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Breasts now different sizes after second reconstruction

(3 Posts)
Kaybush Sun 26-Feb-17 16:47:01

Has anyone here had a mastectomy and reconstruction using a permanent (non-adjustable) implant, has not been happy with the size and has then been able to change the implant for a smaller one? If so, how long did you have to wait between the two operations?

I'm posting this on behalf of my lovely sister, who has now had breast cancer twice.

Two years ago, she had to have the affected breast removed and it was reconstructed beautifully, using an expandable (adjustable) implant. She has now just had her other breast removed and reconstructed for preventative reasons.

For some reason the doctor decided to use a non-adjustable implant and her breast is now much larger than the other one. She appreciates that some of this is swelling, but said that the first breast wasn't nearly so big straight after surgery.

She is really concerned as her breasts are now very different sizes. Before surgery she asked why a non-adjustable implant was being used and the doctor just said to 'trust' him.

I would really appreciate any advice. She's had this done privately through her work's healthcare plan by the way (if that makes any difference).

greenleaf1 Mon 27-Feb-17 19:31:59

Hi - I had a single mastectomy for breast cancer and an immediate reconstruction with an adjustable implant three years ago. I've now had three surgeries on the reconstruction, and I'm due a fourth in the next few months - all on the NHS. It's a long process! Two of the operations were to change the size and shape of the implants, and one was to graft fat to the reconstructed breast to make it less 'implanty'. So - yes - it's completely normal to tweak the reconstruction and look at it as a work in progress.

It sounds like your sister needs to go back to her surgeon and talk about a revision if things haven't settled down in the next month or two. My surgeon said the goal of reconstruction isn't just to recreate something that looks like the missing breast, but to create a 'matching pair' - so that often means work on the natural breast too .... Your sister really doesn't need to settle for very different sized breasts - especially if she's unhappy about it.

As far as waiting times go I've had to wait at least six months between procedures - but like I say that was on the NHS, so maybe it could happen more quickly privately? I think in general though they like to give things a couple of months to settle down after an operation.

I hope that helps. My oncologist said once we should be as pernickerty as we like about our reconstructions after all we've been through!

Hope your sister gets a great result smile

Kaybush Tue 28-Feb-17 16:02:18

Thanks very much Greenleaf1 - that's really encouraging!

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