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breast forms vs reconstruction

Hearty Pioneer's picture
Hearty Pioneer
Posts: 130
Joined: Apr 2013

I am still trying to decide if I am going to have reconstruction or not...

Have you worn breast forms? Which style did you like the best? 

Did you start out flat and then go to reconstruction? Are you happy you made the choice for reconstruction? Or would you rather have stayed flat?

I hope I am using the correct terms, specifically- flat??

Thanks!

Hearty Pioneer

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2189
Joined: Jun 2010

Doesn't matter about the terms, we understand.  I never had reconstruction, wasn't interested in any more surgery.  I was never sorry that I didn't have reconstruction either.  We are all different.  I had a friend who had been diagnose 27 years ago and then she decided she would like to have reconstruction, did and loved the result.

I wear a prosthesis.  Some were triangle shape, some were teardrop, depending on what I wanted it to fit.

Good luck with your decision.

Doris

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

I wish I could help you, but, I had a lumpectomy.  Just wanting to wish you good luck in what you decide.

Hugs, Jan

Rague
Posts: 3337
Joined: Aug 2009

I'm IBC so re**** was not an option for at least a year after surgery. (Single mod. rad. mast. in Oct '10)  I thought that I wanted to do recon but have decided against it.  I'm afraid of what might happen if I do more surgery.   Hubby (of 37 yrs) does not want me to have any un-necessary surgery but would support my decision IF I had or do in the future decide to do recon.  (Son doesn't want me to either but supports me if I decided to.)

After surgery I had issues with seromas, burned VERY bad with rads (took months to heal) and I deal with LymphEdema.  I am also a very active 'outdoor' woman and can do anything I want to.  I'm afraid that if I did un-necessary surgery the complications might limit my being able to ride/take care of my horses, mow my yard and the ones I do to help others out, do fly fishing, fly tying, rod building and tatting.

I never go 'flat' - I always were my prosthesis and never think about it - so comfy and 'normal' feeling.  The one I wear now is my second one.  Nothing was 'wrong' with the first one other than I lost weight and it was a big over sized.  I don't remember which my first one was but it by American Breast Care.  My new one is a Massage Form Asymmetric and I love it.  My suggestion is to see a Certified Fitter for help with getting the right pros. and bras.  They all fit so different - because I'm not large my fitter orders in bras for me to try to get a decent fit - I'm out in the 'middle of nowhere' and she is the only Certified Fitter within over 300 miles.

Winyan - The Power Within

Susan

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

I had a lumpectomy too.  Just wanted to say that the decision is yours in regards to what you do, reconstruction or not.  And, you don't have to rush in to reconstructive surgery.  You can always have it done later, years later, should you want to.

Best to you,

Diane

desertgirl947's picture
desertgirl947
Posts: 448
Joined: Oct 2012

I did not want recon because I did not want even more surgery nor more recovery time.  Plus, there is no guarantee that there will not be problems . . .

I have prosthetics I wear sometimes -- having a bi-lateral, I can get away with not always having "the girls" with me because I am not off-balance in such a way that it is hard on my back.  I don't have to figure out how to disguise missing one.  My insurance company paid for two bras and their inserts (some type of rubberish material) since my surgeon wrote a script for that.  From what I have been told, I can do that once or twice a year -- I don't think I am needing to do that twice a year.

I have followed a few tips for how to get away with that because I work in a school (Grades 5, 7, 9 in special ed) where kids can be too observant.  When I don't want to be bothering with the prosthetics, especially as the weather gets warmer, I wear blouses I do not have to tuck in.  They are not close-fitting anywhere.  I also avoid plain colors, going with patterns and designs and splashes of color.  I sometimes do some layering.

I recently heard that people do not notice we are "breastless" as much as we think they do.  I am not 100% convinced about that, which is why I do what I can to disguise it, if I am choosing to go without my prosthetics.  This is Wednesday.  I have not worn "the girls" since some time early last week.

hope4thebest's picture
hope4thebest
Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2012

Dear Hearty Pioneer,

It all depends on you-- your age, you health, you skin, what does your Dr say?  I went with the recon because I am young and single.  Yes, I am happy with my decision, I did not go too big, they look natural.  It did take a long time and is pretty painful, for me at least.  I am 2 years out from the expanders, so yes, I started flat.  I camouflaged it well.  It is what you feel best, inside not so much outside.  I followed my gut, and had alot of help from my caregiver.  I hope this helps you, it is a long process.

 

Stay Strong!

Hearty Pioneer's picture
Hearty Pioneer
Posts: 130
Joined: Apr 2013

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and experiences.  My cancer counslor is setting it up for me to talk to women who have had the DIEP reconstruction.  I just don't know how important it is to have reconstructed breasts 24/7 or to have breasts I put on??? I wish the surgery wasn't so long for the reconstruction.   It is so hard to project out to the future, how I will feel.  I sure did not like my image when I lost 60 lbs and my hair going through chemo for ovarian cancer...

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

That is a good idea to have you talk to survivors that had the DIEP reconstruction.  I know that whatever you choose, will be right for you.

Good luck,

Jan

ColoradoDani's picture
ColoradoDani
Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 2011

Is a direct to implant reconstruction a possibility for you?  That's what I had...one surgery, one recovery. It might be worth asking if someone in your area does it. It's not as common, so usually you need to go to a major metropolitan area, which is what I did, and it was totally worth the incovenience of driving. I'm only 4 months past surgery and able to do everything--mountain bike, swim, have full mobility etc. and I'm really happy with the outcome.

ColoradoDani's picture
ColoradoDani
Posts: 65
Joined: Sep 2011

Is a direct to implant reconstruction a possibility for you?  That's what I had...one surgery, one recovery. It might be worth asking if someone in your area does it. It's not as common, so usually you need to go to a major metropolitan area, which is what I did, and it was totally worth the incovenience of driving. I'm only 4 months past surgery and able to do everything--mountain bike, swim, have full mobility etc. and I'm really happy with the outcome.

camul's picture
camul
Posts: 2097
Joined: Dec 2010

growing up, through pregnancy, etc. Body never showed estrogen in system, was on bc pills for endometriosis, still fidnt grow. After mastectomy, I was not going to do reconstruction, ws talked into it by plastic surgeon and sisters but to this day, still wish I would not have fone it. For me they loom ok, but have never been comfortable, they get in my way (remember I was very flat). Hard to lay on my stomache and with the weight gain again from steroids, treatments, I feel really matronly.
This is such a personal decision. I hear so many say they felt not complete until they were reconstructed, but in my family, breasts were never such a big deal. I have 4 sisters and 6 brothers and boobs were never a topic unless we were drezsing up an needed to fill up the top, then ere were padded bras.
Just a personal feeling. Hope you can make yours on what you need and dont let others influence you!
Hugs,
Carol

kmenurse's picture
kmenurse
Posts: 223
Joined: Apr 2013

I myself decided to have the reconstruction.  I have not had my surgery yet that is this Friday the 26th... They are doing the mastectomy and the reconstruction all at the same time.  I will have an out patient surgery in the Doctors office weeks after, to insert the permeate implants and then after that to add nipples and tattoo the areola then it's done... I do not know your particular case but hopefully if you decide on reconstruction you could have the same two surgeries at the same time, as I will.  God Bless!  Kathy

FLwarrior's picture
FLwarrior
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2013

I wear prosthesis out of the house and I go flat at home.  Like most of you mentioned, I did not want the extra surgery.  If I had done any recon it probably would have been TE and implants, but I didn't want to have to have the replacement surgery every 10 years.  I have axillary webbing syndrome and recon would have probably made that a lot worse or turned it into full blown LE.  Lots of things to consider.  I think I made the right choice for me.  Like others mentioned, you should do what is right for you and be very comfotarble with your decision.  Best wishes to you as you make your choice!

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