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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

  • Patricia Stoop Profile

    Does this numbness ever go away? The numbness along with double mastectomy scars makes me feel like I've been walloped with a 2 x 4.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 4 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had my mastectomy six months ago and I would say I have about 90 percent of feeling back so it will get better with time. Good luck

      Comment
    • Debbie Carss Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Mine was 2010 and I got most feeling back on my right side some spots are still numb. I was told after two years if u don't get it back by then forget it. Not me I beg to defer I do everything I can find to get this back. Good luck never give up.

      Comment
  • anonymous Profile

    My implants were very soft after exchange surgery. Now (2weeks later) they have gotten much firmer. Is that normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 3 years 2 answers
    • Lou Cam Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I had surgery last week and notice the same thing. I will ask the doctor when I go to have the drains out, hopefully later this week. Am interested in other's experiences with this.

      3 comments
    • Lou Cam Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I've tried to comment twice, and won't post, so I'll try this. Thank you SO much for letting me know. Tuesday I will see my surgeon and ask for this It will be two weeks for me then too. Please let me know if this helps you. Lou

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    My mom sched for bilateral mastectomy this wk. expander will be put in. Unclear if implant or diep flap is at same time. me and my aunt her for 1st wk. Aunt only 2nd wk. anyone have home health aide referrals for chicago area/orland park?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    almost 2 years 2 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had a double mastectomy with expanders in March. I needed help for the 1st 2 weeks after that I was good. My mom came for 2 weeks & I felt bad that I didn't need her help but it was nice to have company. Once u get the drains removed which takes a week it gets a little easier. I had a lot of...

      more

      I had a double mastectomy with expanders in March. I needed help for the 1st 2 weeks after that I was good. My mom came for 2 weeks & I felt bad that I didn't need her help but it was nice to have company. Once u get the drains removed which takes a week it gets a little easier. I had a lot of pain the 1st 3 days but it was bearable. Couldn't sleep laying flat had to sit propped on pillows & put them under your arms for elevation. These tips the ladies on this site gave me & they were right. My nurse taught me great excercises to stretch muscle over expander. Prayers

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      From my understanding if she is having expanders put in the implant or flap surgery will be later as the expanders make the area large enough for whatever type of reconstruction she is having.

      Comment
  • frances pensato Profile

    I had the mastectomy 4 weeks ago. I was told that they usually wait 4 weeks after surgery to start the chemo. How long did you wait for your chemo after surgery?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 4 years 3 answers
    • Lisa Lefeber Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I had my Mastectomy on October 28 and started chemo December 8th - so mine was about 5 weeks but that was only because I asked to push it back a week otherwise I would've had chemo the week of Christmas and I really didn't want that

      Comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Frances, 4 weeks is within the usual time period to begin chemo after your mastectomy. Some women have their chemo treatments before their mastectomy. It depends greatly on their stage of cancer & size of tumor. I had chemo before my mastectomy. Then 3 weeks after my mastectomy I had to begin...

      more

      Hi Frances, 4 weeks is within the usual time period to begin chemo after your mastectomy. Some women have their chemo treatments before their mastectomy. It depends greatly on their stage of cancer & size of tumor. I had chemo before my mastectomy. Then 3 weeks after my mastectomy I had to begin chemo again with 2 new drugs due to extensive lymph node involvement. 4 weeks is a good time period to give your body a chance to rest & heal. :).

      Comment

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