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Please can the Tamoxigang members hold my hand?

(5 Posts)
Angelsaboveus Tue 18-Feb-14 19:01:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Angelsaboveus Tue 18-Feb-14 19:06:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YellowDinosaur Tue 18-Feb-14 20:46:15

I'm not a tamoxigang member but I am a breast surgeon so hopefully can help anser your questions.

Bilateral mastectomy and implant reconstruction will last 2-3 hours. You will be in theatre longer than that though as putting you to sleep and waking you up will take time so for your family tell them to expect you to be away for more like 4-5 hours.

Expanders are implants that are empty and can be filled up to a fixed volume with saline. They are used for a couple of reasons. Firstly for ladies who have a delayed breast reconstruction after having a mastectomy for cancer (reconstruction some time after the initial mastectomy). You can't just put a regular implant in as there is not enough skin, so you need to stretch it up with an expander first. To do this you put the expander in partially filled and then add small amounts of saline over the next few weeks to slowly stretch the skin. Once the expander is full then you need a second operation to remove it and replace it with a regular silicone implant.

The other time they are used is if you are doing an immediate breast reconstruction at the same time as doing a mastectomy for cancer when you are concerned the lady might need radiotherapy afterwards. This isn't good for the cosmetic results for most types of breast reconstruction but especially implant reconstruction. The expander can be put in as a temporary measure allowing the lady to keep her skin and natural breast shape and can then finish her reconstruction surgery after she has finished her cancer treatment.

I would have thought that you wouldn't need expanders if you're having a preventative mastectomy and don't have cancer. Sometimes implants that are partially silicone and partially expanders are used but this wouldn't be usual in a case like yours (ore common if there might be some asymmetry such as different types of reconstructions on both side so a greater chance of a difference in size between the 2 breasts). Ask your consultant though.

You'll be in over night and after that depends on hospital / surgeon policies. It wouldn't be unreasonable to be home to next day but equally 2-3 days isn't unusual either. Ask your surgeon or breast care nurse what is usual where you are.

Most people aren't too sore after this type of surgery compared to other type of breast reconstructions. Simple pain killers you can take as tablets are usually all you'll need and you'll be up and about probably the same day but definitely the day after.

All the very best of luck and hope this has helped. Happy for you to pm me with further questions if you need x

Angelsaboveus Tue 18-Feb-14 22:08:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YellowDinosaur Wed 19-Feb-14 07:51:29

A pleasure and all the very best with your surgery X

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