Feeling pressure to have reconstruction

November 6, 2017 - 15:43

Hi,
I am wondering if there are more women in Ireland that feel that you are expected to have reconstruction after mastectomy? I am in my young 40's and had my single mastectomy in June. I was very clear on that I did not want to do any reconstruction but rather removing the other breast and go completely flat. When I told my wish to my doctor and nurses at the Breast Check they looked at me funny and asked me if I had talked to my husband about this. When I said that it would not really matter since my body is not my husband's to decide over, they said that they still wanted me to take a bit of time to make my decision. I have later realised, through going on-line, that women in other countries are feeling the same pressure as I did to have reconstruction rather than going flat. Is there anyone in this forum that recognise this?
I feel that even the ICS information leaflets are not showing what are the benefits of going flat (=no reconstruction) and how you can work on loving your body without breasts.
Any one recognising these thoughts?

November 9, 2017 - 12:21

Hi there,

I see you unfortunately don't have any responses to your question yet. Please feel free to contact our Cancer Nurseline on 1800 200 700 Mon - Fri 9am to 4pm

Kind regards,
Cancer Nurseline

March 18, 2018 - 17:33

Hi

I was very interested to read your message.

I remember at my diagnosis st BreastCheck in the Mater, the surgeon talking about reconstruction as if it was something I would automatically be having. I had an immediate reaction that this was not something I wanted. And I haven’t changed my mind.

I then went private for all my treatment. The surgeon was very very surprised when I mentioned a double mastectomy and advised against having both together. Although he did say that maybe 10% want to go down the mastectomy/reduction route on the non-cancer side. He advised me to concentrate on beating the cancer first ( triple-negative) and then dealing with further surgery. I have quite big boobs ( 36DD) and was glad of his advice when it took me a long time to recover after the mastectomy ( I had a drainfor almost 6 weeks). He told me to make an appointment when I wanted the other one done. I finished radiation in July 2017 and was originally planning a mastectomy on the other side by May 2018. However, I’ve decided to put it off as (a) I’m no longer 100% sure and might go for breast reduction instead and (b) just wanted to move on with my life and have a decent period without treatment/recovery. I’ll also admit to having somewhat of a superstition about further surgery bringing on a recurrence (despite oncologist/surgeon saying it’s not a concern). So at the moment, I’m leaving it and living with my prosthesis. Hope this helps.

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