This thread is where we discuss implant-based reconstruction and where we endeavor to help you with some idea of the implant style and sizing that might best work for you.
Information we need:
1. Your height, weight, ribcage circumferece (measuring under the bra line or under the tissue expanders with a measuring tape).
2. If you DO have tissue expanders already, we need to know the exact style of TE (Mentor, Allergan, Sientra, SSP) AND the volume - the mfr's recommended volume, NOT your current fill volume. So if you have Mentor TEs, they would be LOW HEIGHT, MEDIUM HEIGHT or TALL HEIGHT. If you do not have the "height" information, you might have a style "number", i.e., 354-6311 or 354-7114...etc. If they are ALLERGAN TEs, they would be one of six styles, with letters such as "MX" or "MV" or "SX" or "SV" or "FX" or "FV". They might have the number 133-V followed by a number like "13" or "14".
3. Also, please advise if your PS has told you that he/she uses one brand or style of implant exclusively so that we can save time in our research.
4. Your pre-mastectomy breast size is also important, because it does have some bearing on expansion, tissue expander volume and the need for good tissue coverage over your future implant.
5. GRAMS VS CUBIC CENTIMETERS: Essentially interchangeable. A gram Gis a measure of mass/weight and ccs a measure of volume. It is the dimensions of the implant that matters more than the discrepancy between the "size" of an implant designated in "grams" as opposed to one designated in "ccs".
6. OVERFILLING OF TISSUE EXPANDERS: There is no hard and fast rule regarding overfilling of tissue expanders. Some plastic surgeons overfill, merely because they always do for every patient. Some never or rarely overfill (my plastic surgeon was in that camp.) She felt that if the right tissue expander was selected, there was no reason to fill beyond that which the manufacturer recommended. In cases where the patient's skin envelope is very tight, and a larger implant is desired, overfilling would have some benefit. In the case of a unilateral breast reconstruction, where the future implant needs to mirror a native breast which has some ptosis (droop), overfilling can help achieve that needed symmetry.
7. "DROP AND FLUFF": Drop and fluff" is a term created long ago by the breast augmentation crowd....to reflect how the implants can settle and take on a different appearance and more natural appearance. Doctors do not use this term and I do not use it, because this is not breast augmentation. In breast augmentation, since women are going larger and the breast envelope is smaller, the implants often sit up and ride quite high on the chest wall, and appear very taut and/or flattened in appearance. With augmentation, it takes a while for the native skin and tissue to adjust to the implants and so those galls do experience what they call dropping and sort of filling out or not being so compressed and gaining projection.
8. CUP SIZES: There is no predictable way to tell you what cup size you will be with a specific volume of implant. Maybe with breast augmentation it is done, but it is all entirely different with breast reconstruction. Plastic surgeons cannot guarantee or predict cup sizes! Cup sizing is tricky, because you might be now wearing the wrong size bra. So you might tell me you wear a 36B, and you really could instead fit better in a 34C. Also, after reconstruction, there are only sports bras and European bras that we recommend as the best option for reconstruction patients. So you might tell me you want to be a "C" and end up in a European bra, like a "Freya" or "Chantelle" (my favorites.). So you might wear a D cup! But you will LOOK like a C cup or even a B cup. It is confusing, I know but you will see what I mean when you are on the other side of this. Y
ANATOMICAL IMPLANT INFORMATION:
7 Questions to Ask Your PS About Anatomical Implants:
Plastic Surgeons weigh in on the benefit of round silicone vs. anatomical implants: Please note that these discussions were in 2011, before the Allergan 410 or Mentor CPG anatomicals. Most of these references are to the prior generation of anatomically shaped silicone and saline implants.
IF YOU PREVIOUSLY HAD BREAST AUGMENTATION (prior to MX) Please read further:
This is from Grant Stevens, MD, PRINCIPAL clinical trials investigator for the Allergan 410 and Mentor CPG anatomical implants.
"The shaped form-stable gummy bear implants, such as the 410 and the CPG, are not ideal implants for women who have had previous breast surgery and have already pockets for those previous implants. Those women have pockets which are generally too large to safely accommodate the shaped form-stable implants. However, the Sientra form-stable silicone gel breast implants, which are round, can be safely placed in these patients." Quote is in this article:
And in Dr. Stevens' interview article re: cohesive implants...
DISCLAIMER! I am not a physician or medical professional. The information provided is my own personal opinion. You must discuss every aspect of your reconstruction with your plastic surgeon.
10/15/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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