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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

  • Rachelle W Profile

    What to expect after bilateral mastectomy? Would really like to hear others experience. My surgery is scheduled for 8/27.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2014
    over 1 year 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Mandana K. Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had bilateral mastectomy near 6 months ago,I myself wanted it,I had only one darn ,I was not uncomfortable with it.I had pain but it was tolerable,after 3-4 days I could walking alone.After one week I could going to bath (my husband helped me).I remember I went to Bone Scan Center and CT Scan...

      more

      I had bilateral mastectomy near 6 months ago,I myself wanted it,I had only one darn ,I was not uncomfortable with it.I had pain but it was tolerable,after 3-4 days I could walking alone.After one week I could going to bath (my husband helped me).I remember I went to Bone Scan Center and CT Scan after 2 weeks but at that time I walked slowly and I could not elevate my shoulders.After one months I was OK.I myself went for chemotherapy .It is not so bad u can tolerate ,but someone should help u for near 2 weeks.Take care

      1 comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. The reconstruction is what made it so painful. Stayed in hospital overnight & my hospital was awesome. I had 1 drain on each side & hospital gave me 2 new bras that held them. They were in for a week or until the fluid drains to 5cc for...

      more

      I had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. The reconstruction is what made it so painful. Stayed in hospital overnight & my hospital was awesome. I had 1 drain on each side & hospital gave me 2 new bras that held them. They were in for a week or until the fluid drains to 5cc for whole days time. It was painless to remove them. My husband cleaned & measured fluids. Nurse taught great excercises to stretch muscles which helped tremendously. I used pain Meds for 1 week. It was tough looking in mirror @ first but after a few days I embraced my new look & kept it moving. My husbands encouragement & kindness made it easy. I wasn't able to raise my arms so hubby had to bathe me, cook, clean & everything in between. Love him
      I was put on Tamoxifen & had no side effects. Once pain subsides & u adjust to your new look you'll be fine. PRAYERS TOO YOU

      7 comments
  • Sharon Danielson Profile

    Craig Holder.... How is your wife doing following her surgery? Her ~SISTER'S~ would like to know.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2007
    over 3 years 2 answers
    • Rita Jo Hayes Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      I have been wondering too. Prayers and blessings being sent your way.

      Comment
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Praying for you both!

      Comment
  • Tangee Temple Profile

    My aunt died with breast cancer during surgery - why?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 4 years Answer
  • christina cappa Profile

    If diagnosed with Stage 1 cancer, what kind of surgery should I expect?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 3 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Yashmira Devine Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Hi Christina,
      I was diagnosed in August, I had a bilateral mastectomy, no chemo, no rads, lymph nodes were negative, and have been recommended for tamoxifen for 5 years. Sharon is right, everyone is different so your treatment recommendations will be different.
      Good luck to you and remember to...

      more

      Hi Christina,
      I was diagnosed in August, I had a bilateral mastectomy, no chemo, no rads, lymph nodes were negative, and have been recommended for tamoxifen for 5 years. Sharon is right, everyone is different so your treatment recommendations will be different.
      Good luck to you and remember to rely on family and friends for help, support, literally. Have someone go with you to your doctor appointments, there is SO MUCH info that is being given to you, you have questions and you may go numb and forget to ask them. The person that goes with you should possibly have a notebook to write down all the info so that you can absorb it better when you are home.
      Again, GOOD LUCK.
      Yashmira

      Comment
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I had a lumpectomy and 16 radiation treatments. No lymph involvement so no chemo.

      Comment

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