Breast implant girls - A question for you

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butterflylvr
butterflylvr Member Posts: 944
edited October 2011 in Breast Cancer #1
Hey ladies thanks for responding in advance. On November 3rd I am having my implant exchange surgery. As many of you know I am still struggling as to whether I want saline or silicone. I need to make a phone call to one of my doctors to seek advice and guidance on this topic.

My question to you girls is this, after your surgery which doctor will be responsible for checking your implants routinely for rupture (I am assuming your PS)? Will you (we) be getting routine breast MRI's now because of lack of Mammograms to check for cancer recurrence? If so then who would be monitoring that our Oncologists or Gynecologists?

One of the major issues holding me back from silicone is the MRI's every few years, but if this is now going to be a routine thing to check our chest area for recurrence it would now become a no brainer. I need to place a call to one of my doctors to answer this question but I am not sure which one to call.

Any advice??

Thanks dears,
Lorrie

Comments

  • jendrey
    jendrey Member Posts: 377
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    ...
    Good question, which doc...methinks it woud be the oncologist since they're the ones that diagnose/treat the cancer.

    I have a silicone implant. There is one thing that not a single person brought up to me beforehand and that is that the implant is quick to become cold to the touch. Not a big thing and unless I happen to touch it I really don't notice that it's cold!

    I've heard saline doesn't have this 'cool' feature! I've also heard that saline is not as soft as silicone. Then there's this: a ruptured saline implant will be immediately apparent but a ruptured silicone implant will likely not be noticable.

    (((Hugs)))
  • skipper54
    skipper54 Member Posts: 936 Member
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    Also interested in replies
    I'm having my initial surgery Nov. 8th with tissue expander. Exchange will come later when the size is right. At the same time I'll be having reduction on the other side so the girls match. I've been struggling with the implant decision too but I was told mammos with implants, just carefully.
  • Clementine_P
    Clementine_P Member Posts: 518 Member
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    Plastic Surgeon
    In my case, my plastic surgeon wants to see me yearly. He will examine me and order an MRI every 2-3 years to check up on things. I have silicone implants and I was told that this is pretty standard for silicone. I am not thrilled about having to get an MRI, but I look at it as an extra check for recurrences of cancer as well as checking the integrity of my implants. Plus, since I had a bilateral mastectomy, I no longer need mammos and they were every six months.

    Best,
    Clementine
  • camul
    camul Member Posts: 2,537
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    I got saline
    but if I had to do over, I would get silicone. They feel more natural. I have never been back and no one has checked them other than the mamo on the left one. Never even thought about it and it is over 9 years. My insurance changed shortly after having the last surgery (it took 4), and no one every mentioned any follow ups.

    Guess I have been lucky that I haven't had any trouble with them:))
  • AMomNETN
    AMomNETN Member Posts: 242
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    Implants
    Lorrie,
    I had silicone implants. My PS let my husband and I feel both saline and silicone. We both decided on silicone. As jendry mentioned and I didn't think that much about it but they are cold to the touch but I don't notice it. My oncologist checks me once a yr with a CT Scan. My insurance does not consider this routine but since I have nothing to mammogram our points of view differ. LOL I think now the CT should be consided preventive but again my opinions don't matter with insurance. I have seen my PS a couple times since surgery. I return Nov. 18 for tattooing. Hopr this helps.

    Janie
  • RozHopkins
    RozHopkins Member Posts: 578 Member
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    Hi
    I was told just a few weeks ago by my oncologist that he is the caregiver on all the breast side of things and my doctor takes care of everything else. Got the impression if I ever wanted an MRI I could for peace of mind. Doctor checked ovaries and does smear tests. Interestingly, the yearly smear tests I have been informed have to only to be taken now every three years. Not sure I like this new rule. I believe now all surgery over with I dont need to see plastic surgeon ever again. Hope this helps.
    -
  • Dawne.Hope
    Dawne.Hope Member Posts: 823
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    silicone
    Hi Lorrie!

    I really struggled on the issue of saline or silicone too. I was concerned about the safety but when I realized that with either the saline or the silicone ... both implants are encased in silicone and either way your body was going to be exposed to it (silicone) ... that sealed it for me.

    One of the realities of implants due to reconstruction (having no breast tissue) is we are going to have ripples. If your thin and /or you have thin skin ... the saline will show the ripples more. After asking a ton of question to my PS and him answering to my satisfaction ... I asked him what HE would recommend for me and he said silicone because of my small frame ... he thought I would have a better result. I have silicone and I'm happy.

    Regarding the MRI's ... my PS will monitor my implants, not my BS or my ONC ... totally PS. I will see my BS every year for the rest of my life ... her checking for lumps/bumps and another irregularities along the scar line.

    I will also see my PS yearly. When the time comes from the MRI to check for leakage ... it will be your PS who orders it. I think (I may be mistaken and someone correct me if I'm wrong) that the MRI they give to check for leaks may be a different type than the type to check for recurrence (contrast/no contrast).

    Your BS and your ONC will be checking blood levels ... everything else for recurrence ... your PS just for leakage and any other issues that may arise from the implants. I hope this makes some semblance of sense! :)

    I know it is a really tough decision ... keep us posted on what you decide and I'm praying you make the decision that is right for YOU. xo
  • Different Ballgame
    Different Ballgame Member Posts: 868
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    Varies
    Dear Lorrie,

    I feel that the plastic surgeon knows what he put inside of me and so I feel that he is the best to judge how the implant is doing in my body. I have Mentor Memory Gel. They feel soft and natural and are not cold. I was surprised to read on this posting that two of the girls stated that their implants felt cold. I told my plastic surgeon that as long as I have the implants, I want him to check them yearly. I also want them photographed yearly (for comparisons). He said "OK to both my requests." However, after getting the recurrence, I told him that I want him to check me twice a year, but photograph the breasts only once a year. He said, "OK."

    I live in Chicago and my hospital is a 5 Star Hospital...Northwestern Memorial Hospital. They feel that a MRI of a reconstructed breast with an implant can give a false positive, which in turn requires further tests. So...they are not doing a MRI unless something else warrants it.

    I see my oncology surgeon once a year for a total of 5 years but because I had the recurrence 3 years after the mastectomies, I will see him 8 years. Now, after the 5th year, he will see me twice a year because my radiation doctor wanted me to discuss with him having a MRI once a year. We are not doing the MRI. So, he said that he will see me twice a year, as opposed to once a year. This satisfied my radiation oncologist.

    I see my radiation oncologist twice a year. Not sure how many years that will entail. I know that it is a minimum of 5 years.

    I see my hematology (medical) oncologist every 3 months, especially since I am no longer taking the estrogen blocking drugs that gave me side effects.

    I see my internist for my annual exam once a year.

    I see my gynecologist once a year. At 70, I still have my ovaries and uterus and they are in great shape.

    As you can see, I see each specialist for a specific reason and I feel very well covered because of these visits.

    Lots of Hugs,
    Janelle
  • butterflylvr
    butterflylvr Member Posts: 944
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    Varies
    Dear Lorrie,

    I feel that the plastic surgeon knows what he put inside of me and so I feel that he is the best to judge how the implant is doing in my body. I have Mentor Memory Gel. They feel soft and natural and are not cold. I was surprised to read on this posting that two of the girls stated that their implants felt cold. I told my plastic surgeon that as long as I have the implants, I want him to check them yearly. I also want them photographed yearly (for comparisons). He said "OK to both my requests." However, after getting the recurrence, I told him that I want him to check me twice a year, but photograph the breasts only once a year. He said, "OK."

    I live in Chicago and my hospital is a 5 Star Hospital...Northwestern Memorial Hospital. They feel that a MRI of a reconstructed breast with an implant can give a false positive, which in turn requires further tests. So...they are not doing a MRI unless something else warrants it.

    I see my oncology surgeon once a year for a total of 5 years but because I had the recurrence 3 years after the mastectomies, I will see him 8 years. Now, after the 5th year, he will see me twice a year because my radiation doctor wanted me to discuss with him having a MRI once a year. We are not doing the MRI. So, he said that he will see me twice a year, as opposed to once a year. This satisfied my radiation oncologist.

    I see my radiation oncologist twice a year. Not sure how many years that will entail. I know that it is a minimum of 5 years.

    I see my hematology (medical) oncologist every 3 months, especially since I am no longer taking the estrogen blocking drugs that gave me side effects.

    I see my internist for my annual exam once a year.

    I see my gynecologist once a year. At 70, I still have my ovaries and uterus and they are in great shape.

    As you can see, I see each specialist for a specific reason and I feel very well covered because of these visits.

    Lots of Hugs,
    Janelle

    Hello ladies,
    Debi, thank you for asking about my surgery. I am doing well although I do have one surgical drain still in place. I chose to go with saline implants. My plastic surgeon had to lower my left radiated breast (Lola) and raise my right (Roxy) one. He had to use what he called a "sling" to keep Roxy in place. So I guess that is why I had to have the darn drains put back in. I do have another appointment tomorrow, but my drain is still in the 50's so I think I am stuck with it for a few more days. But other then that the discomfort is just about all gone. I know I will probably have to do one more procedure though... too much extra skin around the armpit areas. I guess losing my big boobs and losing 60 plus pounds before surgery would leave a nightmare for any plastic surgeon. LOL

    Hugs,
    Lorrie
  • Ritzy
    Ritzy Member Posts: 4,381 Member
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    Hello ladies,
    Debi, thank you for asking about my surgery. I am doing well although I do have one surgical drain still in place. I chose to go with saline implants. My plastic surgeon had to lower my left radiated breast (Lola) and raise my right (Roxy) one. He had to use what he called a "sling" to keep Roxy in place. So I guess that is why I had to have the darn drains put back in. I do have another appointment tomorrow, but my drain is still in the 50's so I think I am stuck with it for a few more days. But other then that the discomfort is just about all gone. I know I will probably have to do one more procedure though... too much extra skin around the armpit areas. I guess losing my big boobs and losing 60 plus pounds before surgery would leave a nightmare for any plastic surgeon. LOL

    Hugs,
    Lorrie

    Glad that you are doing so
    Glad that you are doing so well Lorrie! OMG, drains are horrid, but, I know that they need to be used unfortunately.

    Good luck with your appointment tomorrow!

    Sue :)