So many breast reconstruction options!

Immediately after my doctor told me I had breast cancer, I told him I was having a bilateral mastectomy.  There was no doubt in my mind that on drop of cancer meant that both my breasts were going.  This was before I even knew about my genetic mutation.  As soon as I got through all the scary screening (bone scan, chest x-ray, blood work), I started focusing on breast doctors and plastic surgeons.  I made my decision pretty quickly and was ready to go.  My path was clearly defined.  I would have the mastectomy, have expanders put in place, go through several months of expanding and ultimately exchange the expanders for my implants.

While I knew there were several other breast reconstruction options, none of these were an option for me and I didn’t even bother reading or discussing any of them.  I made up my mind and had the surgery.  So this weekend was a completely eye-opening experience as I talked to women about their DIEPS, GAPS, one-step with Alloderm and their nipple sparing mastectomies.  I’m sure there’s others that I’ve missed so feel free to chime in if I’m missing something.  Not only did I hear about them, I got to see them and even touch them.  From 8p-11p each night in the show and tell suite reserved for women only, women lifted their shirts and discussed their experiences.  Choosing a mastectomy is a tough and emotional journey—especially for previvors—who haven’t had cancer and it’s so wonderful that FORCE provides this avenue for women to share their experiences, see the results and get answers to their questions first-hand.

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Posted on May 18, 2009, in brca, breast cancer, FORCE, mastectomy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Should you need additional information on breast reconstruction options and recovery, you can refer to http://www.BreastReconstruction.org. This is an educational website that provides comprehensive information on breast reconstruction options as well as a live community with discussion boards. Good luck.

  2. Thank you so much for highlighting the many options available to women. Many women are not aware of these options and it is important that they know they do indeed have a choice. Often in the shock of diagnosis, very little thought is given to reconstruction, as you point out, but every woman has a right to be informed about choices that improve the cosmetic appearance of the breast and be able to consider all options before embarking on major surgery that will impact their overall quality of life. So many of our options are taken away from us when we receive a diagnosis of cancer, it is good to know we have some power over the choice of reconstruction
    http://beyondbreastcancer.wordpress.com/2009/05/09/reconstructive-breast-surgery/

  3. Love the blog…here’s the deal, check out (www.ThePatientsAdvantage.com); seriously. I ran into them looking for breast reduction surgeons. They have a great way to find the best surgeons and it is completely free. I have used them a couple times now.

  4. Thanks for tracking your journey in such detail. I just finished sharing my breast reconstruction photo journal on Shutterfly’s Gallery. I hope it will be of help to someone.

    • That’s great Missy. Is it a public journal? If it is, please provide the link. Would love to link to it off my blog.

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