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Delayed reconstruction

Posted by

Hi I'm over two years from primary breast cancer diagnosis and considering reconstruction. At the time I couldn't have immediate reconstruction and was adamant i didn't want it but have recently been thinking of an implant. I have had a consultation with my breast surgeon and he says despite radiotherapy my skin seems healthy enough. However I have struggled emotionally since diagnosis and only recently coping better  I am a worrier and have tried not to Google or read too much but the recent news on Implant problems has bothered me.

I had an aggressive cancer but am currently doing well and am scared I'm rocking the boat with reconstruction. I'm worried about the silicone and the possibility of it leaking and as I have no underarm nodes in that side where would the silicone collect.I believe the implants nowadays are less likely to rupture and are considered long lasting but the doubts are creeping in  I would like the surgery it would be great to not use a prosthesis but I don't want to jeopardise my health in any way  Please could you advise thanks.

Posted by

Hi Optimistic,

Thanks for getting in touch. I see you’ve joined a few of our online groups and made some friends. I hope you’re finding this helps.

There’s no right or wrong answers when deciding if a breast reconstruction is right for you. It’s a difficult decision to make and it’s not unusual for other people’s choices to be different to yours. One alternative may be to ask your Surgeon if you can return on a later date when you feel more confident following your treatment for breast cancer. You can explain if it feels too soon for you to decide.

It’s admirable of you to admit that you struggled emotionally when you where diagnosed and I can honestly say you’re not unique in what you say. You may have already read other people’s stories in our forum.

Google can be useful for some things but I agree it’s not the best place to find information to help you make this make this decision, especially as you say you’re a worrier. I’m glad you decided not to ‘google’ and got in touch with us instead.

As you’ve waited, your surgery is known as a Delayed Reconstruction. There are many types. This information may help you feel more informed about the possible choices ahead. I’ve also included a chart as I thought you may find this useful to read.

As the chart shows, the silicone implants are slightly less invasive and normally allow people to recover quicker. It’s important you are fully informed though before making these decisions and understand your concerns about ruptures and potential side-effects. Unfortunately, with any surgical procedures there can be potential side-effects. Before making a final decision, it may help to chat further with your Plastic Surgeon.

I’m wondering if the recent news you’re referring to is the channel 4 Dispatches programme where there are questions over the safety of breast implants. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) made a statement about this which I thought you may find helpful to read.

Your right in saying ruptures happen less frequently now as they did years before as this research paper explains.

Unfortunately, we are unable to make a decision for you but hope you find this information helpful. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get back in touch. We also have our Cancer Information Nurse Specialists on our Support Line if you prefer to chat.

Take care and best wishes



Gail-Macmillan (Cancer Information Nurse Specialist)