Failed reconstruction

November 21, 2019 - 13:48

I had skin and nipple spared mastectomy and immediate implant based reconstruction. Unfortunately five weeks later I developed severe infection and had second operation. My nipple was removed and the original implant replaced with smaller. Now I have shapeless small breast without a nipple, real nightmare! I am a freak and cannot look at my body without crying. I cover my mutilated breast with a patch. I have no life, just existence. I am very depressed and my only hope is to have successful reconstruction but I have to wait for that few long months. I have seen pictures of beautifully reconstructed breasts which make me more depressed.
I have no idea how long it will take to have new reconstruction as it is not considered urgent. I had appointment to see the surgeon but it was cancelled and I still don’t have it rescheduled. I’m exploring different options and have few questions:
1. If any of you have had reconstructive surgery abroad and is it paid by HSE or VHI for the EU countries?
2. If any of you had failed reconstruction and what further options for surgery you were offered? What is the result of the second reconstruction?
3. How long does it take to have new reconstruction after failed reconstruction?
I want to make right choice just to be able to have any life again.
Thanks,

November 26, 2019 - 11:04

Dear Rum,

Im sorry to read all that you have been through with a cancer diagnosis and the complications from your mastectomy. I can’t begin to imagine the huge emotional impact it would have on you. May I suggest speaking with your breast care nurse about how you are feeling, they may be able to advise or put you in touch with support services to help you get through this time until you have your reconstruction. They may also be able advise about expected wait times for the surgery. Treatments are covered abroad by the HSE if not available in Ireland, or not available within the time normally necessary to get it in Ireland - this will take into account your current health and the likely course of your condition or disease, you would need to speak to the VHI directly to see what is covered under your policy. If you would like to speak with a cancer nurse for any further advice or support, please call the Nurseline on 1800200700.

Kind Regards

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