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Treatment

 
Treatment

Chapter: 6 - Treatment

Subchapter: 4 - Breast Reconstruction

Following a mastectomy, you have options to help you become comfortable with the changes in your body. They are all options, with benefits to each approach. What is best for you and your body may not be what is best for another woman.

If you are considering breast reconstruction, you should speak with your medical team before the mastectomy, even if you plan to have your reconstruction later on.

Reconstruction Methods
There are a few of options for breast reconstruction, and which one you use will depend on your age, body type, and treatment plan.

Implants
One possibility is to have breast implants. The breast is filled with silicone sacs of saline or silicone gel.

TRAM Flap, Latissimus Flap, or Gluteal Flap
An alternative solution is to use tissue the surgeon removes from another part of your body, like the belly (TRAM), back (latissimus), or buttocks (gluteal). The surgeon sculpts this tissue into the shape of your breast.

Surgical Summary
In addition to reconstructing the breast, the surgeon can add a nipple, change the shape or size of the reconstructed breast, and operate on the opposite breast as well for a better match. The plastic surgeon will be able to discuss with you the benefits and risks of each procedure, and help you decide what will make you feel the most natural.

Alternative to Breast Reconstruction
One alternative to breast reconstruction is a removable prosthetic breast that is worn in the bra. This will preserve the shape and look of the breast without the surgical procedures.

Summary
Whether you undergo breast reconstruction, wear a prosthetic breast, or choose to embrace the changes you have experienced, you should make a decision that is right for you. The goal is to prevent the discomfort of change, while enabling you to accept what has occurred and continue on with your life.

Related Questions

  • Kali Nguyen Profile

    Double Mastectomy after chemo, how rough was it and recovery until radiation? Do they take lymph node to?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 4 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had double with immediate reconstruction. Reconstruction was painful only for 2 weeks. I had implants inserted @ time of macectomy. 6 lymph nodes all negative. From what I've read straight mastectomy is fairly easy. 🙏🏾

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I only had a single mastectomy and my surgeon took sentinel nodes, not the ones in my armpits. I did have a microscopic bit of cancer in one. The single mastectomy was very easy for me. I never had to take any pain medication because they cut nerves so there was nothing there to signal pain. ...

      more

      I only had a single mastectomy and my surgeon took sentinel nodes, not the ones in my armpits. I did have a microscopic bit of cancer in one. The single mastectomy was very easy for me. I never had to take any pain medication because they cut nerves so there was nothing there to signal pain.
      As for how extensive your surgery will be depends on your particular case. Whether your surgeon has to take axial (armpit) nodes is again depending on your case. You need to discuss this with your surgeon because we can't tell you. Sometimes even your surgeon doesn't know until they get in there. An MRI will help tell how extensive it is. Being that it sounds like you had chemotherapy before your surgery, that is meant to shrink the tumor so it's not as large. It usually does a great job. Get an appointment with your surgeon. We usually say you don't really get a complete diagnosis until after the final pathology after your surgery. Hang in there and take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Michele Aboro Profile

    Hi I have just had sugary on stage 2b cancer and wanted to ask about what food is the best to eat before I start chemotherapy. Thanks Michele

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Sorry...that sent too early! The morning of my chemo, I ate something, like an English muffin and an egg. While getting started I had some milk to get some protein in case I wouldnt want it later. Bland foods that day and a few days after we're all I could tolerate. Watermelon and grapes were...

      more

      Sorry...that sent too early! The morning of my chemo, I ate something, like an English muffin and an egg. While getting started I had some milk to get some protein in case I wouldnt want it later. Bland foods that day and a few days after we're all I could tolerate. Watermelon and grapes were my savior and kept my hydrated when I was t drinking fluids. Which I was all the time. Be hydrated before during and after, so your body can flush out the toxins as fast as possible. Eat what you want before, but try to keep your nora

      Comment
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I pretty much ate normally, which tends to be healthy. The

      Comment
  • crissy dellacamera Profile
  • Surf  Momma Profile

    Do implants feel better than expanders?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 9 years 2 answers
    • Ana Naluh Andrade Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes, they do. But I would advice to go with a small breast size for the implants! 400 ml, maximum! Other way it will be a big discomfort for a VERY long time!!

      Comment
    • M Aycock Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      ??? Did not have reconstruction--want to make sure I make it to the 5 yr mark before I go to the trouble. I had St 2b Grade III no node involvement. Triple negative bc

      Comment

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