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13 December 09

Breast Reconstructions after a Mastectomy/Breast Cancer

You have just had a Mastectomy or you know someone who has?
You don’t know whether or not to get a Breast reconstruction?

You want and need to get back to feeling like yourself as quickly as possible and everyone will encourage you too, including me.

Some of the things you’ll want to know and think about are-

• There was a survey conducted by The Wollongong University with women that have had a single Mastectomy the findings were-
1. 22.5% of women have a reconstruction after a Mastectomy.
2. 17.5% of them fail.

This is only in Single Mastectomy’s, Bi-lateral Mastectomy’s are usually fine.
1 in 6 of Mastectomy’s are Bi-Lateral, this number is increasing due to Gene Testing.

If you have had a single Mastectomy and are thinking about have a reconstruction you may want to think or ask the Surgeon about-
• If the cancer returns it often does to the original site, will you be able to detect it?
• If one breast is natural and one is an implant what happens when you age or have kids? The O’ Naturale one is going to go south and the implant will not. This will create then scales to lean to one side if you know what I mean?

Questions to ask your surgeon-
Before your consultations-
• Do your research
• See more then one Plastic Surgeon

Ask Questions like-

1. Will you be able to detect if the cancer comes back?
2. What is the recommended cup size?
3. Ask for referrals from other women who have had a Mastectomy and he has preformed a reconstruction.
4. Do you think I can have a reconstruction?
5. When would you advise me to have the reconstruction?
6. Which type of reconstruction do you advise for me and why?
7. What are the possible problems with this type of reconstruction?
8. How long will I be in hospital and how long will it take me to recover at home?
9. How much will it cost? Am I covered by Medicare? Am I covered by my private health fund?
10. What will the new breast look and feel like?
11. Can I see photos of other women who have had this type of reconstruction?
12. Can I still have a mammogram after having the reconstructed breast?

If there are answers you do not understand, feel comfortable to say ‘Can you explain that again?’ or ‘I am not sure what you mean by…’

If you would like to read more on things like-• Sexuality and breast reconstruction
• Pregnancy after a reconstruction
• Financial issues
• Making the decision

Go to

Or you can telephone the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20, Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 6 pm.


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