A week later I was meeting with the reconstructive/plastic surgeon assigned to my team. Just so we are clear, breast reconstruction is not a boob job. Reconstruction of your breasts after mastectomy is a long process. In fact, the plastic surgeon said it will take another nine months after my mastectomy scars heal.
So this is how it works. The plastic surgeon and the surgical oncologist work in tandem during the mastectomy surgery. When the breast tissue have been removed, skin stretchers are inserted between the skin and the chest muscle. A tissue expander is an implant more like a balloon. It stretches the skin to make room for the final implant. The expander has a valve that will allow my surgeon to add liquid gradually, between 100 and 200cc’s, every three weeks until we achieve the size that I want. Even though this is called immediate reconstruction, there is NOTHING immediate about it. It will likely take six months of injections every three weeks. Once the the expanders are to the desired size, then I have to wait another three months for the skin to settle to the new size. Once that is achieved then I will undergo another surgery to have the expanders removed and silicone implants inserted. That is followed by another four to six weeks recoup and then possible further procedures to ensure the new implants are in the right place and are symmetrical.
Do I want to look like Dolly Parton, no ma’am, but I do want boobs again. Will they look, feel or resemble what mother nature gave me…nope, but they will give me a shape and a sense of what I used to have. At least that’s what I’m hoping. I guess only time will tell. Until then, I have a lot of prep work to get ready for surgery and the recouping after.
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President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.