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Topic: questions for everyone who has done reconstruction

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Is it right for you? Discuss timing and various procedures and techniques.

Posted on: Nov 14, 2019 07:53PM

mnsotamom74 wrote:

So my story is that I was diagnosed one year ago with breast cancer in my right breast. My mom had breast cancer 9 years ago and chose to go flat, I figured that should be good enough for me and never bothered looking at any other options, from diagnosis to surgery it was less than 10 days. My surgeon performed a skin sparing double mastectomy. He said if I wasn’t happy with that we could always go back and do revision. I’m so glad he did this, little did I know that I would feel different over time about not doing reconstruction.

I’ve talked with my oncologist and he has totally encouraged me to get reconstruction or at least find out my options. I have an appointment in a week with my surgeons partner who is a surgeon as well as specializes in reconstruction. I want to find out what my options are and which route he recommends moving forward.

For all of you who have chosen reconstruction, do you regret it? Are you glad you chose to reconstruct?

If you chose implants did you go with under or over the muscle? What type of implant? ( I know there has been a recall) did you go close to your original size or smaller or even bigger?

Thank you in advance for all replies:)

Dx 10/25/2018, DCIS/IDC/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 11/4/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 1/6/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/3/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 14, 2019 09:53PM bcincolorado wrote:

Hello,

I did under pec tissue ex pander at the time of mastectomy. I had skin and nipple sparing as well so I did not need the tatoos. I did a single mx . I had the option to "lift and reduce" my non-cancer side so they matched but I personally chose not to since I wanted part of me to be myself and look like the age I am. I did the gummy implant that is now being recalled because of issues all these many years after my surgery?

Do I want to do replacements as a result? No. Do not want more surgery at this point. Am I even? Not in the least? Can anyone else tell but me and my spouse? No. Would I do another one if I had to take it out at this point now that I am almost 60? Probably not. Would I do another kind of reconstruction at that point? Probably not.

I had a dear friend when I was a teenager whose mother had breast cancer after we grew up. She had double mx done. No reconstruction. Did not use foobs either just was flat. She just wore baggy pants. She was a thin person anyway and it took me quite a while before I even noticed she had surgery after I had seen her after we had grown up

It is a personal decision for everyone. Best wishes on your decisions and surgeries.

Dx 8/2009, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/7/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2010 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 1/30/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Nov 14, 2019 10:15PM Mominator wrote:

Hello,

I had a prophylactic double mastectomy with immediate placement of under pec tissue expander at the time of mastectomy. My implants are the anatomical shape, textured type currently on recall. I had nipple sparing with some removal of skin since I had large, pendulous breasts. I went smaller, from 36/38 DD to 36/38 B/C.

Do I regret it? Only that sensation was lost during surgery. Am I glad I chose to reconstruct? Yes. I feel like me.

I had a revision on the left due to capsular contraction/scar tissue. Currently, my right feels like it has moved a little towards the armpit. It just feels weird, it doesn't hurt like the capsular contraction/scar tissue. If either side develops capsular contraction/scar tissue again, or if there are any other issues painful enough to warrant surgery, I may choose another revision of both sides, and explant and replace the recalled implants. However, the risk of BIA-ALCL Implant related lymphoma is actually lower than the risks of additional surgery. So, no revision for me in the immediate future.

Best wishes on your decision.

Mominator, BRCA2+, STK-11 VUS, wife, mom to 3 children of various special needs, musician, volunteer. My Mom dx DCIS age 62, ILC stage IIIA age 79; Mom just passed 2/28/18. My Grandmother died of ovarian cancer age 48. Friend to Lori M, died 5/25/16. Surgery 11/10/2015 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 1/18/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 6/29/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant
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Nov 15, 2019 06:56AM HopeWins wrote:

I had a skin sparing double mastectomy with DIEP flap recon this past August. I don't regret having recon but am not satisfied with my recon either at this point. I'm relatively fit so I didnt have much tissue to transplant. The PS felt it would be just enough. Either he misjudged or the distribution is way different because I'm much smaller. I'm trying to get comfortable with this because I don't really want implants but haven't dismissed the idea either. I'm having revision surgery next week which will include fat transfer. Depending on how successful that is, I may have another round or two of fat transfer or I may ask him to add a small implant. Or I may throw in the towel and just say I'm done!

There's no perfect answer, that's for sure. I will say DIEP flap is a tough recovery for a week or two but totally doable and has higher long term satisfaction rates. Implants will provide more predictable cosmetic results, but there are long term considerations.

Best of luck to you!

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Nov 15, 2019 07:46AM mnsotamom74 wrote:

thank you so much for the replies ladies!! Have any of you had the phantom itch that some have discussed? I read another thread and that did start to freak me out, it sounds terrible to be literally clawing at your skin with no relief and kept awake at night with it. I already am dealing with so many sleep issues since having my ovaries removed and being on hormone blockers, I don’t want the little bit of sleep I’m getting to also be disturbed with crazy itching

Dx 10/25/2018, DCIS/IDC/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 11/4/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 1/6/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/3/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 15, 2019 08:47AM SimoneRC wrote:

Hi mnsotamom74,

You have a big decision to make!

I have bilateral mastectomy, with Alloderm, with pre pectoral reconstruction. I had tissue expanders for 3 months, then exchange surgery. I had Mentor memory gel smooth high profile implants, with fat grafting on exchange. That was a virtually painless surgery. I have really thin skin and no upper body fat so my right implant started to slip. 9 months later, I was having a total hysterectomy and BSO and at that time I swapped out the implants for smaller Mentor smooth moderate plus implants. They did not want to do fat grafting or too much pocket work at the time because that would be too much surgery and a really tough recovery. So I did a 4th surgery 4 months later as the right side needed pocket work and I needed fat grafting.

I am pretty darn happy with my results. I wound up a little fuller than my original pre menopausal size. I would suggest “trying on" different sizers with your plastic surgeon before getting your expander fills, if that is the route you go. The expanders, when expanded, are different than breast implants so it was difficult for me to assess the projection and the overall look of the implant. If I had to do it all over again, that is the one thing I would do differently!

As for the itch, during recovery there is the nerve regeneration itch. I found slapping (I know, it sounds funny) myself where it was itching helped. On rare instances I get the implant itch. Usually it is kind of under the implant and a combination of a slap and learning to gently kind of itch the spot under the implant works for me.

For me, I am super happy I chose reconstruction. I was 51 at diagnosis. In good shape and active. And for me, pre pectoral implants were 100% the way to go. If you do choose pre pectoral please make sure your surgeon does a lot of them with good success. Not everyone is a candidate for them and it is a tricky procedure.

Good luck! I hope whatever decision you make is a great one for you! Keep us posted!!



ATM Gene Mutation, Deletion. IDC w/Lobular Features and Focal Mucinous Features. Pre Pectoral Reconstruction. Hysterectomy Surgery 4/6/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 5/6/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 7/3/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 8/6/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting
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Nov 15, 2019 08:47AM Mominator wrote:

I don’t have the phantom itch.

Mominator, BRCA2+, STK-11 VUS, wife, mom to 3 children of various special needs, musician, volunteer. My Mom dx DCIS age 62, ILC stage IIIA age 79; Mom just passed 2/28/18. My Grandmother died of ovarian cancer age 48. Friend to Lori M, died 5/25/16. Surgery 11/10/2015 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 1/18/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 6/29/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant
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Nov 15, 2019 08:54AM - edited Nov 15, 2019 03:22PM by SummerAngel

I had basically the same as SimoneRC, except subpectoral. I have no regrets, and am very happy with the result. I had no complications. I did have minor itching a few times, but it went away.

Age at dx: 45. Oncotype, left-side tumor: 9. Right side had multifocal IDC and "extensive" LCIS. Isolated tumor cells in 1 right-side node. Dx 4/3/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 4/27/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 6/1/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 6/1/2015 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/27/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/3/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction
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Nov 15, 2019 09:53AM Beesie wrote:

I have subpectoral implants. To be honest, it took me years to fully adjust - my main issue was a feeling of pressure or soreness around my reconstructed breast whenever I would do some that would strain or stress my pec muscle, but over time that settled in and was no longer an issue. I'm also one of the ones who's had a bad case of phantom itching, but it comes and goes - it's not a constant. Early on, yes, it would drive me nuts, but it would be one night and then nothing for weeks and eventually, for months. I'm 14 years out now, and only very rarely get any itching and it's not severe and not for long.

Would I have passed on the reconstruction because of these issues and did I ever think that I made a mistake having reconstruction? No. Not for a second. I'm not defined by my breasts - they were always very small anyway and I was never a 'show the cleavage' person (and I didn't have any cleavage anyway) - but for me reconstruction provides a sense of normality when I dress in the morning and when I see myself in the mirror. Same clothes, same bras as always. I didn't get nipple construction and I have a scar across the middle of the breast mound, but in the mirror or when I shower I see (especially without my glasses) and feel the same basic shape that was there before and it seems normal.

Everyone is different, but for me, I think seeing a flat chest in the mirror every day would have been very difficult, would have made me more resentful of the diagnosis, and would have made it much more difficult to move on from the diagnosis.


“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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Nov 15, 2019 11:43AM Lucysbff wrote:

I had prepectora implants (silicone) at the same time as my bilateral mstectomy. It has been 8 weeks and I am really happy with the outcome. I'm back at the gym doing all of the classes I did before (much lighter weights for now) . They look good, and there has been no itching. They feel a little strange, but I’m getting used to my new normal

Dx 6/9/2018, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/1/2019, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/20/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Nov 15, 2019 09:03PM - edited Nov 15, 2019 11:27PM by mnsotamom74

oh thank you so much for the replies ladies! You have all given me so much hope. when I chose not to reconstruct I never intended to not use a Prosthesis, I like how my clothes fit with breasts. I was never a cleavage gal, that's not at all important to me, but having my body look balanced is. I have been fitted with the prosthetics, they look great in my clothes but they get very hot and sweaty and I work in a daycare part time, when I lift kids the dumb things have shifted all over lol.

Beesie, you have described my feelings well, when I'm in the shower or in front of the mirror, it's really a blow over and over, a constant reminder of what has been taken from me. Maybe if I was 15 lbs lighter I could rock the flat look, as it is, I look like Winnie the Pooh when I don't wear my prosthetics, flat chest and belly sticking out like I'm 6 months pregnant.

Another question I had for all of you: how do you/your doctor monitor for recurrence? Does it make it more difficult with the implants? Can it hide behind the implant? I’m guessing no mammogram?

Thanks again everyone:)

Dx 10/25/2018, DCIS/IDC/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 11/4/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 1/6/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/3/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 17, 2019 04:29PM OnTarget wrote:

No mammogram after BMX, and for me, the monitoring will be minimal- just visual inspections.

I had reconstruction, and I also did not identity myself by my breasts. Despite that, I really feel better having some sort of boobs- preferably larger! I specifically want my boobs to stick out more than my stomach! I don't regret reconstruction at all.

I think that I would have been upset to seeing myself flat forever. I like to think of larger breasts as a good outcome from this sucky disease.

Diagnosed at 42, Oncotype score 16, ITC in one node- considered node negative Dx 4/8/2019, ILC, Left, 3cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/23/2019, ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/15/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 6/13/2019 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 8/5/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/5/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Nov 17, 2019 04:38PM mnsotamom74 wrote:

OnTarget, that’s one of the most frustrating things for me, the belly. I know some very thin women who chose to go flat and honestly? They rock it! But I am 5’9 and big boned and I know I can’t get that much weight off. I’m already working out daily and eating a low carb diet, I’m just happy when I can maintain and not gainLoopy

Dx 10/25/2018, DCIS/IDC/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 11/4/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 1/6/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/3/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 17, 2019 07:23PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

I have lived companionably with with my implants for 8+ years. Allergan Natrelle rounds which were inserted sub- pec in a one step surgery, no te’s, right after the bmx was finished. I am, and wanted to be, the same size. I got zapping sensations and some phantom itching early on, as nerves regenerated, but rarely notice those things now. Regardless of what you choose to do, there are risks and rewards, but never any guarantees. I knew from the minute I was dx’ed that I wanted recon. I had a very easy time with no complications, but I fully understood there could be even if the chances were small. All the best to you

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Nov 17, 2019 08:23PM mnsotamom74 wrote:

exbrnxgrl, thank you so much for sharing your experience. I think it would be so nice to be able to go direct to implant, obviously not something I can do having waited a year. I had never heard that was even a possibility

Dx 10/25/2018, DCIS/IDC/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 11/4/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 1/6/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/3/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 18, 2019 02:00PM WC3 wrote:

I had a skin sparing BMX. I was going to do DIEP but did not have enough abdominal fat. My only other option for natural reconstruction is SGAP but I'm not up for it yet. For the time, I have smooth, pre-pec silicone implants. I have some rippling, tightness in the skin near my armpit, which limits my range of motion but is slowly resolving with stretches, and I occasionally get a phantom itch but the frequency has reduced. I think sub pec implants would have been problematic for me.

Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 5/31/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/14/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Nov 18, 2019 02:35PM Artista928 wrote:

I was 50 at diagnosis. I knew I wanted implant reconstruction because it's a shorter recovery than flaps from what I was told. No way could I go flat looking at the scars. My bs and ps did bmx from under the breasts so I don't see scars. Did an awesome job. I did it for me. I think I would have done it up to 75 depending on my health and all. It took 2 sxs after the placement of the tissue expanders to get it pretty perfect. The first was exchanging to permanent implants then a year later, getting it more symmetrical. Mine are under the muscle. That's the best way. I love that I got the smaller size as mine were too big and I can go bra less and no one knows.

Mine are textured silicone implants and are the recalled ones. 1 in 3000 or 5000 chance of leukemia. Ps didn't advise switching them out. Instead of seeing me once a year for life it's twice.

So yes, the recovery of 3 total breast to perm implants was worth it to me. I love my ps. You need to make sure he she listens to you and cares. If not, find another one. Bedside manner is just as important.

Dx'd at 50. Doing it all, all by myself. Stopped Letrozole after 5 weeks. Debilitating se's. Back on Tamox now. Dx 6/2/2015, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (DUAL) Surgery 8/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/3/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Radiation Therapy 5/2/2016 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/28/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 12/9/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2017 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 3/26/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 9/1/2017 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant
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Nov 18, 2019 03:04PM mnsotamom74 wrote:

thank you so much ladies!! Did any of you do the 3D nipple tattoos?

Dx 10/25/2018, DCIS/IDC/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 11/4/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 1/6/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/3/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 18, 2019 05:18PM Artista928 wrote:

I was offered. They look real if done right but I declined. I'm used to no nipples. Knowing I have no breasts, tatooing nipples would make it weird to me.

Dx'd at 50. Doing it all, all by myself. Stopped Letrozole after 5 weeks. Debilitating se's. Back on Tamox now. Dx 6/2/2015, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (DUAL) Surgery 8/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/3/2015 AC + T (Taxotere) Radiation Therapy 5/2/2016 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/28/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 12/9/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2017 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 3/26/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 9/1/2017 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant
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Nov 19, 2019 09:14AM - edited Nov 19, 2019 09:15AM by SummerAngel

I don't get mammograms and my MO just does a physical exam to monitor for recurrences. Since my implants are subpectoral it should be easy to feel any recurrence that happens. My breast surgeon is known for getting every little bit of breast tissue she can, though, so I'm not expecting a recurrence.

I got both fake nipples and 3D nipple tattoos. Like others have posted, having these fake breasts makes me feel "whole", almost like nothing ever happened (except for the complete lack of feeling in my breasts, of course!) I'm glad I got both the nipple recon and tattoos, my breasts look really good.

Age at dx: 45. Oncotype, left-side tumor: 9. Right side had multifocal IDC and "extensive" LCIS. Isolated tumor cells in 1 right-side node. Dx 4/3/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 4/27/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 6/1/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 6/1/2015 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/27/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/3/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction
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Nov 19, 2019 09:41AM - edited Nov 19, 2019 10:10AM by Flnana2

Pardon my ignorance summerangel, but if you got fake nipples, why would you need 3D nipple tattoos also? I am exploring options as I haven't had surgery yet.

Thank you.

Dx 6/19/2019, ILC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 7/23/2019 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Nov 19, 2019 10:04AM mnsotamom74 wrote:

if there is no feeling, is it painless to have the 3D tattoos

Dx 10/25/2018, DCIS/IDC/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 11/4/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 1/6/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/3/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 19, 2019 10:34AM farmerlucy wrote:

I did 3D tattoos from Vinnie Myer seven years ago. They still look amazing. That was the best part about this whole deal.

Dx at 51 after a preventive mx that wasn't. Oncotype dx 3. 3D tattoos from Vinnie! PTSD?? You are not alone! Surgery 2/21/2012 Prophylactic mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Dx 2/24/2012, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/11/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 7/22/2012 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 4/10/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 4/14/2015 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Nov 19, 2019 01:47PM SummerAngel wrote:

The 3D nipples (from Vinnie Myers) don't really need to be "3D" for me, it's just that they have the best shading and tone and look surprisingly real.

Age at dx: 45. Oncotype, left-side tumor: 9. Right side had multifocal IDC and "extensive" LCIS. Isolated tumor cells in 1 right-side node. Dx 4/3/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 4/27/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 6/1/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 6/1/2015 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/27/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/3/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction
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Nov 20, 2019 11:41PM countdooku wrote:

I had breast reconstruction at the end of August of this year and BMX in June. I have silicone implants. They're over the chest muscle, not under. The physical therapist I went to for 5 weeks is a breast cancer survivor and her implants were under the chest muscle. She said that if she had to do it all over again, she would go with over the chest muscles, not under, because when doing the TE fills, it was really painful and uncomfortable.

I'm very satisfied with the results. I'm not getting nipple reconstructive surgery. Mostly because I'm not interested in yet more surgeries...and because the reconstructive surgeon told me that there's no guarantee that you'd end up with much in the way of nipple sensation anyway. Honestly, I'm so thrilled that I don't have cancer that I don't care right now that I have no nipples whatsoever. I don't care about the big long scars across each reconstructed breast. At some time down the road, I'll get 3D nipple tattoos (they just look 3D, they're not actually 3 dimensional...they don't stick up out of your skin or anything). Reconstructive surgeon recommended to wait a few months before doing the nipple tattoos so my implants have time to settle in.

I ended up with reconstructed breasts that are slightly larger than my original breasts were. I'm happy with that because I was always on the small size. The reconstructive surgeon explained that breast reconstruction is an entirely different thing than breast augmentation...it's more complicated than a regular augmentation.

My recovery from the reconstructive surgery was a lot easier than recovering from the BMX. From the reconstructive surgery, I took 2 wk off of work but started to feel better at about the 1 week mark. don't be tempted to dive in at that 1 week mark to your normal activities. I did and I over did it a couple of times, so I had to learn the hard way. :-)

You're asking all the stuff that I was asking when I was trying to make a decision. That's good! You want to make an informed choice and weigh the pros and cons of all of your options. Best wishes to you!

Dx 5/21/2019, DCIS, Right, 3cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/18/2019 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left
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Nov 21, 2019 11:10PM mnsotamom74 wrote:

countdooku, thank you so much for your response! I met with the surgeon today and went over my options. He said I’m a great candidate for implants but I don’t have enough skin for flap and because of my two open surgeries across my stomach in the last year, they can’t use the skin because of the deep long scars, he explained it really well but I can’t describe it the way he did lol.

I won’t have the surgery to insert the tissue expanders until the new year. I was in the hospital last Christmas after open gallbladder surgery, the thought of another Christmas in pain is not appealing.

He thinks the 3D nipples are amazing and I have researched them and am interested in them just because I think they look good and will kinda complete it, it doesn’t bother me that they won’t be raised or have feeling.

I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I’m trying to be as prepared as possible

Dx 10/25/2018, DCIS/IDC/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 11/4/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 1/6/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/3/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 23, 2019 05:30PM - edited Nov 25, 2019 02:54PM by healthy20

Hi, I currently have expanders which have been filled 3 times with 50 or 60 CCs. And I can't tell how many more times will be enough.
I've read that people get filled way more than I have so far.
The expanders are bulky, so I look like I'm almost big enough. The PS is not who does the weekly expansion, so my questions about size are not answered.
Could one more time be enough? 200 or 250 CCs? I think I will ask to se the PS after the next fill, and make the appt. for the swap. Thanks for any suggestions. The implants will be saline, pre pectoral

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Nov 23, 2019 05:34PM Meow13 wrote:

I had left side DIEP, no regrets at all.

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Nov 23, 2019 08:28PM - edited Nov 23, 2019 08:35PM by MCBaker

I chose right side mastectomy. Refused to consider bilateral, because lefty had served my babies so well. My first mammo next week, slightly nervous. Went for under the skin reconstruction, because it is more natural. They couldn't save the nipple. I wouldn't want to be half-flat because of all the fuss with prostheses. Fully flat didn't even cross my mind, because my belly was already bigger than my boobs. I wasn't given a choice on a lift for lefty, but I am pleased, and that was a simple procedure. I have new bras, and cleavage for the first time in my life. With a bra on, I am not aware of the lack of sensation in the skin; deep sensation in the pectoral is still there. Without a bra, I see a difference between lefty and "righty", but the bra evens it out. Will be getting nipple tat in early December, may ask for a bit of tat on lefty, as the areola is not quite circular. Odd at the age of 69 to be fussy, but insurance pays.

Mary Dx 10/3/2018, DCIS, Right, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 11/15/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Dx 11/16/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 12/18/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/19/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 6/27/2019 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Saline implant
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Nov 23, 2019 08:46PM - edited Nov 23, 2019 08:47PM by Rrobin0200

reconstruction here! Direct impacts immediately after bmx. Smooth saline implants pre-pectoral. No regrets. Slightly bigger size since there's no breast tissue. I love mine! What remained as a scar is under the breast.

Dx 3/6/2017, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/31/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Nov 25, 2019 11:15AM - edited Nov 25, 2019 11:34AM by Basil77

I had a right-side MX, direct to implant reconstruction in July. One thing I would highly recommend is working with a physical therapist after your reconstruction has healed enough to resume all your normal activities. I had no complications and I felt like I was healing well with a good range of motion, etc. but I still asked for a physical therapy referral in October (I hit my out of pocket maximum with surgery, so I figured I might as well try anything that might help me for the rest of the year). My therapist showed me and my husband techniques for massage and scar work, and lots of exercises - it has been incredible in terms of improving my physical comfort, especially when laying down, with the added bonus helping me feel mentally and emotionally more comfortable with the changes to my body and confident pushing myself a bit when using the right side of my body.

41 yrs old. Diagnosed April 2019 with 8 cm Borderline Phyllodes Tumor, Right Breast. Surgery 7/10/2019 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant

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