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When having reconstruction, what is better tram flap or silicone?

lonnie everline Profile
Asked by

anonymous

Learning About Breast Cancer over 7 years
 
  • Erin Timlin Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    Did anyone have only one side reconstructed? That's my deal...I have an expander on the right and the left had nothing at all done. The plastic surgeon told me he'd lift the left and possibly do a small implant for symmetry purposes but they're already the same size so I'm not sure that will happen. Just looking for thoughts on how one-sided reconstruction looks in terms of symmetry.
    over 7 years Comment Flag
  • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2012
    I had both! There wasn't enough skin/fat/etc. to make a decent breast from the TRAM flap, so I had a silicone implant underneath. It was all done at the same time. I haven't had any problems and It looks quite natural. They made a nipple from other skin (mine was from my thigh), and tattooed on the aerola. (The tattoo didn't hurt because the area was numb anyway.) Not to make light of it, but after four kids it also was nice to get a tummy tuck out of the deal. Best of luck to you!
    over 7 years Flag
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Evelyn, I'll be having a final silicone implant done eventually (I have an expander now). Be honest, what do you think of the nipple that was constructed? How was the healing? I am not sure how I feel about that part of the procedure and I saw...

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      Evelyn, I'll be having a final silicone implant done eventually (I have an expander now). Be honest, what do you think of the nipple that was constructed? How was the healing? I am not sure how I feel about that part of the procedure and I saw one woman's final results of 3D tattoos only instead of a reconstructed nipple. Considering that option. Just curious on your thoughts!

      over 7 years Flag
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      So sorry for the late response! We've been touring colleges -- 17 year-old twins.
      My reconstructed nipple and aerola are very realistic. It didn't take much time at all to heal. The only issue I have had with it is that the tattoo has...

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      So sorry for the late response! We've been touring colleges -- 17 year-old twins.
      My reconstructed nipple and aerola are very realistic. It didn't take much time at all to heal. The only issue I have had with it is that the tattoo has completely faded and has to be re-done. That's doctor specific, though.
      I'm very glad I chose this option.
      Have you made a decision?

      over 7 years Flag
  • Mary Chase Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    Lonnie, I recommend checking out the website breastreconstruction.org. It was recommended to me awhile back. It is excellent at explaining the pros and cons of the various reconstruction techniques. Your plastic surgeon can help you decide what is best for you but it is a matter. Of preference. I do know that implants have to be eve naturally replaced. Per haps in 10 yrs. time. I, personally, want to go go with a flap procedure because I don't like the idea of implants nor the possibility of having to drag out. Y reconstruction for 5-6 months. But, that is me. You can find good information online to educate yourself prior to meeting with your plastic surgeon. Best of luck to you!
    over 7 years Comment Flag
  • melissa perlman Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I, personally, Had the expanders and went on to have implants put in. The choice really wasn't mine. Didn't have enough tissue to perform any type of flap. Should really discuss with your plastic surgeon. If there is more than one option available to you, then you can determine which is best for you. As we all know, nothing is perfect and there re pros and cons to all the the procedures. Good luck.
    over 7 years Comment Flag
  • julie s Profile
    anonymous
    Stage 2A Patient
    I agree with the other answers; the only thing I would add is that implants have to be replaced every 10 years or so and run the risk of getting encapsulated. It is a very personal decision unique to each person... Talk to your plastic surgeon and have them give you all YOUR options and have them give you the pros and cons so you can make an educated decision. Best of luck!
    over 7 years Comment Flag
  • Thumb avatar default
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I also had no choice for various reasons so I am part way through expander/implant reconstruction which is fine by me because although they are not natural they look great. I have looked many photos of both procedures to compare and I think implants get the best result. Do some research and decide what is best for you.
    over 7 years Comment Flag
  • kathy L Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I had a double mastectomy with silicone implants. I thought in the beginning that I wanted the flap
    over 7 years Comment Flag
  • Erin Timlin Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    I think it's a matter of personal preference. The two surgeries are very different. The tram flap is a much more involved surgery that can be painful to recover from; however, the results are supposed to be much more natural as the surgeons use your own tissue to reconstruct the breasts. The silicone is likely a quicker recovery with more than satisfactory results, but it's an implant, which many women don't want. When I saw the plastic surgeon for the very first time back in Nov. he told me my best option was for an implant simply because he didn't think I had enough tissue from my abdomen or back. I now have an saline expander with plans to reconstruct with a silicone implant. It's a personal choice -- get lots of information from the surgeon! Good luck!
    over 7 years Comment Flag

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