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.
There are a few of options for breast reconstruction, and which one you use will depend on your age, body type, and treatment plan.
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.
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.
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.
Asked by anonymousLearning 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 luckComment 0
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 0
Asked by anonymousStage 1 Patient
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 0
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. LouComment 0
Asked by anonymousFamily Member or Loved One
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...
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
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 0
Asked by anonymousLearning About Breast Cancer
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 thatComment 2
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...
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. :).
“Inspire hope by becoming an advocate for breast cancer prevention.”spread the word