Consdering Mastectomy

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mbernhart
mbernhart Member Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi All,

Thank you for all of your encouragement and advice earlier regarding getting an appointment with my surgeon and whether or not to see an oncologist as well. I have since seen my surgeon and I have an appointment to see an oncologist this week (only because of my persistance and insistance which is so very frustrating). Yay! I have been diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. However my surgeon also found two more lumps in the same breast and I'm waiting for the biopsy results on these. Either way I am considering a mastectomy (or possibly a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy). I have some questions regarding reconstruction though. I have an HMO and want to know what is typically covered by insurance? Can I get implants? Will they cover whatever it takes to make my (possibly) remaining breast look like the other? What type of questions should I ask a plastic surgeon when/if I can get a consult? Also, what factors determine whether they can start the recunstruction at the time of the surgery or not? I really don't want to do reconstruction with just tissue as I am only 32 years old. I know I've got a ton of questions but I'm brand new to this and I feel like my medical group is not providing me with any guidance. Instead I'm actually having to fight to get my referrals and to be seen in a timely manner. Thans for all of your help. Your advice is priceless and possibly life saving. I am praying for you all. <3

Thank you,
Melanie

Comments

  • susie09
    susie09 Member Posts: 2,930
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    Hi Melanie! I wish I could
    Hi Melanie! I wish I could answer your questions, but, I had a lumpectomy.

    I know that others here will reply to you with good advice.

    Good luck to you!
  • Menda
    Menda Member Posts: 128
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    I am scheduled for a double
    I am scheduled for a double Bilaterial elective masectomy on july 8th. They will also do reconstruction (silicone) at the same time. My HMO I'd covering all costs. I do have to meet my deductable. I did have to do a little pushing for the reconstruction. I think the surgeon thought I was doing this for the implants. I am going from a almost "a" to a good "b". I am 5' 4" on a good day and weigh about 115. Anything thing else and I would look funny. I am also able to avoid expanders. May be a little worse on the front end but it is the best decisions for me. Oh, my HMO doesn't cover my food while I am in the hospital. Figure that one out. ;). When I go in fir pre- op I am going to fight that all removed tissue be tested. With Gods help hopefully nothing will change while I am under. I am giving hubby a HCPOA and a HIPPA just in case. I'll keep you informed. I will also keep you in my prayers. Let me know what you decide.
  • Heatherbelle
    Heatherbelle Member Posts: 1,226 Member
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    I'm in the same boat as you,
    I'm in the same boat as you, Melanie. I was diagnosed last week and am also considering mastectomy. My doctor got me a consult with a plastic surgeon for next week before I make my decision on what type of surgery to have, because like you, I'm in my 30's, and reconstruction is very important to me. I'd like to find out if it's possible to have my reconstruction done at the time of my surgery also. I'm so sorry you're having difficulties with your medical group, that has got to be so frustrating for you at such a scary time. I wish I had some answers for you, but unfortunately I'm asking the same questions that you are. My consult with the plastic surgeon is on Wednesday, I will let you know what information I get then!
    Praying for you as well,
    Heather
  • wendybia
    wendybia Member Posts: 73
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    it'll be ok....
    hi melanie...you'll be ok....your hmo must cover recon because it's the law....find a great plastic surgeon, they're not all created equal...i had unilateral mastect 12/09...immed recon with procedure called diep, not all surgeons do it, he used my tummy fat to make a new breast...there's a tram flap which is almost the same but takes muscle from the tummy as well and a little more painful..there's another where they take from your back...and always implants...i'm 43 and in good health so i could have diep which is a long surgery...since i was only doing unilateral i thought diep would look closer to match also i didn't wnat to go thru' this for many months of fills and also he said i would have to have the implants removed later as i got older and redone...once was enough for me....a really good friend of mine was dx right after me and had implants using the same surgeon, she's young also...she didn't want the long scars and liked the idea of implants so we're all different...do what is right for you and listen to your doctors...as far as the onc...i didn't see mine till i was healed approx 4 weeks after surgery....she wanted me to focus on healing and that also gave time to send my tumor out for the oncotype test...so we would have all the facts instead of discussing all the what ifs...what ifs can drive you crazy...i didn't want that stress, i just wanted facts and a plan based on it....do what you feel in your head first than heart when dealing with treatment...good luck, i'll keep you in my prayers...wendy
  • Kylez
    Kylez Member Posts: 3,761 Member
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    I'm in the same boat as you,
    I'm in the same boat as you, Melanie. I was diagnosed last week and am also considering mastectomy. My doctor got me a consult with a plastic surgeon for next week before I make my decision on what type of surgery to have, because like you, I'm in my 30's, and reconstruction is very important to me. I'd like to find out if it's possible to have my reconstruction done at the time of my surgery also. I'm so sorry you're having difficulties with your medical group, that has got to be so frustrating for you at such a scary time. I wish I had some answers for you, but unfortunately I'm asking the same questions that you are. My consult with the plastic surgeon is on Wednesday, I will let you know what information I get then!
    Praying for you as well,
    Heather

    I am wishing you good luck
    I am wishing you good luck Melanie with whatever surgery you might have!


    Keep us updated on how you are feeling and doing.
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    Talk to YOUR Drs!
    We are all so different and our cancers are different. Our treatments are also different. All of this plays into rather or not reconstruction can be done at time of surgery. For me, it wasn't an option at that time. My PA, surgeon, Chemo and Rads Drs all said that we'll talk in a year due to the type (IBC), size and that I'd have more chemo and rads after surgery. I'm really glad that I didn't have anything (except the mastyectomy) done at the time as i had a very large seroma that caused problems and then was badly burned by rads. That's not to be expected just what I 'got'.

    Your Drs. can give you the best info for your particuolar situtation.

    Susan
  • cahjah75
    cahjah75 Member Posts: 2,631
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    It's a lot to take in
    Melanie, it's a lot to take in. Every BC is different as are insurance companies. I too have an HMO. I have invasive lobular bc in right breast and lobular carcinoma in the left breast. I'm having a bilateral mastectomy in 2 days. My HMO covers 100% other than my copay. They by law have to cover reconstruction whether it is now or later. I need radiation on the right breast so I could only have reconstruction on the left breast now. I've decided to wait until all treatment is done. However, I did meet with plastic surgeon to go over the different types of reconstruction. It is well worth your time to find an excellent breast reconstruction surgeon and hear what he/she has to say. Wishing you well as you make these huge decisions. It's no fun dealing with bc....
    Char
  • Sally5
    Sally5 Member Posts: 87
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    Decisions....
    Melanie,
    Wow. Sorry to hear about your news but you seem positive and in charge. This is the key. I think I bugged my doctors but I needed answers. I had the same decision to make not too long ago. At the breast center where I found out that I had breast cancer, a great dr. told me to treat my whole body. Local is for the breast cancer but you want to take care of your whole body. If I was going to do reconstruction, to start it at surgery. I was still in shock. I couldn't even say the word cancer for awhile. Take the time to find out what is best for you.

    My breast surgeon (cancer) explained everything, including all my options. She gave me 3 recommendations for plastic surgeons. I had to make sure they were covered by my insurance but you also wanted to make sure they specialize in reconstruction. (If covered, all the reconstruction is covered. I was even told if I chose one (side) now and later chose another, it would still be covered.) I am not as young as you (49) but I felt too young not to have reconstruction. My regular dr. also knew the 2 doctors I had and passed on her approval.

    Hopefully this is not your case: I have seen cancer in my family. Not all of it turned out good. So I have this weighing on my decision. I did go through genetic testing. It takes time... (that was frustrating). You need to consider what you are comfortable with. I wanted to do this once and never have it reoccur.

    I read about a lot of women having surgery and radiation and then the cancer comes back. What is that?? Some even mention that they later had the mastectomy. Bottom line: I felt I would rather regret doing too much that regret not doing enough.... I am at 5 weeks after surgery and I have no regrets.

    You are not alone. I have gained a lot of insight from the amazing women at this site. If I can help more, please ask.

    Take care
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    Sally5 said:

    Decisions....
    Melanie,
    Wow. Sorry to hear about your news but you seem positive and in charge. This is the key. I think I bugged my doctors but I needed answers. I had the same decision to make not too long ago. At the breast center where I found out that I had breast cancer, a great dr. told me to treat my whole body. Local is for the breast cancer but you want to take care of your whole body. If I was going to do reconstruction, to start it at surgery. I was still in shock. I couldn't even say the word cancer for awhile. Take the time to find out what is best for you.

    My breast surgeon (cancer) explained everything, including all my options. She gave me 3 recommendations for plastic surgeons. I had to make sure they were covered by my insurance but you also wanted to make sure they specialize in reconstruction. (If covered, all the reconstruction is covered. I was even told if I chose one (side) now and later chose another, it would still be covered.) I am not as young as you (49) but I felt too young not to have reconstruction. My regular dr. also knew the 2 doctors I had and passed on her approval.

    Hopefully this is not your case: I have seen cancer in my family. Not all of it turned out good. So I have this weighing on my decision. I did go through genetic testing. It takes time... (that was frustrating). You need to consider what you are comfortable with. I wanted to do this once and never have it reoccur.

    I read about a lot of women having surgery and radiation and then the cancer comes back. What is that?? Some even mention that they later had the mastectomy. Bottom line: I felt I would rather regret doing too much that regret not doing enough.... I am at 5 weeks after surgery and I have no regrets.

    You are not alone. I have gained a lot of insight from the amazing women at this site. If I can help more, please ask.

    Take care

    It depends on the type!
    I had chemo, rad. mod. mastectomy, more chemo and radiation. Due to the type, (Inflammatory BC) - the 5 yr. 'survival rate' is approx 25%. So far (less that a year from DX but done with treatments), I'm riding NED but I don't know what tomorrow will bring so I live each day for that day.

    Unfortunately, there is no CURE for cancer today - but we can fight it 'tooth and nail'!

    Susan
  • DianeBC
    DianeBC Member Posts: 3,881 Member
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    Rague said:

    It depends on the type!
    I had chemo, rad. mod. mastectomy, more chemo and radiation. Due to the type, (Inflammatory BC) - the 5 yr. 'survival rate' is approx 25%. So far (less that a year from DX but done with treatments), I'm riding NED but I don't know what tomorrow will bring so I live each day for that day.

    Unfortunately, there is no CURE for cancer today - but we can fight it 'tooth and nail'!

    Susan

    Wishing you good luck
    Wishing you good luck Melanie. Get all of the information that you can and do what is best for you. Your doctors will help you in telling you all of the facts and in what they recommend for you.

    Hugs, Diane