This is your choice and your decision to make. Learn as much as you can before you make your decision and ask questions to help you to make the best decision for yourself. There are new kids of treatments as well as improved reconstructive surgery which in turn gives you better choices. Some women are very relieved to get through their treatment and surgery and don't even want to think about reconstruction at the time. The advantage for immediate reconstruction that tissues are not damaged by radiation or scarring and often immediate reconstruction means less surgery in the long run. Even if you have immedicate surgery there may still be several more steps in the process before you obtain the final result.
Delayed reconstruction means that rebuilding is started later and is a better choice for those that need radiation. Both of these situations means you need to discuss this openly an honestly with your medical team to find the best outcome for you. Reconstruction can restore the shape but not the feeling in the breast. Your breast will return with some sensitivity but it won't feel the same as before your mastectomy. If you have other health problems or smoke, they may delay your surgery as well.
There are several types of reconstruction with the use of a breast implant ,by using your own tissue flap or a combination of both. There are even various areas of your body that they can use as donor tissue and even a new product out that is a product made from donated human skin. You can also decide about hipple and areola( the darkened area around the nipple and the different options which is done to make the reconstructed area look more like the original breast and they may even tattoo to match the color of the nipple of the breast and to creat the areola. There is also a newere procedure called nipple-sparing mastectomy and may be an option if the person has a small early stage cancer near the outer part of the breast and no signs of cancer in the skin or near the nipple.
One recommendation I have is to talk to others that have gone through some of these different procedures adn ask you breast surgeon to suggest someone and also to find out if you surgeon is board certified. You can do this by contacting the AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PLASTIC SURGEONS( ASPS) and finding someone in your area.
Please be sure to ask questions: including can I have reconstruction, when can I have it done, what options do I have, what is the cost and will insurance cover this and what is best for me and how many of these have you done before as well as what results can I expect? This is just a small list of questions to ask but it will get you thinking and take your notebook and have them ready when you talk to the surgeon as well as write down your answers.
I have heard many times, myself including that maybe this is just being too vain to even consider doing this but I would say for your emotional and physical well-being that you have to do what is best for you and when you are ready or not. Take the time to find the answers. As always, make it a great day. S
Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of any medical institution.