Breast lift question

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canoegirl
canoegirl Member Posts: 169
I had a unilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. Before reconstruction my plastic surgeon planned on doing a breast lift on the other side. When I went for follow-up he wasn't sure I needed one since there isn't a LOT of difference. My breast surgeon thinks I should have one still. I have the nipple reconstruction/breast lift scheduled for Nov and need to decide what to do.

My question is: How does a breast lift affect breast sensitivity. My reconstructed breast is numb and I'm not sure I want to make the other one numb too just to match. Also, right now it seems like the reconstructed breast is slightly smaller volume wise. Would a lift help them to match better?

Oh yeah....one more question. How long is the recovery for the breast lift and for the nipple reconstruction?

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  • mariam_11_09
    mariam_11_09 Member Posts: 691
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    Hi, I just had my surgery on
    Hi, I just had my surgery on Friday, that is a nipple placed on the left and my right lifted and nipple repositioned. I really needed the lift on the right because there was such a difference between the two. The nipple (my own) on the lifted breast, does hurt a little and does have some sensation when it is touched. I wasn't expecting anything and Plastic Surgeon said it could go either way. I also don't have any feeling in the reconstructed breast and haven't seen the nipple yet because it is still bandaged. In the process the Plastic Surgeon altered both breasts so the size and shape would match better. So far I like the results.

    I see the plastic surgeon tomorrow to have some bandages removed. If you like I will give you an update on how it is going.

    take care
    Mariam
  • jessiesmom1
    jessiesmom1 Member Posts: 915 Member
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    Breast Lift/Reduction
    In Feb. 2009 when I was 51 years old I had a unilateral mastectomy on the right side. After the mastectomy was over the plastic surgeon stepped in and placed a tissue expander. He did a small saline fill at that time. In June 2011 after all treatment was over (including a shoulder surgery) I had the final fill on the expander and then the implant exchange surgery. I had my left breast (the non-cancer side) reduced and lifted. I had been a DD cup and now I am a C cup. I couldn't be more pleased. Now I just have to decide if I am ready for the nipple reconstruction and areola tattoo.

    At first the nipple on the lifted/reduced side was hyper-sensitive. When my husband would change my bandages I would cringe. I felt like a feather could touch me and I would jump out of my skin. That level of sensitivity has lessened. Now it is pretty much the way it was before. Recovery from the surgery was not bad at all. I was able to move my arms after the surgery without any problem and the pain was minimal. I did watch TV in bed with an icepack on the reduced/lifted side for a few days. It seemed to help - the ice, not the TV. I took a few of the pain pills because I was afraid of what I MIGHT feel more than what I DID feel.

    I hope that hearing about my experience is of some help to you.

    IRENE
  • GreeneyedGirl
    GreeneyedGirl Member Posts: 1,077
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    Breast Lift/Reduction
    In Feb. 2009 when I was 51 years old I had a unilateral mastectomy on the right side. After the mastectomy was over the plastic surgeon stepped in and placed a tissue expander. He did a small saline fill at that time. In June 2011 after all treatment was over (including a shoulder surgery) I had the final fill on the expander and then the implant exchange surgery. I had my left breast (the non-cancer side) reduced and lifted. I had been a DD cup and now I am a C cup. I couldn't be more pleased. Now I just have to decide if I am ready for the nipple reconstruction and areola tattoo.

    At first the nipple on the lifted/reduced side was hyper-sensitive. When my husband would change my bandages I would cringe. I felt like a feather could touch me and I would jump out of my skin. That level of sensitivity has lessened. Now it is pretty much the way it was before. Recovery from the surgery was not bad at all. I was able to move my arms after the surgery without any problem and the pain was minimal. I did watch TV in bed with an icepack on the reduced/lifted side for a few days. It seemed to help - the ice, not the TV. I took a few of the pain pills because I was afraid of what I MIGHT feel more than what I DID feel.

    I hope that hearing about my experience is of some help to you.

    IRENE

    Similar~
    My journey began with a lumpectomy on my left side, which one year after radiation had shrunk to about 2/3 its normal size (DD). so did a breast lift on the healthy breast so i would match (now a c)~ and surgery went beautifully, similar to irene, layed low for a few weeks, had to keep my arm down not putting it up over my head so it could heal (lots of internal sutures). My nipple is not overly sensitive~it feels normal to me. Then one year after that, i had a recurrence in the left breast so had a unilateral mastectomy with reconstruction~ my breasts are beautifully even! I am very happy. I chose not to have nipple reconstruction. I do have a nipple tattoo.
    One note~ when i get my mammogram on the healthy breast~there is often some scar tissue that tends to form around the sutures so don't let that alarm you. It did for me~ but they are monitored and documented, and recognizable.
    Hope this has been of some help to you!
    ~Melanie
  • skipper54
    skipper54 Member Posts: 936 Member
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    Similar~
    My journey began with a lumpectomy on my left side, which one year after radiation had shrunk to about 2/3 its normal size (DD). so did a breast lift on the healthy breast so i would match (now a c)~ and surgery went beautifully, similar to irene, layed low for a few weeks, had to keep my arm down not putting it up over my head so it could heal (lots of internal sutures). My nipple is not overly sensitive~it feels normal to me. Then one year after that, i had a recurrence in the left breast so had a unilateral mastectomy with reconstruction~ my breasts are beautifully even! I am very happy. I chose not to have nipple reconstruction. I do have a nipple tattoo.
    One note~ when i get my mammogram on the healthy breast~there is often some scar tissue that tends to form around the sutures so don't let that alarm you. It did for me~ but they are monitored and documented, and recognizable.
    Hope this has been of some help to you!
    ~Melanie

    Thanks for posting this question and for the replys!
    I'm to start reconstruction Nov. 8th and had some of the same questions. My PS is going with a latissimas (sp?) flap and tissue expander with remote port on the chance that we'll get lucky and it will stay and fill exactly where we want it and can avoid exchange surgery. The plan is to do a reduction on the left side so the girls match. I'm really glad to hear how well things have gone for others as a lady next to me at a pink ribbon dinner Tuesday said "reconstruction isn't all it's cracked up to be either". I'm not sure what she meant 'cause I didn't want to hear negative at that point. Thanks for sharing everyone!
  • pginsburg
    pginsburg Member Posts: 8
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    Breast lift response
    I had the same as you; unilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. Because I had 5 surgeries within the year, my plastic surgeon convinced me to have a lift done at the same time my expander was replaced with the implant, rather than have another surgery after. I do not have any numbness or sensitivity on the lifted side. The only complaint I have is that the scar from under the nipple down under the breast has spread and is quite a large scar. We are not exactly sure why this happened, but the plastic surgeon said he can fix it for me. It does not hurt and really does not bother me in any way, so therefore I choose to leave it as it is. The scar around the nipple is really hard to see. If you did not know better, you would not know that the nipple was moved. He did a great job. The symmetry is good and I am glad I chose to have the lift done as well.

    Just reading back, I neglected to say when this was done. My surgery was 4/27/2011 and to be honest, I do not recall any issues with recovery other than some of the sutures popped out that did not want to dissolve. No pain though, and the surgeon just snipped them off. :)

    Good luck with whatever your decision may be!
  • DebbyM
    DebbyM Member Posts: 3,289 Member
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    Breast Lift/Reduction
    In Feb. 2009 when I was 51 years old I had a unilateral mastectomy on the right side. After the mastectomy was over the plastic surgeon stepped in and placed a tissue expander. He did a small saline fill at that time. In June 2011 after all treatment was over (including a shoulder surgery) I had the final fill on the expander and then the implant exchange surgery. I had my left breast (the non-cancer side) reduced and lifted. I had been a DD cup and now I am a C cup. I couldn't be more pleased. Now I just have to decide if I am ready for the nipple reconstruction and areola tattoo.

    At first the nipple on the lifted/reduced side was hyper-sensitive. When my husband would change my bandages I would cringe. I felt like a feather could touch me and I would jump out of my skin. That level of sensitivity has lessened. Now it is pretty much the way it was before. Recovery from the surgery was not bad at all. I was able to move my arms after the surgery without any problem and the pain was minimal. I did watch TV in bed with an icepack on the reduced/lifted side for a few days. It seemed to help - the ice, not the TV. I took a few of the pain pills because I was afraid of what I MIGHT feel more than what I DID feel.

    I hope that hearing about my experience is of some help to you.

    IRENE

    I had a lumpectomy so I know
    I had a lumpectomy so I know I can't help you with any advice. It looks like the pink sisters have already helped you.


    Just wanted you to know that I am wishing you good luck!


    Hugs, Debby
  • canoegirl
    canoegirl Member Posts: 169
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    Thanks ladies!
    Thanks for all the great imput! I'm leaning towards having the lift done. I think the breasts not matching bothers me more than the missing nipple, but I don't want to give up the feeling I have in the sagging breast just to look more 'balanced'.

    Thanks again,
    Marcy