Feelings on reconstrution

Hi , i had right masectomy 10 weeks ago , its left me with a large "dog ear " which so uncomfortable , and looks like a tennis ball under my arm , I have been told that reconstucktion might get rid of it , but after three surgeries I'm not sure I want more surgery and stretching / expander ? , has anyone had this , what's the advice , I'm seeing my surgeon on Monday , thanks for listening , as I'm still not sure I have accepted that I have breast cancer it like a nightmare I carnt wake up from .

24 Replies

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  • I'm so sorry you are going through this. I didn't have reconstruction so i cant help with that but i didn't want to read and run. I'm sure more ladies will be along soon with their experiences. I totally understand your reluctance for not wanting more surgery though as i don't think i could face anymore either. I'm looking forward to getting a contact form. Ie "stick on" boob in October when I'm 6 months post radiotherapy and fully healed! 😁 xxx

  • Thank you x

  • Hi, have.never heard of this, I have the silicon lump. When you get can you let me know how you find it. Thanks

  • Hello 😀 my breast care nurse showed me them, they are called Contact forms and you can get them via a company called Amoena. They stick directly to your chest wall and therefore move with you and feel less clumsy and bulky than the silicone lumps. You have to be well healed after radiotherapy to have one though (6 months). Apparently they peel off easily when u want to remove it. You can wear normal bras again and even swim with it on. I can't wait to try one, 3 months to go! Xx

  • Think I will give this a try, I find it a pain trying to swish the silicon one into swimming suit especially n beach or somewhere less private 😳

  • Hi it all happens so quickly it takes time to digest what is happening.

    I had a mastectomy in 2014 aged 43 and have only just had my DIEP reconstruction. Although you may not like what is there at the moment why don't you think about taking some "time out" from operations for the moment and let yourself process what has happened.

    There is no rush to have the recon. Talk to your surgeon and your breast care nurses about how you're feeling and take it from there.

    Good luck with it all xx

  • Thank you x

  • I had right side mastectomy in October 15 With expander inserted at the same time, then reconstruction ( expander removed and a implant put in) April 16 and left side reduction, because I had surgery on both sides with the reconstruction at the same time, the worse part was coping with the 2 drains, never had any pain. Ive still got a odd bit of skin on the right side, that looks like a small 3rd boob, but I just tuck it into my bra.

    I wasn't bothered about the reconstruction, I just wanted to be cancer free, so I now see it as a bonus, sometimes I look a bit odd if I'm laying down as the implant stays put,and my left boob looks flat, I also found it hard to get comfortable at night, as I usually slept on my tummy, but alls well now, so like the other lady wrote" take your time,think about it, and discuss it with the team. You'll be going for annual checkups, so you might want to do it further down the line,as it's still early days.

    I wish you well with you recovery and good luck with whatever choice you make. Just to say I was more than happy with my softie insert for those months in between.

    Carol.xx

  • Thank you x

  • Hi , I had WLE last year followed by 2 failed cavity chest shaves where they just kept finding more .. no clear margins so then had 12 weeks of chemo and mastectomy with immediate implant in April- I was going to have the DIEP flap but couldn't bear the thought of another part of my body being cut open , I had had enough. On my follow up my surgeon asked if I wanted anything doing with my good boob, lifting, reducing etc but I declined , however he has said I can go back at any time and see him and look at other options. I am glad I have a boob , for me personally I didn't want to be flat , but it is personal choice.

    Hope everyone's comment have given you good options

    Ok x

  • Thank you x

  • Hi there, the 'nightmare' feelings you are having are not unusual and do ease over time. Talk to your breast nurse for support. I had skin sparing mastectomy with expander Jan 2014 which unfortunately would not heal so after 6 weeks they took the expander out. I then had chemo and radio with a small hole in my scar which finally healed Dec 2014 after radio ended. I felt unhappy with the resulting scarred area and so Oct 2015, a year after radio finished I had a tummy tuck reconstruction (much bigger op than the initial surgeries) which removed the scar tissue from the 3 ops and gives me a good shape in a bra. I was very surprised how much more I felt like me again when my reconstruction was done. The decision is a very personal one dependant on what matters to us and how we feel. Some people are happy to stay flat, others want shape. Through my new circle of BC friends I find after chemo/radio are ended that thoughts turn to being unhappy with the surgical result and look for improvement or reconstruction. You will know when the time is right for you . Take care. xx

  • Thank you x

  • Hi, sounds like you had the same reconstruction as me using muscle from my back. I too had a "dog ear" but it was simply trimmed during another procedure after about 6 months. By then I was feeling fitter and was even able to have it under local anaesthetic as I had reacted badly to the general. It really is worth doing in terms of your body shape and comfort.

    It took me some time to be able to look at my new body and accept the changes too. I now know that each scar represents a strong woman, one who can deal with whatever life throws at her. Be kind to yourself and take your time. Eventually you may be able to accept that there have been some positives too. New or stronger friendships, a more positive outlook, a chance to re-evaluate your life and make positive changes? There will be positives if you look.

    Keep smiling, you are doing great. X

  • Thank you x

  • Hi, I had mastectomy 7 years ago and was left with a 'dog ear' also, which I find annoying. I am considering reconstruction also and am going to speak to the surgeons soon about it.

    I have been reading the comments of other women who have had reconstructive surgery to give me ideas about the best way to go, a tummy tuck, diep, or expander with implant?

    So will see,what the surgeons say.

    Good luck

  • Hi forgot to say that I have coped very well with the bra insert for 7 years ,

  • Thank you x

  • I had mastectomy 2010 reconstruction 2011 and it is not perfect. I think I expected too much and was glad of the break in between but I had chemotherapy and radiotherapy in that time. I had abdominal shift and it was a big operation then a while after nipple reconstruction. I then had to have tattoo for alveoli ? I keep saying looking back I would not have all that...but i have so I look symmetrical from a distance. My surgeon had a session at breast cancer care going through it all and showing a video. Breast cancer care also had a moving forward programme which I found great. But do discuss with your surgeon and good luck with your journey 😀👍

  • Thank you , you too x

  • I was really happy to have gone ahead with the reconstruction and it gave me a big psychological boost. I waited 3 years as I couldn't have an immediate one anyway due to the radiotherapy. My advice is to deal with one thing at a time. As you said you are still struggling to accept that you have bc so don't rush into anything. Do it when you feel ready and have processed your other feelings and treatments. Best of luck and lots of hugs. xxxxx

  • Thank you x

  • I had single mastectomy in October 2015 and was offered reconstruction in the same op. However, the mastectomy was my 4th op as I'd had WLE and they couldn't get clear margins. I decided against r construction, as I felt I'd been under the knife enough and wanted to get on with my life. I didn't want my kids going through any more waiting for me to recover and to be honest, it wasn't important to me. I wear a prosthesis and rarely think about it. The only time I am conscious of it is if I am buying clothes that are low cut, I have to rethink, but I'm no fashionista so, again, it's not that important to me. I know that if I change my mind I can always get it done but at the moment I'm happy to be here, boob or no boob! The only thing I'd say, is don't be pressurised by anyone, one way or the other. This is a decision only you can make. If you're unsure, you can wait and have it later. If you want or, then go ahead. Wishing you all the best. X

  • The doctor can simply remove the excess tissue from the dog ear. I had reconstruction. (Well I am still in the process...) I'm a mess. I have had over 18 surgeries for reconstruction alone and I'm still a mess. After 2 years of going in and out of the hospital and recovery, I'm done. Once my life settles down a little, I'm just going to have everything removed. Mine looks so bad (and hurt). The only good/funny thing is that I can make them glow in the dark with a little help from a small torch.

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