Reconstruction or No Reconstruction?
There are lots of different options of reconstruction and your surgeon will go these with you. I had implants put under the chest muscle with ADM (type of mesh). This, I have been told gives the most natural shape... and so far, 3 weeks post op, they do not disappoint.
Options range from using skin from elsewhere on your body or having implants over the chest muscle. Do your research on these, I am far from an expert, however doing some research prior to meeting my surgeon certainly helped.
Here is a link to a cancer research site that provides you with information that is in normal speak rather than medical lingo!
There are lots of different websites that will give you information about options. However, your surgeon will go over these with you. I just found it useful to have done some homework.
You may choose not to go down the reconstruction path. Many women choose to do this for lots of different reasons personal to them, also due to illness or circumstance they may choose to delay reconstructive surgery. Those that do not select to have reconstruction do have the option of wearing a prothesis or prostheses. These are artificial breast moulds that slip in to post surgical bras to give a woman a natural shape. There are lots of different post surgical bras in Marks and Spencer (these are also VAT free) that accommodate protheses. The NHS supply you with your prosthesis and this is usually renewed between 2- 3 years. Your surgeon will go through this with you and you will get support from the breast clinic at your hospital.
What will you do with yours?!
I decided to have mine taken off during the surgery as they still posed some risk, although a small risk, if I was undergoing surgery already, I might as well go the whole hog! The website above gives you information about your options regarding your nipples. It is also something that you will discuss with surgeon, and Macmillan psychologist if you go down that route. The Macmillan psychologist discussed the implications of how my breasts would look, but also how I would no longer have nipple sensation. Have a think about what you would like to do regarding your nipples. There is no rush as nipple reconstruction is something that comes later on once you are fully recovered from your original operation. Also you would be amazed at the options available to you- stick on ones!! I have yet to decide what route I will take. I am certainly going to try the stick on ones… because why wouldn’t you! The Macmillan nurse visited me in hospital to discuss ‘nipple shopping’- well, I was sold on this idea alone!
I will update my site as I continue on the ‘nipple journey’ so people can have this information also based on my experience.