Immediate Reconstrution v/s Delayed Reconstruction

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First time posting on here. I was diagnosed with stage 2 HER2 + breast cancer (which spread to several of my lymph nodes).

In October 23 and began neoadjuvant chemotherapy at the beginning of December. I have just finished my 3rd Cycle of EC chemo (very fun!!) and begin Docetaxel early Feb, with the Trastuzumab and pertuzumab injection.

My question is, I have appointment with my Breast Surgery Consultant in the middle of Feb, and, depending on whether mastectomy is necessary, I need to decide whether I would want immediate or delayed reconstruction.

I have read all the literature, and am erring of the side of delayed, as I dont want to risk delay on any further treatment I will need. Just wondering what others thoughts or experinces are of this, as by brain gets fried with all the info I get given.

Anything will be very much appreciated

Many Thanks

  • Hi, I had surgery before my treatment, I had a mastectomy (decided a double was best for me personally). I chose to have reconstruction immediately. I recovered well and was fortunate I didn’t need any further surgery as my implant took successfully.
    For me, I listened to the pros and cons and weighed it up. I was aware there was a risk of more surgery and potentially the implants would have to be removed. 
    Everyone is different; and what ever path you choose it’ll be right for you xx

  • Hi, I had my surgery prior to my treatment (I’m having my 4th EC next week and then move onto 4 paclitaxel).  I was given the options, either go flat, immediate reconstruction or reconstruction at a later date. 

    i decided to have immediate reconstruction. I think I was very lucky, I trusted and got on very well with my surgeon from the beginning so I was very much led by him. Personally I just wanted to get as ‘much done’ as I could in one go so as to minimise the amount of time I had to be put under which is also what my surgeon wanted. My pathway to getting to surgery was quite long as everything kept changing with various scans/biopsies but they wanted to have the clearest picture possible in order for me to have the least amount of surgery possible. But I ended up with single mastectomy, reconstruction and 19 lymph node removal (4 of which had cancerous cells) in one surgery. I had six weeks recovery which, apart from a couple of dramas with drains went well and then I went into treatment.

    I would say, listen to your team, they often have a chosen route for you, but obviously you have the ultimate decision. I went with the notion that my surgeon knew what was best and I ran with it. I’m glad I went with it because it’s something already ticked off the list. I’d like to get off this ride sooner rather than later if possible.

    I totally understand how overwhelming it can be, we get a million and one things thrown at us in about a millisecond and then have to make such huge decisions. I’m glad to hear though that you seem to have a little thinking space. x

  • Hi JelloH

    Would you mind telling me what kind of reconstruction?  Implant Surgery or use own tissue?  I have worried the risk and not chosen implant surgery.  However, plastic surgery gives me 1st appointment on 3rd June and said priority case is 4-6 weeks.....actually was confirmed cancer on 11 Apr and noted details of the cancer on 24 Apr.  I am worrying the delay of further treatment, up to now they cannot tell me what treatment I will have to do until post surgery.  Therefore, I am thinking if I should change the mind to do reconstruction later.  Of course ideally I want to do reconstruction immediately.

  • Hi, it’s all so much to think about at such a stressful time.

    i had the implant reconstruction at the point of my mastectomy. I chose this option because I felt the recovery process would be a little quicker. It was a recovery period of six weeks and I then started my chemo. x

  • Thanks for your quick reply.  How long did you start chemo after recovery from surgery ?

  • I had my surgery on 27th September and my first round of chemo on the 19th December. The start date for my chemo was delayed for just over a week as I caught covid so I obviously wasn’t allowed to start until I was testing negative x

  • Never thought about I am too eager to have surgery Sweat smile  I have been waited for 1 month and now get a 1st appointment date with plastic surgeon on 3rd June (2 months comparing my 1st visit with GP).

    Now uncertain date for the surgery.......I am so scare.

    So I am considering to change my mind back to Breast Surgeon to do mastectomy in order to start treatment asap.  Reconstruction in future, even though it is not my ideal option.