Diep Breast reconstruction

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Rita Everitt
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:32 pm

Re: Diep Breast reconstruction

Post by Rita Everitt » Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:06 pm

Hi Jann, thank you for replying and your advice. I have an appointment with my Oncologist in a month, would he be able to refer me to a doctor who performs the diep reconstruction and how do you know if they are good. I'm afraid of looking worse after reconstruction.... I'd feel happier with a recommended doctor.
It would be good to know if I am a suitable candidate as you say. I'm definitely not skinny (5'6" and 11 stone 5 oz) and I've never smoked I suppose that's in my favour, but I'm 65 in January do you know if I would be too old.
Another problem for me is the language. Do you speak French? I've found it all very difficult not being able to ask questions and understand everything (or misunderstanding everything).

How are you feeling now and are you happy with the way you look?

Look forward to hearing from you Rita

Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:00 pm

Re: Diep Breast reconstruction

Post by Jann » Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:26 pm

Hello Rita
In my case it was the surgeon who performed my mastectomy that referred me to a plastic surgeon. About a year after my original surgery he asked my if I would like re constructive surgery and he then gave me a letter of referral. Other than the smoking and weight issue I do not know if there Is an age limit but 65 is still young in my book :P My oncologist knew nothing about the plastic surgery but there is no harm in asking yours. When is your next consult with your surgeon? (I am presuming you have an annual check up) I would suggest it is he/she that would be the best person to ask.
Everyone is very different and what works for one person may not be best for another. The main reason that I did not want implants was because I did not want to go back in five/ten years to have them changed – although I think that is a relatively minor procedure. And because I was only having one breast reconstructed it was important that it lost or gained volume with the other. Imagine having a C cup implant then losing weight and your old breast going down to a B cup. If I had a double mastectomy I might have chosen another surgery. Cancer research uk has a good page on Breast Reconstruction and the various methods used. Do a lot of research so that when you get a referral you know what they are talking about. Also look at pictures, I know you realise you will not end up with Barbie boobs but some people may think so. I have a lot of scar tissue and it is gradually getting better but that doesn’t worry me as shape and balance were the priority. I am more than happy I went ahead with my surgery but really hope I stay clear of cancer so that I don’t have to have the other breast removed and then surgery again for reconstruction. I have developed hospital and doctor phobia, even though all my doctors and nurses have been great – I’m told that’s entirely understandable, we just want to put it behind us as much as we can and that’s what my reconstruction has allowed me to do as much as it is possible to. Some women cope very well without reconstruction and to others it makes a huge physiological difference that’s why its offered to us. Of course there is no point in having the surgery if there is a high chance of failure because that would be a double blow, so if the Diep is not suitable or too much of a big operation for you then there are still other worthwhile procedures.
My French isn’t fantastic but I can get by, I always took my husband along with me to appointments so that between the two of us we got it right – most of the time! If in doubt, take along an interpreter, at least to the first consultation. Hope this helps.
Best Wishes

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