approched differently I didn't consider reconstruction as part of my treatment I waited almost a year from my last radiation to start reconstruction. I wanted to get cancer out of me. I was diagnosed on a Wednesday I was in the surgeon's office on Friday first sugery was 2/9/2011. Second surgery was on the 18th to clean up margins. I ended up with a partial mastectomy right breast mastectomy. Chemo started 3/16/2011 then radiation 8/1/2011. When rads were done in Sept I got my best advise from my Rads Onc. He told me to wait a year and allow my body, mind, and heart to heal. On 7/29/12 I finally had my reconstruction. DIEP flap with a bilateral mastectomy. I had time to consider all my options, and there are many many options. This is a journey not just one battle do what is right for you and your family. God Bless you on your journey.

      Comment

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