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Mastectomy vs Reconstruction



  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,528
    @Patti J I'm not a candidate for implants so for that I was just going on what I was told a couple of weeks ago by a Breast Reconstruction Nurse Practitioner (I've probably got the title wrong but it was something like that).  She explained that it was a quicker op with a shorter recovery but the implants only have a certain lifespan and that they will need to be replaced.  I can't remember what that period was as it was never going to be relevant for me.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,871
    I was told 10 - 15 years.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 2,872
    I was similarly advised. Mind you, that was six years ago and things may have changed. But implants for cosmetic purposes have had some ups and downs too (no pun intended). It wouldn't put me off if I really wanted to go the reconstruction path. 
  • Cory51Cory51 Member Posts: 71
    I am confident I would not choose implants. If I do the recon I would do a flap... So much to think about!
  • JennyD78JennyD78 NewcastleMember Posts: 48
    Hi @Cory51, I'm 6 months post bilateral mastectomy with no reconstruction and am still super happy with my decision.  I always had very large, droopy breasts and am loving the freedom of no bra's...and a 6kg weight loss lol.  It's an incredibly personal decision though and, like others have said, you can change your mind down the road so I can only suggest making the decision that feels right at the moment.  All the best!
  • MaryB83MaryB83 Member Posts: 45
    I was told by plastic surgeon that risk of infection and/or expander failure was 30-50% if I had immediate expanders with mastectomy (higher depending on age- I’m only 35) if having radiation. He said you can consider reconstruction process as early as 4 months after you finish radiation.
  • Rose18Rose18 Member Posts: 87
    edited December 2018
    That’s interesting to hear @MaryB83. It’s good that the wait can be as little as 4 months after radiotherapy. I had a large area right up to above the clavicle treated with radiotherapy. I wonder if this is why I had to wait so long. My surgeon said the longer you leave it after radiotherapy, the better outcome you have because of fewer complications. 
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,528
    @Rose18 Radiation can compromise the ability of the skin to respond correctly so they like to give it a chance to recover.
  • MaryB83MaryB83 Member Posts: 45
    @Rose18 I too am having chest and supraclavical radiated. PS said depends on how skin handles/recovers from Rads. I’m unsure as to whether I will reconstruct but I am booked in to see PS in April (rads finish 10 Jan).
  • Cory51Cory51 Member Posts: 71
    hi Mary, yes I am to have the same course of radiation as you, chest and supraclavical..See radiation oncologist next week and the following week PS.. So many questions. 
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