I am torn weather to choose an immediate reconstruction

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Hi, my BC is IDC + DCIS, grade 3, hormonal, HER2 unknown just yet, large growth, so stage 2/3 on a brim. I am 40, mum of 2 young children...

They want to do a one side full mastectomy ASAP, and asked me if I want to do a reconstruction together on a same day.

How on earth do I decide?
My worry is - what if I get complications from a plastic surgery, and while sorting those out - learn the cancer is spread to the lymph nodes - it will delay the start of treatment! 

If I choose going flat - does NHS do reconstruction later, after all the treatments?

Do they offer a skin-expander option in preparation of later reconstruction, or do they just flat it out?

Why don't they offer a symmetry restauration if you go for an implant... ?

Can I volunteer for a double mastectomy instead?  

I am running out of time to decide and am just leaning to go for the least intervention so save myself from some possible trouble.. I think I can handle the psychological impact of being asymmetrical ...

  • Hi wow lots of question haha, but seriously i know where you a are coming from .I had the same dilemma back in 2004.  They don,t give us enough time to make such an important decision. I needed a mastectomy and was offererd a reconstruction on same day. I chose not to have a reconstruction  on same day because i was concerned if it was in lymph nodes or they had not got it all out in first operation they would need to go back in. My surgeon did say i could have a reconstruction later if i liked. I chose not to bother as a friend of mine did not have a good outcome with hers but please that is just my opion i don't want to lead you anywhere with that comment. Now i felt a bit lopsided and did not like the prosthetics so decided i wanted a second mastectomy. So one year later i had another mastectomy.I like being flat it suits me and my life style its not for everyone i know. My friend had the skin expander and she is fine with it and if i remember correctly it was done after all the treatment finished. I wish i could help more my choice had to be made quickly and i had a child at home as a single parent so i just wanted it over and done with but we are all different. I wish you all the best in your treatment Dawn x

  • Hi - I had a skin sparing mastectomy and immediate reconstruction just over 2 weeks ago. I was initially going to stay flat as I was having an axilliary node clearance too and wanted to be able to get on with any further treatment without delay. In the end my surgeon suggested an implant reconstruction which I have had. The recovery time is pretty similar to a mastectomy and as it spares your skin it’s good to have it done at the same time. I also had my nipple removed. I am healing really well and although the implant will always be firmer than my other breast, I’m quite happy with it. My surgeon did say further down the line she can balance them out by giving my other side a bit of a lift.
    i know it’s a hard decision to make when you just want to be cancer free, but worth considering all options. I was put off the DIEP reconstruction due to recovery time and the impact on treatment delay. If you want any more info - feel free to message me, I’d be happy to answer any Qs you might have.
    wishing you all the very best
    A xx 

  • Thank you for your story! It all helps, because I am just lost atm.

  • Oh, so they DO offer the lift to a healthy side later on (on NHS?). This is good news, because I am thinking of doing something similar like you did. 
    What did they say - how many years is the implant good for? Will it need changing / removing?

  • Hi - they didn’t really talk about how long it would last for. I probably should have asked that!