Immediate reconstruction

Are you a candidate for immediate reconstruction?  Depends on your goals… if your breasts are on the small side like mine are, and you are not looking to delve into the world of B, C, or D… then maybe so.

Whats involved? After my nipple and skin sparing bi-lateral mastectomy, the plastic surgeon stepped in and fit the size implant to the ‘envelope’.

You still have all the same apparatus of drains and the fun of ‘milking’ them until your body stops pushing out more than 20cc of fluid on each side.

Did I know what to expect?  no.  So hoping this may help you make a decision more readily.

After surgery, your chest is wrapped in ace bandages.  But a few days later, it is removed and allowed to be free.  The breast will swell from fluid and trauma, and will literally feel like you are wearing a cast-iron bra.  Heavy and hard.

Over time (I’m going on my 3rd week now), that breast become softer.  The stitches that hold the Alloderm sling dissolve or loosen, and you still feel like you’re wearing a bra, but just a cloth bra.

The skin is very very sensitive – like a bad sunburn…probably the nerve endings that were stimulated.

Sometimes there is a little half-second of a pain, and then its gone…

At first, hard to sleep with (being hard), but it gets easier.

I have read that radiation after implants may cause encapsulation fibrosis or hard implants – so only if you are not getting rads is this desirable.

Implant longevity runs from a few years to 15… each person is different. The only way to know if silicone is leaking (and it leaks just around the capsulization) are MRIs every few years.

Is it worth it?  Well, it will make feeling another lump easy…but for me, the jury is still out….I’ll let you know.

Interview with women and artist Jewel on Breast Reconstruction

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