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What's wrong with NOT having reconstruction?

Posts: 23
Joined: Nov 2012

I feel the need to vent a little and this seems to be a safe place to do so.  I had a double mastectomy backing in /september with expanders placed for reconstruction.  It was trouble from the start and about 8 weeks later I had to have emergency surgery to have them removed due to a severe infection. I never even got to have any fills.  I was told that I could revisit recon at a later date.  My priority has been getting through chemo, (less than half way done). My problem seems to be that everyone, including all my doctors seem to think that I should start reconstruction again as soon as my chemo is done.  They make me feel ugly! What is the matter with me staying like this.  Yes, I am very aware that the feminine form is usually a lot more curvy than mine, I can wear my prothesesis when I chose to, I find them heavy and not too comfortable. My husband seems to feel the same as the doctors and I'm beginning to feel that my breasts are for everyone but me.  I should mention that I am 55 years young and in otherwise excellent health. I have had a total of 12 different surgerys in my life for everything from fibroids to gall bladder and the thought of another time under the knife terrifies me.

I would love to hear from some of you who did not have reconstruction on how you dealt with it, your own feels as well as the treatment you get from others.

thanks all

dthompson's picture
Posts: 149
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi There,

 In my male opinion there is Absolutly nothing wrong with not having re-con, it is what you feel comfortable with. My wife initially did not want to endure tissue expanders and more surgery and I fully supported her in her decision to not do re-con. I told her she was beautiful with or without breasts. She eventually opted for the expanders and eventually re-con, but from a husbands point of view I could have cared less, as long as she is healthy.Not sure if this helps or not.  God Bless.



Posts: 1191
Joined: Dec 2010

What exactly do you mean, Michael11?

Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2013

I am so sorry that you are having to feel the wsy you are feeling. Its hard enough to have cancer but on top of that whether you have boobs or not.  

I had breast cancer in 2011. I had to do chemo first then double mastectomy then radiation.  I had 6 month of no boobs and thought it was pretty nice. I did opt to have reconstruction and a tram flap. That went from good to very very bad in a quick hurry.  I got septic and went into kidney failure and liver failure and had e coli. Spent 29 days in the hospital.  All to get my boobs back. If I could do all over again I perhaps would go without. 

In your heart of hearts if you do not want to do another surgery and dont care about having breasts than by god DONT. Its not worth it.  I cant believe your feeling pressure from your doctor.  You need to set that straight in a hurry. He ir she needs to be on your side. Make sure he knows your on the fence about it. One hurdle at a time. Chemo first. Talk to your hubby hes probably just as scared as you. talk it through. Not something that has to be done right now.

Take care. One day at a time. This is only a bump in the road.




Posts: 6587
Joined: Oct 2010

we all must do what is best for us...I have had two lumpectomies (same side) and no plans of evening up the one side...


arkansasgirl's picture
Posts: 84
Joined: May 2009


I was diagnosed in March 2009 with a very rare agressive breast cancer. I was 53 and been married for 33yrs. I immediatly knew what I wanted - both breast removed - and no reconstruction - done deal.  My husband was 200 % with me... They don't make me and I can live without them and I was done with surgery. Yes I have been mistaken by some calling me a man or sir due to fact I wear ball caps /short hair - but once I speak  or they see my face they know they goofed up... I laugh about it because I got this - You have to do what makes you comfortable and no one else. Cancer does more than effects our bodies. It plays havoc on our minds and you have to tell your self you are going to win this battle. My motto has been cancer won the battle but the war is not over. I have been cancer free up till August 2012 when the type of breast cancer I had formed a mass on my adrenal gland. By the time I found it (my blood work is ALWAYS PERFECT) it was 5cm and by the time I had surgery is was 9cm. I lost my left adrenal gland and spleen. It was attached to my aorta also but as of today I cancer free again. All my lymph nodes have been clear. Chemo and Radiation has no effect on this either.  So if you feel you need them then go for it. I figure I had  them for so long and always lookin for comfortable bras and yes I was blessed if you know what I mean - I said its a done deal. There are some women I think it means the world to the them. So most important  - don't worry about everybody else - if giving them up saved your life - who cares - your still on this earth with family and friends. Hope this helps  STAY STRONG AND NEVER GIVE UP...:)

Take care




Posts: 1416
Joined: Mar 2001

I was very young at 36 and like Agirl I knew what I wanted though I didn't get it and I knew breast did not make or break me from a very young age.  Unlike most women my sexuality is not attached to body parts and having a Grandmother who died after being treated only made it more concrete for me.

YES I had a very aggressive form of IDC breast cancer along with the triple negative and 11 out of 21 pos nodes as well.  I wanted double mastectomy but due to stage 3 diagnosis I was advised to treat side with cancer then have the second one removed.  I did have second removed after more lumps and a year almost to day from first one being removed.  No more cancer though one great thing after chemo and radiation as well.

I did not have reconstruction due to complication from just having surgery I couldn't imagine more pain and suffering so chose not to...  I actually as a child use to wish for no breasts so I could run topless like my brother could guess I finally got my wish.  I have no regrets and we all must be able to say the same...  We all must be able to look ourselves in the mirror each and every day and I am grateful to be able to that very thing.  Men now look me in the eye something they rarely did, lolol

Be good to yourself always



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