To reconstruct with mastectomy or wait

maddi Member Posts: 7
edited September 2019 in Newly diagnosed
Hi, I'm a new member, diagnosed with High grade DCIS in the right breast. I'm a fairly big breasted woman and need to decide quite quickly to have one breast removed or both, as the left breast is ok at the moment, also to have reconstruction at the time of the mastectomy or to wait a while. The surgeon tells me that if I wait for reconstruction - because she doesn't do reconstruction she can't save any skin and this will be an issue for reconstruction at a later date. I live in a regional area and would have to go to Melbourne if I want both done at once. I would like to talk to anyone who found themselves with this dilemma as making the decision is doing my head in!!


  • nikkid
    nikkid Member Posts: 1,766
    edited September 2019
    Hi @maddi - please join the Breast Reconstruction Group and the members there will be able to help you with your questions :).

    You should be able to have a skin sparing mastectomy at the time of the mastectomy to allow for reconstruction later. This may also involve insertion of a tissue expander but at least it then gives you time to decide on your options. 
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    I had to travel to Adelaide for my surgery which is 500k from where I live. I had a bilateral mastectomy with tissue expanders inserted and 3/4 filled at time of surgery. Because it was done at the beginning they used an anchor scar and therefore my breast resemble reduction scars...well now that I have nipples recreated. I couldn't save mine. Some women can keep nipples (sadly not the sensation) if it is done as immediate reconstruction.
    If you join the group we have our photo stories in there to see.

    Also you can visit Reclaim your Curves which has photo stories also.

    I well researched so I had at least some understanding prior making a final decision.

    I had a reduction of breast size which was one bonus from bc as I have much less neck and shoulder problems. 
  • Bevey
    Bevey Member Posts: 5
    Hi Maddi
    About 4 weeks ago I was diagnosed with dcis and needed a mastectomy. I chose a surgeon who does an implant at the same time (smooth, saline filled over muscle). I am still in hospital so it’s early days but I am loving the result. My surgeon did an amazing job - and the cancer has all been removed. 
    However I have been told my margins are not clear as I had dcis of 7cm in length. I am now facing a few options with the worst case being a mastectomy to remove the skin and implant followed by radiation. If I want to reconstruct the only option is a tissue expander. All meaning I will quite possibly be back in hospital for another week in a few months followed by further procedures. 
    Every case is different however if I had my time again I would still have had the mastectomy with an implant at the same time. I am only 45 and personally would have regretted not at least trying. In your situation I might ask the size of the DCIS and what they believe the chances of a clear margin being once removed. I am not even sure if they could answer that though (all still so new to me!). 
    I wish you all the very best and send you all the luck in the world!
  • maddi
    maddi Member Posts: 7
    Hi Bevey,
    Thankyou so much for your information, your story is very similar to mine. I'm seeing a breast surgeon and plastic surgeon in 2 weeks so decisions and outcomes will become more real. They say knowledge is power but it can also be so confusing. I wish you luck and good health on your journey and prey you have a long and happy life.