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(10 Posts)
Tinkywinks Wed 20-Aug-08 20:08:58

When I was 27 (I'm now 36), I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery, chemo and radiotherapy. The breast that had radiotherapy did get slightly smaller and more pert than the healthy breast, but not too noticeable.
However, over the years, not only did my breast continue to shrink and tighten, but after a few years of breastfeeding with my good breast (the other breast did not produce milk), I was left with two completely different boobs. One much smaller, smaller nipple, more pert. The other, not only bigger but much more droopy. This means that I have had to wear fillets over my smaller breast so that they look the same size.
I am now being considered for surgery, where they will basically reduce the bigger breast (and the nipple) so they match. As proceedure, I am seeing a pscychologist who will not let me go ahead until I am absolutely sure I want to have it done. And I'm not 100% sure at the moment. But I'm wondering if I ever will be about something like this?

Advantages: The main adv is not having to mess about with these stupid fillets which make me feel very conscious. I can go swimming and wear what I like and not have to worry about them falling out.
I am single, so it would be something less to worry about if I did ever meet someone (as at the moment my breasts are quite unappealing!).
I am not reminded of the time I had cancer and can put it all behind me.

Disadvantages: Nipple sensation can be either greatly reduced (or completely numbed) or very over sensitised. I am a bit concerned about this because when I was pregnant I had the worst time with over sensitised nipples, to the point it would make me cry with pain. However, sometimes there is no change to the feeling of the nipple and not normally severe.
The surgeon can not achieve exact symmetry. I guess there is always a risk that I won't like the end result.
I will end up being about 2 sizes smaller (from DD to C). I've always been used to having biggish boobs so C would seem really small for me.

Has anyone had this type of surgery before? What would you do?

Tinkywinks Wed 20-Aug-08 21:59:49

bump

Tinkywinks Wed 20-Aug-08 21:59:53

bump

missingtheaction Wed 20-Aug-08 22:06:53

i have no experience of this at all and have no idea what I'd do in your situation. Inevitably you are going to have to come to the decision yourself. Maybe some counselling of some sort could help? not having the op you know where you are. Having the op is an unknown and always will be.

thinking of you

PootleAndThePoseysMum Wed 20-Aug-08 22:11:12

Would you be allowed to make the smaller one bigger (with an implant) to match the other one? Or is that something you really don't want to do?

I've not had this type of surgery but I think if I were you I'd ask about getting an implant. I think the scarring from augmentation is a lot less than from getting the other one reduced and maybe because of this the op is less complicated/recovery shorter etc.

BlaDeBla Wed 20-Aug-08 22:14:35

I've had a mastectomy and reconstruction, so my new boob doesn't feel the same at all. There are lots of women in the BC support thread who may be able to offer support and advice. Please don't feel alone!

I haven't been in your situation, but I have met a lot of women who have had reconstructive surgery and who have been very pleased with the results, even if their new boobs are smaller than the originals.

I'm in a situation of whether or not to have a different implant. For me, it's a question of whether I want to go through more surgery, will the shape be the same, and does it really matter?

Sorry not to be much help.

Tinkywinks Wed 20-Aug-08 22:29:46

Thank you for your posts. MTA, the psychologist that I am seeing at the moment I guess is the counselling offered, and I would get to see her after the op too.
Pootle - I was actually hoping for a breast implant but apparently this not an option because the radiation in my breast (even after all this time!) would react to the implant.
BlaDeBla, thank you, I didn't realise there was a BC support thread, will have a look. If I had a masectomy, I would definitley have full reconstruction, but I'm in this halfway situation. If you've had reconstruction, why are you considering a different implant?

Tinkywinks Wed 20-Aug-08 22:34:01

BladeBla - do you mean a breast cancer support thread on a different website?

BlaDeBla Thu 21-Aug-08 09:58:28

It's this one here. I'm considering a different implant because I have pretty tiny boobs, and the current implant is a bit like a deflated baloon, and a bit crinkly. Frankly I don't notice much, but I'm ambivalent about replacing a lump of cancerous tissue with a lump of plastichmm.

It'a tough one, to decide whether or not to have a sort of cosmetic operation. I think if it's something that you think about and it's affecting your confidence and life...

I must phone my bc nurse and talk to her.

Tinkywinks Thu 21-Aug-08 22:42:21

Thanks for the link BlaDeBla. Meanwhile, I've gone on some other breast cancer websites and posted on their forums too - so thanks for the idea!
What you said about cosmetic operation...I agree it's mainly cosmetic, but if it's affecting your emotional wellbeing then it's more than cosmetic. Also, for me, it's a case of being reminded that I had breast cancer. I feel that if I had the surgery, in some ways it's giving the whole breast cancer episode closure IYSWIM. Good luck with your decision x

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