Met with the plastic surgeon yesterday about options and recommendations. He is now the 2nd doctor to recommend a delayed reconstruction and the mastectomy surgeon deferred to the plastics guy. Apparently I am considered high risk for a few reasons… I gotta tell ya, these doctors… I am young, healthy, high-risk and have breast cancer. Ok, I will roll with that.
If you are wondering why I would be high risk, it’s because of two things. 1) Until pathology has a good look at that sentinel lymph node we can’t be certain on a treatment plan and more than likely radiation will be part of my treatment regardless, which increases risk in reconstruction (more on that later). 2) I have this silly little blood condition called cryofibrinogenemia (A rare condition where a blood protein precipitates when it cools and then redissolves once it is warmed again.) Yeah yeah… feeling special… doctors seem to get all nervous and have a whack attack when you mention a “clotting condition…”WHATeves…
So… about construction… I have options – keeping in mind that I have one doctor recommending a bilateral, and two a unilateral pending MRI results. MRI could show cancer behind door number 2 or something in the lymph nodes. And I just want to remove chance of having to do this again… so I vote bilateral… we will see…. ok…
Use up that belly fat and get a tummy tuck in the process. Good news, I don’t have enough abdominal fat to rebuild two (YAY!) Bad news, apparently there is enough to possibly rebuild one. (BOO!) Funny, we have talked nipple tattoos and me disclosing my belly fat feels more personal… weird right? But think about this phrase “harvest your belly fat” – yeah… um… EW.
Anyway, I would have to go the UW for this as it is mostly done at Universities, they say it looks more natural and well… there is the tummy tuck benefit. For me, I am not really down with more surgery than I need – which is what this would be… and yeah, I could lose a few pounds, but seriously, I wouldn’t be getting a boob job if it weren’t for this cancer thing… heck I’ve never broken more than a finger nail and avoid the doctor like the plague…but I digress… so darn quickly too…
Implant(s). Now, if the MRI says I have to have both done or I decide I want them both done, this is my only option. So the thing with implants is that there is a 5-10% chance of hard painful scarring that makes the reconstructed breast(s) look unnatural and of course there is the chance the body will reject the foreign object. They wait until after treatment ends because I guess that painful scarring jumps to 30% if you do a simultaneous while receiving radiation. Plus with my complications above they don’t wanna. Pansies. With this we wait until I am healed from the cancer surgery and have completed treatment. Then I go in for surgery and have an expander put in. Every two weeks they add fluid until I we hit the size I am happy with (if both) or the size that matches the remaining (if one). Once we hit that point, apparently we wait a bit and then we remove the expander and insert the implant. 4 months after that we adjust the natural breast to match the implant side (more surgery) so things balance out. Now I am skipping nipple reconstruction as all’y’all who are keeping up know, but if I were to do that we would wait a few months. And by the way… if you wanna know how they do that… google it on your own. I am going straight to tattoos. So once I heal I am good to go find myself an fabulous tattoo artist.
Plastics guy is saying reconstruction could start 8-12 weeks after pathology OK’s me and the process will take about 8 months total.
I hate shopping.