Treatment

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Treatment

Chapter: 6 - Treatment

Subchapter: 4 - Breast Reconstruction

Following a mastectomy, you have options to help you become comfortable with the changes in your body. They are all options, with benefits to each approach. What is best for you and your body may not be what is best for another woman.

If you are considering breast reconstruction, you should speak with your medical team before the mastectomy, even if you plan to have your reconstruction later on.

Reconstruction Methods
There are a few of options for breast reconstruction, and which one you use will depend on your age, body type, and treatment plan.

Implants
One possibility is to have breast implants. The breast is filled with silicone sacs of saline or silicone gel.

TRAM Flap, Latissimus Flap, or Gluteal Flap
An alternative solution is to use tissue the surgeon removes from another part of your body, like the belly (TRAM), back (latissimus), or buttocks (gluteal). The surgeon sculpts this tissue into the shape of your breast.

Surgical Summary
In addition to reconstructing the breast, the surgeon can add a nipple, change the shape or size of the reconstructed breast, and operate on the opposite breast as well for a better match. The plastic surgeon will be able to discuss with you the benefits and risks of each procedure, and help you decide what will make you feel the most natural.

Alternative to Breast Reconstruction
One alternative to breast reconstruction is a removable prosthetic breast that is worn in the bra. This will preserve the shape and look of the breast without the surgical procedures.

Summary
Whether you undergo breast reconstruction, wear a prosthetic breast, or choose to embrace the changes you have experienced, you should make a decision that is right for you. The goal is to prevent the discomfort of change, while enabling you to accept what has occurred and continue on with your life.

Related Questions

  • Missing

    I had a lumpectomy and 5 nodes removed. (all negative) I have pain in my shoulder joint when I swing my arm in any direction. Is that normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 2 years ago 3 answers
    • Missing
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      You should go see your doctor about that. If the pain is in the shoulder joint itself it could be something unrelated to the surgery. A couple years ago my shoulder began to get uncomfortable and I figured it was muscle pain and did stretches . It got more painful when moving the arm like your...

      more

      You should go see your doctor about that. If the pain is in the shoulder joint itself it could be something unrelated to the surgery. A couple years ago my shoulder began to get uncomfortable and I figured it was muscle pain and did stretches . It got more painful when moving the arm like your saying . Ended up being what's called a frozen shoulder. It has to do with the tendons inside the shoulder joint and one cause can be due to hormonal Issues like menopause. I had to go to physical therapy to resolve it but it took a while. I'm not saying that's what it is but I know after my surgery it hurt to move the arm but I wouldn't say it was shoulder pain. More muscle pain. Good luck . Hope you get some answers.

      Comment
    • Missing
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      To be honest I think u should experience some pain if they removed 5. I had 1 removed and experience some

      Comment
  • Had a bilateral mastectomy with bilateral lymph node removal and immediate reconstruction 5/15/13. My pathology stated that 13 of 15 nodes removed have cancer.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 3C Patient
    over 1 year ago 11 answers
    • View all 11 answers
    • anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Put on those big girl panties and fight like hell. Hang in there darlin', you can do this.

      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yep. Hang in there. Read and eat good stuff and don't add to your receptors. I think that's about all we can do. We do the best we can.

      Wishing you a good team

      Comment
  • Can you have implants if you have to have raditation and chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    4 months ago 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Missing
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      YES I had 35 rounds of radiation & had reconstruction in March 2014. Skin is a little tighter but I've experienced no pain so far.

      Comment
    • anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Chemo, yes, no problem there. Radiated skin doesn't stretch well at all, but yes, you can have implants. You just may be limited as far as size goes. You need to talk with a plastic surgeon and go over everything. There can be a long wait for surgery for healing of the skin, but every person & Dr...

      more

      Chemo, yes, no problem there. Radiated skin doesn't stretch well at all, but yes, you can have implants. You just may be limited as far as size goes. You need to talk with a plastic surgeon and go over everything. There can be a long wait for surgery for healing of the skin, but every person & Dr are different. Prayers to you.

      Comment

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