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Avatar universal

Preventative Mastectomy with Immediate Breast Reconstruction

I am having a preventative mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.  Due to my strong family history ( my mother and 6 of her sisters having either breast or ovarian cancer ), I had 3 different doctors, including an oncologist recommend that after my multiple biopsies that I have a bilateral mastectomy.  I have read everything I can find on the internet, but there is little information about Prevent. mastectomies with immediate breast reconstruction and the results/experiences of women that have had it.  I am certain that the bilateral mastectomy is the right choice, I have also had a complete hysterectomy and at the age of 34, with two small children to raise, this is a choice I am comfortable with.  However, I still have questions about a few things. Is there anything I can do to help prevent capsular contractures?  I am having a one step procedure, without expanders.  I would appreciate any insight on recovery time, pain, results, that anyone could give me. I also intend to shower with hibiclens the day of my surgery to help decrease the chances of infection...has anyone done this before and do you feel it helped or not?  Thank you so much for ANY insight.
23 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear urstandingonmytoes:  Your questions regarding recovering from plastic surgical reconstruction would be best directed to your plastic surgeon.  You may not find much in the way of people who have had preventative mastectomies with reconstruction but women who have had mastectomies for cancer would undergo similar recovery.  You should avoid comparing yourself to women who have had radiation as this does affect the healing process.  It will not hurt you to wash with hibiclens the night before surgery, though I am not aware of any data indicating a reduction in infection rates.
127512 tn?1193745816
You can get alot of information at breastcancer.org. And go to their discussion board. So many wonderful ladies there have already been through what you are going to have done.
Avatar universal
You can get a lot of information from women who have gone down the route you are going on the FORCE website - www.facingourrisk.org - on their message board.  Just post a message and I'm sure you will get a lot of replies.  They are a great group there.
Avatar universal
as a natural health specialist, I'm horrified at the way mainstream medicine is practiced. you don't need preventative surgery, you need preventative nutrients, and not just random one's holy smokes I need to make a website and start offering proper information, this is over whelming for me. I don't know what to say.
Avatar universal
I had immediate reconstruction, with expanders.  Never had any capsular contractures.  I think it depends on your body chemistry more than anything.  Keep working your implants around, once the area is healed.  I had saline implants after my expanders were removed.  

Avatar universal
Nutrients do not always prevent cancer.  Yes, it would be fantastic if we all ate the best of the best foods.  But even then, cancer would still continue to exist.
Avatar universal
I am also having a preventative mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction.  I have had one mastectomy already due to breast cancer.  I am nervous about it as well and am curious as to what to expect this time around.
127512 tn?1193745816
After my masectomy August 25, 2006 I needed no pain meds. They cut the nerves. I went home the next day and did laundry and cooked. What was your previous diagnosis that required the masectomy? If you don't mind me asking. I was just curious.I wish you the best.
Avatar universal
I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer when I was 21 years old.  I chose at that time to have a mastectomy and had a tram-flap reconstruction.  I am actually having an implant put in on that side as well to try to get some symmetry back and to have more "normal" looking breasts.  My surgery is tomorrow and appreciate hearing you did so well, I hope to be that lucky!
127512 tn?1193745816
I will be thinking about you. Let us know how you are as soon as your feeling better.
Avatar universal
More power to you in taking control of your situation.  I wonder if you have had the genetics test to see if you carry the mutation to the Brca 1 or 2 gene.  I was diagnosed with IDC of my right breast, had lumpectomy, radiation, and chemo at age 32 at which time they told me I was cured.  I few years later I had the gene test done.  I tested positive the BRCA 1 (my grandmother was European Jew).  Now at age 44 I have another occurrence on the left breast.  I am now having a double mastectomy with tram flap reconstruction.  If I had known about the gene before the first surgery I would have done it then. Why not take your odds from 85% down to 5%.  At my age with already my second occurrence I like those odds much better.

You take care and think positive thoughts!

Oh and by the way....I'm in good shape, not overweight, and eat well....NUTRITION DID NOT STOP MY CANCER....although it probably helps in healing from surgery.
Avatar universal
I wanted to thank everyone for their replies.  My surgery is March 02, 2007 and I'm quite anxious but ready to get it over with and move on with my life without the constant worry of breast cancer.  I've chosen silicone implants that they will place immediately after my bilateral mastectomy.  I will not be having expanders.  I will post as soon as I'm able and let everyone know how it went and what my experience was like.  As women with difficult decisions to make, I think every bit of information is helpful...good or bad. Thank you all so much for your concern, bless you!
Avatar universal
Hi- I hope your surgery went well-- I just got approval today to do the exact same surgery with no expanders, silicon implants put in at time of surgery.  I have so many questions and I hope just hearing about your procedure will help me.  Please share how everything went.  Any problems with infection.  
Avatar universal
Good Morning,

I am just finishing chemo and am getting ready to schedule a double mastectomy d/t positive BRCA1 test. I am confused as to which recontruction to have the tram flap (which I have heard many horror stories about) or implants (saline vs silicone) they want to schedule surgery within 6 weeks of my last chemo treatment which is tomorrow.
Can anyone offer any sound advice? I am overweight and have very large breasts naturally ( even when I was thinner) the thought of the tram flap is appealing d/t tummy tuck benefit! HELP plese if you have any experiences good or bad.

Thanks
127512 tn?1193745816
breastcancer.org has a great discussion board site where you can see the results of other surgeries. They normally ask you post so many questions before they let you on this particular site for privacy reasons. However there are other sites to visit until you can get approval for the reconstruction site which should only take asking the right person. Go there and you will find your way.
Avatar universal
I am going in tomorrow for my double mastectomy and tram flap reconstruction.  It was not an option for the expanders and inplants because I had previous skin damage due to radiation 11 years ago on the right side and the skin would not stretch properly.  Tram is the best option for me.  I have not had my chemo yet.  They are scheduling it after my surgery.  I had a pet scan and the cancer has not metastasized (excuse my spelling).  

So tomorrow my breasts will be gone and replaced with stomach muscles, a tummy tuck, a little lipo suction on the love handles to contour it all together......if I could only talk the plastic surgeon into doing the thighs while he's at it, I'll be rebuilt.  You've got to look at the humor in it where you can.  Then I get to lose all my hair and not shave the whole summer!

Well, I'll save lots of money in shampoo, dye, and razors!

I'll let you know how the flap goes, I've had hysterectomy and multiple breast surgeries in the past but nothing this extensive.  It's always amazing to me what can be done!
127512 tn?1193745816
breastcancer.org has a great discussion board site where you can see the results of other surgeries. They normally ask you post so many questions before they let you on this particular site for privacy reasons. However there are other sites to visit until you can get approval for the reconstruction site which should only take asking the right person. Go there and you will find your way.
127512 tn?1193745816
breastcancer.org has a great discussion board site where you can see the results of other surgeries. They normally ask you post so many questions before they let you on this particular site for privacy reasons. However there are other sites to visit until you can get approval for the reconstruction site which should only take asking the right person. Go there and you will find your way.
Avatar universal
Just checking in with you to see how you are doing.  I haven't been to this site in a while, especially since being back at work and trying to re-enter doing my activities.  I pray all went well for you.  I had a skin sparing mastectomy of my right breast after being diagnosed with DCIS insitu.  The surgeon gave me the option of having a lumpectomy or mastectomy.  I chose the mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.  I had the Tram Flap and have not regretted my decision.  This was done on Novermber 2, 2006.  I am doing great, however with my south Ga allergies kicking in, whenever I cough it really bothers my incision area, it is still a little touchy.  I have a very flat abdomen now and the plastic surgeon  did an outstanding job and got the reconstructed breast about the same size as the other one.  I go for my annual physical next month and really am a bit anxious about it.  I just pray and trust the Lord that all will be well. I really could not have made it through all I went through without Him and I had a very supportive family and group of friends and co-workers.  They brought in food for 2 weeks after I got home which was wonderful!  Let me hear from you as soon as you are able.
I would like to hear from some of  the rest of you that I haven't heard from in awhile to see how you all are doing.
Avatar universal
Hey, Snoopy. It's so good to hear things are going well for you after all you've been through. Now you've become an encouragement to others.
Avatar universal
Hey,
How are you doing?  I am doing so much better.  There are times when I get a bit down and depressed when thinking of the possibilities of recurrance, but the Lord I serve is able and He is with me through it all, as He has been!  So we go one day at a time!  My dad went to the plastic surgeon who did my reconstruction (he was sent by his dermatologist due to his skin cancers). He is going to have to have a large one removed from his left wrist which the Dr, says is cancer.  Please keep him in your prayers.  He just turned 85 on 3/16.  He gets so upset at the C word, since he has battled it so much.  Colon cancer in 1985 and bladder cancer in 2000(for several years).  Take care and do stay in touch.  Let me know what is going on with you all.  I go for my physical next month...I am nervous!
Avatar universal
I will keep your dad and you in my prayers. I remember your family had a lot going on at the same time. I know stressein our life can cause or aggrivate illness so I hope life settles down for you.
Avatar universal
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