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Trying to decide whether to have reconstructive surgery after planned mastectomy. Any good articles, books, or resources suggested? I’d appreciate thoughts from those that had reconstruction.

Ailene L Profile
Asked by

anonymous

stage_0 Patient 5 days
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  • Thumb avatar default
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I also had a double mastectomy w/immediate reconstruction. It made more sense than having to come back 4 a 2nd surgery. Yes it hurt like crap because expanders were inserted & filled with 20cc of saline but I said what doesn't kill me will only make me stronger. My Dr filled them @ 40cc each visit to relieve the skin stretch pain until I reached a 34b my original cup size. I had a 2nd surgery to remove the expanders & put in the implants. You choose between silicon & saline implants only diff is 1 is softer than the other. You speak to your Dr about the size you want. I had my nipples removed & tattooed back on. Yes my breast have no feeling but they look great & my husband doesn't care as long as I'm alive. You will have drains inserted into your chest walls but they weren't a problem & my hospital gave me awesome bras to hold the drains. The scars are fading & I sometimes feel uncomfortable because they're not like my original breast but @ the end of the day I'm 5 years still living & very happy. Live Love Life.
    3 days Flag
    • Ailene L Profile
      anonymous
      stage_0 Patient

      Thank you for sharing your story! I’ve heard several times that expanders are painful. Drain tubes sound uncomfortable too. How long did the whole process take for you? It sounds like you are happy with the result, so I’m happy for you too....

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      Thank you for sharing your story! I’ve heard several times that expanders are painful. Drain tubes sound uncomfortable too. How long did the whole process take for you? It sounds like you are happy with the result, so I’m happy for you too. Hopefully I’ll have a similar result.

      3 days Flag
  • Janet Stitt Profile
    anonymous
    stage_1 Patient
    Hello Aliene, I had a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. I could not be happier with the outcome. The new "breasts" are small, only so much skin to go around. They fill out my clothes, and I never have to wear a bra again! Keep in mind they have no feeling, and they could not spare my nipples. I had 3D nipples tattooed in the plastic surgeons office. Took about 30 minutes, felt nothing and they are amazing. It has been 14 months and the scars are beginning to fade. I had implants not the flap procedure. There can be more complications with the flap procedure, although the thought of an insurance paid "tummy tuck" was tempting. The surgery is twice as hard since you have two areas to heal. I have a work out friend who had a mastectomy with no reconstruction. She is fine with her decision, but does admit to wearing prosthetic, breasts when she is dressed up. Most of the time she goes without. She said they are a little heavy, and can get hot. Whatever you decide, good luck. You can always do reconstruction at a later time. My reasoning was if they are going to take them off, and the surgeons were already in there, and it was going to hurt no matter what, why not start the procedure. Why hurt twice!! You will have spacers for awhile, and will need a second surgery to replace the spacers, but the replacement surgery did not hurt. Remember you have no feeling. A slight ache, for about 24 hours. I hope this helps, and you have several women share their experience.
    5 days Comment Flag
  • SAm  White Profile
    anonimamente
    Aprendendo sobre o câncer de mama
    My advice to you is a book or magazine can't begin to make that decision for you. I asked every question I could think about like what to expect, there personal experience & after care to these women on this site. I must say they were completely correct from beginning to end.
    3 days Comment Flag
  • Betti A Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2013
    I had a friend who waited to do her reconstruction for a year to let her body and mind heal.
    4 days Comment Flag
  • Janet Stitt Profile
    anonymous
    stage_1 Patient
    Aliene, Instead of saline, my plastic surgeon put air into my spacers. Saline is heavy, and 40 - 60 cc's is about all they can fill at one time. My surgeon could put 300-400 cc's in at every fill because air is light. The spacers felt tight after the fill. Pretty intense aching a few hours later. Everything felt normal within 24 hours. I was able to replace my spacers in 2 months. That may be something to explore with your plastic surgeon. Janet
    1 day Comment Flag
  • Janet Stitt Profile
    anonymous
    stage_1 Patient
    Aliene, one more thing. You will have 2 surgeons, one doing the mastectomy and a plastic surgeon to do the reconstruction. When I had my appointment with my plastic surgeon, his office gave me a lot of literature explaining your options. The plastic surgeon will also talk to you and give you his best opinion on procedures. Janet
    4 days Comment Flag

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