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Jul 9, 2012 02:42PM
cgesq.......It's such a personal decision, certainly is not a one size fits all......
First is to find the best surgeons you can and with their help decide for your body type, your cancer treatments and your lifestyle, what the best option is.
For me, I'm active in skiing, sailing, hiking, walking, body surfing, etc...so I knew I didn't want to sacrifice muscle with any of the autologous procedures (TRAM, LD Flap). I also knew I didn't want implants, particularly as I'd had radiation prior to mastectomy.
There are women who know from the get-go that they want immediate reconstruction, if you can do this you'll have the most minimal scars. I think this also depends on what treatment for the cancer comes next, especially radiation. I do understand from all the time I've spent on this site, that mastectomy with immediate reconstruction is not available in all areas of the country, as it's a complex procedure and not all surgeons are up to par, this is why those of us experienced ladies stress finding the best surgeons available, that goes for both the general/breast surgeon and plastic surgeon.
Other women find it overwhelming having to make so many decisions in such a short amount of time.
Delayed reconstructions give the luxury of time, but the scars from the mastectomy are typically more noticeable, unless you can have a nipple/skin sparing procedure with TE's put in place which prevent the skin from shrinking.
The thought of all the scarring really bothered me when I started this process but has become much less important as time's gone by.
Hope this helps, good luck
...."We must see all scars as beauty. ....Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived." Chris Cleave, Little Bee
1/5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
02/22/2008 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)
03/27/2009 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right); Reconstruction: GAP flap (Right)
06/20/2012 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Right)
11/14/2012 Reconstruction (Right)