reconstruction now or later..fluid buildup?

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anaumann
anaumann Member Posts: 60 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Still looking for advise from your experiences..need to schedule mastectomy after I see plastic sugeon on tues. I have been concerned about ongoing difficulties and addition surgery with expanders and was leaning toward no reconstruction at this time. Does everyone need expanders if reconstruction is done at time of mastectomy? It seems that later might be more difficult if the skin is not preserved now.

Also, I just read the posts about fluid buildup. Can anyone explain more. I realize I need to ask the ps all this but I feel I can ask more informed questions if I have a better understanding. thanks again, ann

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  • Chickadee1955
    Chickadee1955 Member Posts: 356 Member
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    I opted for delayed
    I opted for delayed reconstruction. I consulted with the PS and my Onc Surgeon beforehand and when I had the bilateral mastectomy my surgeon preserved as much tissue/skin as possible for the PS to use later. It leaves a rather 'messy' chest in the interim, but I wanted to face just one battle at a time after hearing some other folks' experiences. I think it lessens the discomfort post-surgery and the possibility of infection.

    My PS requires a full 6 months from the date of original surgery to place the expanders and begin the reconstruction process. It takes that long for the preserved tissue to soften and settle down (as he put it). This works perfectly for me as I had mastectomy 4/29 and completed chemo on 8/30. By the time it has been 6 months I will be far enough out from chemo to do the reconstruction surgery without danger.

    As far as I know it nearly always necessary to have expanders prior to implants in order to stretch the chest muscle wall (behind which the implants will eventually be placed). Hope this helps. I go back to my PS in a week or so at which time I hope to be able to schedule the date to get my expanders implanted.

    Best of luck!

    Chickadee
  • missingtexas
    missingtexas Member Posts: 146
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    delayed
    Mine wasn't so much of a choice. PS said they wouldn't touch me until 6 months after my radiation was completed. I've gotten opinions from a couple different PS and they all told me I would need expanders before implants. If I was a candidate, I wanted expanders when they did my mastectomy. I went from a D cup to a negative A and they don't want prothetics until I'm completely healed. I'm getting used to it though.
    Dana
  • sweetvickid
    sweetvickid Member Posts: 459 Member
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    delayed
    Mine wasn't so much of a choice. PS said they wouldn't touch me until 6 months after my radiation was completed. I've gotten opinions from a couple different PS and they all told me I would need expanders before implants. If I was a candidate, I wanted expanders when they did my mastectomy. I went from a D cup to a negative A and they don't want prothetics until I'm completely healed. I'm getting used to it though.
    Dana

    It seems to me
    that the best approach is to take care of the cancer first and then do reconsturction. So many postings from people doing it the opposite they always have problems trying to do all of it at once. Personally after researching all of it I opted for a double with no reconstruction.

    It is a personal decsion and what works for me may not for you. I know a person whose focus was reconstruction first and had all sorts of complications and by the time she was ready for chemo her cancer had spread to her liver and brain.
  • Third_Generation
    Third_Generation Member Posts: 121
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    Hi Ann,
    I have had fluid

    Hi Ann,
    I have had fluid build up for 8 months and they have no idea why. I only had the sentinel node taken out on that side, no chemotherapy or radiation or reconstruction. From what I have been reading long term fluid build up is uncommon but not unheard of. I would not worry about it when making your decision to reconstruct or not.
    I am being re-deconstructed ( is that a real word????) to get rid of the scar ridging. I do not plan on having reconstruction tho my best cancer friend has been very happy with her reconstructs.
    Good luck on making this very personal decision. Hope everything goes nice and smoothly for you
    Brenda
  • anaumann
    anaumann Member Posts: 60 Member
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    delayed
    Mine wasn't so much of a choice. PS said they wouldn't touch me until 6 months after my radiation was completed. I've gotten opinions from a couple different PS and they all told me I would need expanders before implants. If I was a candidate, I wanted expanders when they did my mastectomy. I went from a D cup to a negative A and they don't want prothetics until I'm completely healed. I'm getting used to it though.
    Dana

    delayed prosthesics?
    Please comment on how to survive contact with people without s prosthesis.
  • missingtexas
    missingtexas Member Posts: 146
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    anaumann said:

    delayed prosthesics?
    Please comment on how to survive contact with people without s prosthesis.

    I'm not thrilled
    I'm not thrilled about waiting for the prothetics but my best friend (who's very flat chested)told me "People don't even pay attention unless you have a great rack." My hair is finally starting to grow in so at least I won't look like a 14 year old boy for long. :) Face it all with a big smile and make the best decision for you. :)
  • missingtexas
    missingtexas Member Posts: 146
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    anaumann said:

    delayed prosthesics?
    Please comment on how to survive contact with people without s prosthesis.

    I'm not thrilled
    I'm not thrilled about waiting for the prothetics but my best friend (who's very flat chested)told me "People don't even pay attention unless you have a great rack." My hair is finally starting to grow in so at least I won't look like a 14 year old boy for long. :) Face it all with a big smile and make the best decision for you. :)
  • hoop77
    hoop77 Member Posts: 84
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    Hi Ann, I opted for
    Hi Ann, I opted for immediate reconstruction and I'm so happy with my choice. Bi-lateral May 4th and I had my exchange surgery August 26th. So far so good, no complications. It's a very personal choice, but for me the idea of one less surgery really influenced my decision. Good luck with making your decision and your surgery