breast reconstruction

bsiems
bsiems Member Posts: 5
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I had a right side mastectomy in 2005. I am considering reconstruction but also thinking about having the left breast removed because I am concerned about cancer in that breast. I don't think I'd have a problem being totally flat chested, I'm just tired of the prosthesis everyday. I just think that with no breasts left my chances of a recurrence would be less.

With implants are mammograms less effective at identifying problems?

Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.

Comments

  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
    I had a right breast
    I had a right breast mastectomy and I don't get mammograms of the right breast any more. There is no tissue to xray. So I would assume that if you have both removed you will not be getting mammograms anymore. Breast cancer can recurr so getting a mastectomy doesn't prevent it from manifesting elsewhere such as your lungs or bones. You should be getting chest xrays yearly. Hugs, Lili
  • rjjj
    rjjj Member Posts: 1,822 Member

    I had a right breast
    I had a right breast mastectomy and I don't get mammograms of the right breast any more. There is no tissue to xray. So I would assume that if you have both removed you will not be getting mammograms anymore. Breast cancer can recurr so getting a mastectomy doesn't prevent it from manifesting elsewhere such as your lungs or bones. You should be getting chest xrays yearly. Hugs, Lili

    II have known women to do this
    I have a friend that chose to have the other breast removed along with the one with the ca I asked my Dr. to do this right before my surgery and he said it was to late they already had the plan in place. He assured me we would be keeping a close eye on the other breast , and it made no sense to remove perfectly good tissue. I thought it made sense to me since i was already afraid of a reoccurance. I guess i will just have to keep a close watch on it and hope that i will not have it show up there.Good luck to you whatever your decision.
    God Bless
    Jackie
  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
    I am about to have reconstruction done on my right side and I was concerned about this very thing so I asked my Onco and my surgeon. My onco told me in his 25 years of service he has never seen implants hide a cancer recurrance, so he felt if it is possible it would be extremely rare. I then asked my surgeon what he thought and he said the inplant is placed under the chest muscle so if cancer were to occur it would be above that in the tissue area. However as Lili stated with the breast removed there is really no breast tissue left to mammogram. My doctor does MRI's of the chest area and breast along with my mammo since I have one breast remaining. My best to you in whatever you decide to do.

    RE
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    RE said:

    I am about to have reconstruction done on my right side and I was concerned about this very thing so I asked my Onco and my surgeon. My onco told me in his 25 years of service he has never seen implants hide a cancer recurrance, so he felt if it is possible it would be extremely rare. I then asked my surgeon what he thought and he said the inplant is placed under the chest muscle so if cancer were to occur it would be above that in the tissue area. However as Lili stated with the breast removed there is really no breast tissue left to mammogram. My doctor does MRI's of the chest area and breast along with my mammo since I have one breast remaining. My best to you in whatever you decide to do.

    RE

    I guess this shows the
    I guess this shows the difference between personal cases and doctors. I also asked my surgeon about recurrence in the other side and he insisted it would not happen. I've seen two different oncologists since my treatment and they never recommended MRI's, just mammo of the one side. Maybe RE you are getting better follow-up than I am? All I get on the flat side is felt for lumps.
  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
    From the beginning of my diagnosis in may 07 I knew there would be mastectomy of the cancer side because the lump was so large and nodes were involved. I wanted bilateral done for my own peace of mind, though Dr. said I was only at a 10% risk of recurrence on the other side. My surgery was done Dec. of 08 after chemo, before radiation and more chemo. Now I am done with all that. I had expanders put in at the time of the mastectomy because I wanted reconstruction from the outset. Expanders are "placeholders" to prevent the skin from shrinking...requires less stretching for recon. I just do not see myself dealing very well with being flat. I am planning to have reconstruction with the DIEP procedure because it uses no muscle, especially since I am having bilateral recon. I am having it done in June because I work in a public school and I will have the summer to recover and won't have to take off work for it. I wanted my own tissue used because it rarely has to be redone, though the surgery and recovery is longer. Implants usually have to be redone after 3-5 years. Also, having lived with the expanders for a year and still being "aware" of them (no pain,just don't feel natural) I don't think I want implants. The recon. may have the same result, but it seems logical that my body will adjust to my own tissues better than implants. It is a tough decision with lots to think about. In the end, you just have to do what you think you can best live with.
    Also check with your insurance as to what they will cover, and with your Dr. and hospital on payment options. Our insurance first said they would not cover the mastectomy on the noncancer side, so we got help from family, and the Dr. gave us a generous discount. After the fact the insurance wound up reimbursing us. They will be covering the recon.

    Best wishes on your decision.
  • lynn1950
    lynn1950 Member Posts: 2,570
    RE said:

    I am about to have reconstruction done on my right side and I was concerned about this very thing so I asked my Onco and my surgeon. My onco told me in his 25 years of service he has never seen implants hide a cancer recurrance, so he felt if it is possible it would be extremely rare. I then asked my surgeon what he thought and he said the inplant is placed under the chest muscle so if cancer were to occur it would be above that in the tissue area. However as Lili stated with the breast removed there is really no breast tissue left to mammogram. My doctor does MRI's of the chest area and breast along with my mammo since I have one breast remaining. My best to you in whatever you decide to do.

    RE

    Tell us more about MRIs
    Do you have an MRI once a year? I had a bilateral mastectomy and don't feel secure about just "feeling" for cancer. Are MRIs fairly reliable at showing breast cancer? Tell us more! Thanks, Lynn
  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
    RE said:

    I am about to have reconstruction done on my right side and I was concerned about this very thing so I asked my Onco and my surgeon. My onco told me in his 25 years of service he has never seen implants hide a cancer recurrance, so he felt if it is possible it would be extremely rare. I then asked my surgeon what he thought and he said the inplant is placed under the chest muscle so if cancer were to occur it would be above that in the tissue area. However as Lili stated with the breast removed there is really no breast tissue left to mammogram. My doctor does MRI's of the chest area and breast along with my mammo since I have one breast remaining. My best to you in whatever you decide to do.

    RE

    I have had breast cancer three times and also have a strong family history of it, both my mom and sister had it on both sides along with an aunt. Because of this my onco does the chest MRI as well. It is similar to the regular MRI except that I am on my tummy and my remaining breast is in a cup type item. The entire chest front where the breast are or were are scanned. It is done yearly, when I have my mammogram. Hope this has helped.

    RE
  • bsiems
    bsiems Member Posts: 5
    seof said:

    From the beginning of my diagnosis in may 07 I knew there would be mastectomy of the cancer side because the lump was so large and nodes were involved. I wanted bilateral done for my own peace of mind, though Dr. said I was only at a 10% risk of recurrence on the other side. My surgery was done Dec. of 08 after chemo, before radiation and more chemo. Now I am done with all that. I had expanders put in at the time of the mastectomy because I wanted reconstruction from the outset. Expanders are "placeholders" to prevent the skin from shrinking...requires less stretching for recon. I just do not see myself dealing very well with being flat. I am planning to have reconstruction with the DIEP procedure because it uses no muscle, especially since I am having bilateral recon. I am having it done in June because I work in a public school and I will have the summer to recover and won't have to take off work for it. I wanted my own tissue used because it rarely has to be redone, though the surgery and recovery is longer. Implants usually have to be redone after 3-5 years. Also, having lived with the expanders for a year and still being "aware" of them (no pain,just don't feel natural) I don't think I want implants. The recon. may have the same result, but it seems logical that my body will adjust to my own tissues better than implants. It is a tough decision with lots to think about. In the end, you just have to do what you think you can best live with.
    Also check with your insurance as to what they will cover, and with your Dr. and hospital on payment options. Our insurance first said they would not cover the mastectomy on the noncancer side, so we got help from family, and the Dr. gave us a generous discount. After the fact the insurance wound up reimbursing us. They will be covering the recon.

    Best wishes on your decision.

    DIEP
    I am a public school teacher as well! Where are you having your DIEP procedure done? That is what I would like to have done, but have been told there are very few places that can do them because it is a special microscopic procedure.

    Thank you to everyone for your replies. I have a sixth month check up in March and will be asking a lot more questions and requesting more to my exam!
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    RE said:

    I have had breast cancer three times and also have a strong family history of it, both my mom and sister had it on both sides along with an aunt. Because of this my onco does the chest MRI as well. It is similar to the regular MRI except that I am on my tummy and my remaining breast is in a cup type item. The entire chest front where the breast are or were are scanned. It is done yearly, when I have my mammogram. Hope this has helped.

    RE

    About MRIs
    They are recommended for certain people as RE says. I will also be getting them every year because my breasts are very dense due to my age. My radiologist says that mammograms are almost useless for me.
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
    bsiems said:

    DIEP
    I am a public school teacher as well! Where are you having your DIEP procedure done? That is what I would like to have done, but have been told there are very few places that can do them because it is a special microscopic procedure.

    Thank you to everyone for your replies. I have a sixth month check up in March and will be asking a lot more questions and requesting more to my exam!

    Check out this web site
    Check out this web site www.diepflap.com it will tell you who invented the procedure and which medical centers do this procedure. And yes, ask many questions on your next checkup. We are our best advocates and if you feel something isn't right, insist with your doctor until you are satisfied with the answer. After all, it is your health and no one will worry more about it than you. Best of luck and keep us posted. Hugs, Lili