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Reconstruction after lumpectomy

Margeaux
Posts: 75
Joined: Dec 2011

Dear Pinks:

I have a question for you - my step-daughter had a lumpctomy 1 year ago (Stage I DC), she also had radiation.  Her breast is now "shrinking" and she says she is looking lopsided.  She made an appointment with a plastic surgeon for early May to discuss reconstruction.  I myself am a BC survivor, StageIIB IDC,  my left boob is not only smaller but odd-shaped and downright ugly.  But, then, I am 80 years old so, who cares..... not me, not hubby and I don't think people stare at old lady boobs.  I am somewhat familier with the procedures required for reconstruction after mastectomy, but I don't have a clue what it would take to do reconstruction after a lumpectomy and radiation.  Any comments would be appreciated.  Thanks

Margeaux

pattimc
Posts: 432
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi,

I had a lumpectomy in 2009 and 4 chemo and 33 radiation treatments. I was Stage II with lymph node involvement.  I was fine with not having reconstruction until about a year ago. I was tired of looking at the divet and my son is getting married in June so I decided to check in to it.

I went to a highly recommended plastic surgeon. While it's more difficult to have reconstruction after a lumpectomy and radiation it is NOT impossible! I had surgery this past December called the LAT Flap. The take the Latissimus Dorsi muscle from your back and move it to the bottom of the breat. They put in a tissue expander during the surgery. After a few weeks (recovery is NOT easy!!) they start doing saline fills in the tissue expander. Because the skin was radiated it is very tight. I had about 8 fills the last one being in February.

I am scheduled for the "exchange" surgery on May 6th. He will take out the tissue expander and put in an implant. He will also put in an implant in my good breast or do a lift to be sure they are they same.

I have been very pleased so far. I was lucky...my tissue expanders only really hurt during the fill period. Since I've been on a break since Feb, it really doesn't bother me. I know other women have said they h ad a rough time with expanders, tho.

I'm really excited to get it done...I'll be healed and all even in time for my son's wedding! The recovery from the surgery in December was WAY more than I thought it would be. However, I would do it again! BTW I was 53 at diagnosis and I'm 57 now....

 

Good luck to your step-daughter!

 

 

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5299
Joined: Oct 2010

I had lumpectomy (2009) and radition>> Lopsided for sure then had 2nd lumpectomy this past NOV..so now really bad....I have asked on this board if anyone has done reconstruction for ONLY lumpecomty some time ago.

 

I am 53 so not too worried..I dont' think anyone else can notice...and I have had so many surgeries from head to toes since 14 yrs old I don't think I would perosnally opt for reconstruction, myself..

 

Denise

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

I had a girlfriend that had fat grafting done after her lumpectomy.  Her breast didn't shrink from rads, but, she had kind of a hollow place where the tumor and extra tissue was taken.  The fat grafting completely filled it in and her breast looks great.  I think she had it done twice, but, both were outpatient surgeries.  I don't know if everyone can have this done, but, it is certainly less invasive than other surgeries and it worked for her.  You might check into that.  I am considering having it done myself. 

Jan

Margeaux
Posts: 75
Joined: Dec 2011

Well, as the saying goes - no good deed goes unpunished.  Considering her situation (on a new job approx. 3 months, which she desparately needs,  separated, living alone, financial situation less than good, I had tried to encourage her to simply do with a bra insert.  There is one called Flount Flirt that seemed suitable.  Her father called her last night with his concerns, she then talked me, upset with his call, chewed me out good, she is old enough blah,blah,blah.  I took it personally, even though it was directed more at her father than me.  She talked to the plastic surgeon today and was told that even with filling the divot with liposuction from the tummy, she can't bring it up to the same size as the right (I suppose that would require more extensive surgery).  She therefore decided, at least for now, to have breast reduction on the other boob, once she has her 1st anniversary after end of radiation.  Approx. 4 hr. surgery, she thinks it can be done Thursday and she'd be back at work Monday.   Considering her overall situation, I am still of the firm belief she should not do surgery at this time, it can always be done later, but I will butt out.  

Margeaux
 

Margeaux
Posts: 75
Joined: Dec 2011

Didn't make myself very clear, she will have liposuction to fill the divets and at the same time breast reduction on the other breast.  Does anyone know how long recovery time really is?  I read about the fat graftin at Breastcancer.org, apparently it a fairly new procedure, fat can be reabsorbed, but the whole procedure is not difficult and can be re-done under a local.  A device called "Braca" should be worn over the breast for approx. 1 month to stretch the skin.  I also read WebMD on breast reduction, not such an easy procedure as she thinks, your input would be appreciated, her father is very upset.  I will send a friendly email giving her these 2 website, hopefully she won't jump down my throat, just can't help it!

Margeaux

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

Recovery time for the fat grafting?  It was an outpatient procedure and my girlfriend was just really sore where they took the fat from and bruised pretty bad.  They took the fat from her thighs.  She was in pain the next day, but, nothing horrible, as she could have gone into work, but, took a few days off just incase.  I don't know what the device you wrote about, braca, is.  She didn't wear anything.  Is that for the reduction?

Jan

Pink Rose
Posts: 495
Joined: Nov 2012

Jan, this fat grafting sounds interesting.  I think I will google it to find out more.  Thanks!

Lynne P
Posts: 165
Joined: May 2013

Just saw this post.  Did she have the surgery Margeaux?  Is she happy with it?  Recovery time?  What exactly did she have done?

Thanks, Lynne

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