Prophylactic Mastectomy and Reconstruction

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/9/2009 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new to this forum, but am having to make some decisions about breast surgery.
I have recently discovered that i have the BRAC1 Breast Cancer gene and had decided to have both breasts removed with reconstruction at the same time.   The plastic surgeon is planning to do a Dorsi Flap reconstruction.
Due to a series of mistakes, I am now considering have a mastectomy now, with Breast reconstruction at a later date.  My surgeon is telling me that this is an unwise decision as it will be more difficult to be successful with the reconstruction of the new breasts if the breast tissue is allowed to contract.  I have not had breast cancer t this time in my life - I am 65 years old.
I'm just wanting to hear from others about the pros and cons of having both procedures done at the same time versus the Mastectomy followed by the Reconstruction.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 11/10/2009 4:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm not sure what "series of mistakes" could make you reconsider your decision to do mastectomy now, reconstruction later. I hope you will tell us more about that. At 65, this is a big step to take! I had single mastectomy and immediate reconstruction (TRAM-flap) at 36, and for me, it was a difficult recovery-- no complications from surgery, but just in terms of the recovery process. It was a long time before I felt "normal" again. I've known lots of women who had mastectomy and later reconstruction and were very happy with the results. I don't have any personal experience with Dorsi Flap reconstruction, but I know a few women who have had the lat dorsi flap, and they had implants as "supplements" as well. I have to say, I always wondered why one would bother with the lat dorsi flap and not just do implants alone, unless one were having a radical mastectomy. Because you don't have breast cancer, there would be no need to do a radical mastectomy. So maybe this is something else to talk with your doctor about... is there a reason they are recommending the lat dorsi over other reconstructions.

I admire your decision to have the mastectomies. I have a family history of ovarian cancer, and genetics has recommended I "consider" a total hysterectomy. I have additional tests done annually, but I just haven't gotten up the enthusiasm for the surgery yet.

Let us know how things go for you!

"There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker."  --Charles Schulz

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 11/10/2009 5:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, there. I, too, wonder why you are getting a dorsa flap since this is a "preventive" procedure. Here's my experiences.
My daughter had Stage I breast cancer and she had a sentinel node biopsy, negative, so she had the double mastectomy with chest expanders put in at the same time. They did not have to move a muscle as they do in the lat dorsa. They used her own chest muscle. This surgery took about 4-5 months to complete. There were two surgeries. Her breast implants look GREAT!
Now for me. I was dx at 58 with Stage IIIC BC, single mastectomy, had chemo and RADIATION. I waited just over 4 years to do my reconstruction. I am in good health and fairly good physical condition. I had the Lat Dorsa flap. They moved the muscle from my back to the front since my muscle was gone. The recovery time for the lat was difficult because of the sensitive nature of my radiated skin. With the lift for the other breast -- I had 3 surgeries instead of two also taking about 4-months to complete. 
It was not possible for me  to do reconstruction immediately because I needed radiation. Also, I waited even longer because my insurance would not pay for the PS that I wanted to use.
Looking back, the PS I waited to use was worth it. You do not have to do immediate reconstructions, but all things considered, the sooner for reconstruction the better. That is just my opinion. 

Post Edited (JUJU8872) : 11/10/2009 5:28:08 PM (GMT-7)

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