latis reconstruction

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Unknown
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Back from my plastic surgeon who tells me that implants/expansion is difficult with radiation and that I am too thin for anything except a latissimus flap recon. Anyone do expansion after radiation? Anyone have a latis dorsi reconstruction? I am tempted to live with what I have (and what I don't have). First I will go see another plastic surgeon. This one was not patient with me - when I asked a question he would say...would you just let me explain! Which usually means, "hey, look, I've got a little speech I always give and I don't want to have to deal with you as a person. Don't interupt my routine with your needs!" Yech! I give more of myself personally to the check out girl at Safeway than some doc's give (haha - give? $$) to their patients. Feels good to say that. Thanks for any experiences.
love,
Joyce one boob and holding

Comments

  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
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    I would definitely say go to another Doctor if the one you have seen is not good at communicating with you. Cancer is hard enough to deal with without having to fight with the Dr. to get information, or feeling like he/she thinks you are not important (without patients Drs. would have much smaller salaries, wouldn't they?) Beyond that I don't have much help to offer. I am researching reconstruction options myself. I have had mastectomy and will do radiation before reconstruction because my surgeon says the tissues "turn to cardboard" during radiation and it takes several (6-12)months for the effects of radiation to wear off and the tissues to "settle" into their new state of being. I have tissue expanders in place, but she told me the breast that recieves the radiation will shrink up. I believe the expansion could be done after the tissues have "settled". I would definitely try a different Dr. and do more research.

    Best wishes as you make your decisions. seof
  • ohilly
    ohilly Member Posts: 441
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    Joyce, I just had a mastectomy on Feb. 21 and had a lat flap reconstruction. Actually, the kind I had was kind of unusual: the doctor told me he is writing a research paper on it. Instead of doing 4 or 5 operations to stretch the tissue, the lat flap with implant is done in ONE step. You wake up with a new breast and the only thing that is left to be done is to tattoo on the nipple which is done in the doctor's office. I just had this done, so I'm not sure how much good my comments will do you, but I feel pretty comfortable with it so far. I am happy I did this instead of the tram flap which to me sounds like a horrible recovery...I understand the patients have trouble standing up straight and need physical therapy. Let me know if there's anything else I can answer for you, but don't give up on reconstruction! Ohilly
  • seof said:

    I would definitely say go to another Doctor if the one you have seen is not good at communicating with you. Cancer is hard enough to deal with without having to fight with the Dr. to get information, or feeling like he/she thinks you are not important (without patients Drs. would have much smaller salaries, wouldn't they?) Beyond that I don't have much help to offer. I am researching reconstruction options myself. I have had mastectomy and will do radiation before reconstruction because my surgeon says the tissues "turn to cardboard" during radiation and it takes several (6-12)months for the effects of radiation to wear off and the tissues to "settle" into their new state of being. I have tissue expanders in place, but she told me the breast that recieves the radiation will shrink up. I believe the expansion could be done after the tissues have "settled". I would definitely try a different Dr. and do more research.

    Best wishes as you make your decisions. seof

    My doc said leather instead of cardboard, but said tissues will never get back to strechy again. Lets keep in touch. Sounds like we need the same stuff. Thanks for responding. I haven't started my rads.. Just about to do so.
    love Joyce
  • ohilly said:

    Joyce, I just had a mastectomy on Feb. 21 and had a lat flap reconstruction. Actually, the kind I had was kind of unusual: the doctor told me he is writing a research paper on it. Instead of doing 4 or 5 operations to stretch the tissue, the lat flap with implant is done in ONE step. You wake up with a new breast and the only thing that is left to be done is to tattoo on the nipple which is done in the doctor's office. I just had this done, so I'm not sure how much good my comments will do you, but I feel pretty comfortable with it so far. I am happy I did this instead of the tram flap which to me sounds like a horrible recovery...I understand the patients have trouble standing up straight and need physical therapy. Let me know if there's anything else I can answer for you, but don't give up on reconstruction! Ohilly

    Thanks, Ohilly. It is good to hear positive things about lat. It is also really neat to see you offering advice and comfort from your experience. Look how far you have come! Its been nice that you shared your journey.
    love,
    Joyce
  • survivor51
    survivor51 Member Posts: 276
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    Joyce,
    Could you have the full construction before the radiation? I'd check with several doctors and email them/office to find out advice. Angela
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
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    Aw, Joyce, I'm sorry you have such a fight!

    I 'only' had a lumpectomy, so I don't know this...but is it possible to wait a bit longer to do the reconstruction? I know that breast augmentation (I know, on a 'normal' breast...but still) can be done anytime. Maybe this is a question to ask...

    Hugs, Kathi
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
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    Hi Joyce:

    If you want to do expanders, you definitely have to do them before you do the rads. My niece is looking into this now because she was just diagnosed and the plastic surgeon told her to do the expanders before rad. I'm sorry you are going through all this but keep searching until you find a dr you are comfortable with and is not looking at the watch. Lili
  • imnee211
    imnee211 Member Posts: 6
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    Please do search out a different plastic surgeon! I had a latissimus dorsi w/ silicone implant at the same time I had my mastectomy in May of 2007. My doctors were caring and supportive and that made all the difference in the world! Good luck with your journey.