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Treatment

 
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

  • Thumb avatar default

    I need to have surgery, double masectomy, no one home, but me, what do I do with dog and cat? no neighbors Kids off to college, no husband. I am even having difficulties finding strangers to get me from hospital and in home care.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • K G Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Contact your local american cancer society. They should be able to help you with some resources. Your cancer center if you have one could probably help you as well. How about your local humane society to see if anyone would volunteer to come help? I am sorry you are in this position. Will be...

      more

      Contact your local american cancer society. They should be able to help you with some resources. Your cancer center if you have one could probably help you as well. How about your local humane society to see if anyone would volunteer to come help? I am sorry you are in this position. Will be praying.

      Comment
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Find a cancer services office in your area. They helped me so much.

      Comment
  • Patricia Carnell Profile

    Are there topical treatments to help with the burn from radiation. I was just diagnosed with Stage 0 dcis and had lumpectomy on Friday last week, surgeon is supposed to set up radiation with an oncologist soon

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi Patricia, my radiologist gave me Aquaphor. I didn't need it until my second week. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. I'm very fair but tolerated my 16 shots pretty well. Make a list of questions and don't be afraid to ask. Be sure to point out any concerns with your skin to the rad-techs....

      more

      Hi Patricia, my radiologist gave me Aquaphor. I didn't need it until my second week. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. I'm very fair but tolerated my 16 shots pretty well. Make a list of questions and don't be afraid to ask. Be sure to point out any concerns with your skin to the rad-techs. They'll help you when you need to see the radiologist . Mine were fabulous . My chest became an open book for all to read and I wanted it read WELL. :-D

      Comment
    • Doreen Finley Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Can I please just say that I don't even have my full diagnosis or really any understanding of what's going on yet. I'm overwhelmed and scared. I know my breast cancer has spread to several areas. This week I began radiation on lesions of my brain. I believe they are still getting tests...

      more

      Can I please just say that I don't even have my full diagnosis or really any understanding of what's going on yet. I'm overwhelmed and scared. I know my breast cancer has spread to several areas. This week I began radiation on lesions of my brain. I believe they are still getting tests results and planning treatment. However, my radiation techs and nurses have been amazing. They told me of this app. I signed up and browsed questions and FOUND answers. You are all wonderful and I cannot believe how much better I feel in 2 days. Should have dr appt Monday. Already have my list of questions. Today I'm going out o get some creams that were suggested. Just wanted to share my gratitude already Thank you - dor

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Can you get breast cancer if you have breast implants?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    about 9 years 2 answers
    • Catherine Nodurft Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      Yes, but having implants makes it more difficult to detect lumps when performing a self-exam.

      Comment
    • Sheryl Love Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Yes. I was diagnosed October 26th with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. My surgery is November 28th. Plan A right now is a lumpectomy and radiation and estrogen therapy. I had breast augmentation in 2008.

      Comment
  • Alysia Krafel Profile

    How much pain will there be after lymph node removal under the arm pit?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      It probably will be affected by the number removed. I only had 3 sentinel nodes removed. The pain was minimal but one must be vigilant against scar tissue that can form even way out from surgery. It is my tiny, painful reminder of cancer. I hope you will not have to have many removed. The least...

      more

      It probably will be affected by the number removed. I only had 3 sentinel nodes removed. The pain was minimal but one must be vigilant against scar tissue that can form even way out from surgery. It is my tiny, painful reminder of cancer. I hope you will not have to have many removed. The least invasive under the arm the better.

      Comment
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I have to say, my lymph node removal was a bit worse than anything else. Everyone is different. I had 14 removed and was left with a very tiny scar, so from what I understand, the doctor can move around quite a bit through a small incision. The area is naturally tender, so I felt a good deal...

      more

      I have to say, my lymph node removal was a bit worse than anything else. Everyone is different. I had 14 removed and was left with a very tiny scar, so from what I understand, the doctor can move around quite a bit through a small incision. The area is naturally tender, so I felt a good deal of pain and discomfort but I slept fine and was totally mobile. Just not a fun area to have operated on. They'll give you some good meds, and plan to have a smaller narrow pillow to elevate your arm while you sleep for a while. Good luck!

      Comment

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