Breast prostheses or reconstruction following cancer

My sister in law is a one year survivor of breast cancer. She had a modified mastectomy with one breast and lymph nodes removed (25 nodes removed and 9 were cancerous). She’s had a year of chemo and still getting a monthly treatment.

She is understandably not in the best mental state these days. She’s now second guessing the mastectomy decision and feels helpless about a prosthesis or reconstruction. Says that prosthesis available in China are terrible. She also is reasonably wealthy and could easily afford to fly to the US or Australia or wherever to get fitted.

anyone have experience or recommendations on websites or services that I can follow up on?

thanks in advance

I’ll PM you in a couple days

I had a female friend who had breast reconstruction; she showed me the results.

Very good results overall. The only way I could tell was by close examination. The areola was made up from labial tissue with little bits of cartilage for those tiny bumps, and while close, the texture was off just a bit.

Compared to her former breastless but scarred chest - miraculous! And most importantly, she was very pleased and happy. She actually liked her new breasts better than the originals. (The originals were too large for her and a different shape)

My sister had a radical mastectomy two + years ago. This fall - done with chemo and radition for over a year, she had the second breast taken and both reconstructed. I can tell you that your sister in law revisiting the topic is normal.

My sister had hers done at Regions Hospital in St. Paul Minnesota. She did travel to have it done here - her alternative was Fargo - without the best plastic surgeons. I’m sure the States are filled with good reconstructive breast surgeons, but, if for some reason, St. Paul sounds interesting, I can ask for the names of her surgeons (she had three).

(She got a tummy tuck out of it as well, since that was what they used to reconstruct).

Here’s a link to Houston’s M D Anderson Cancer Center’s page on Breast Reconstruction. I believe a fair amount of the original research was done there, but other centers no doubt have good programs. Lots of information at the link, so your friend can do some research on the options, no matter where she’s eventually treated.

Tell her, good luck!

My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer just over a year ago. Since that time she has gone through chemo, radical masectomy, radiation, and removal of the portacath and monthly follow-ups.

Her original plan was to have the breast reconstruction, but has moved away from that. She has said she is tired of dealing with doctors, meds, pain, depression, medical discomfort, etc. so she is seriously contemplating no breast reconstruction. However, she really hates the discomfort of the prosthesis so generally she goes without it. I have been told by others that she would be happier with breast reconstruction, but I’m just husband and I am real hesitant to put in my two cents worth.

That was the very path my sister took. Shocked us this summer when she announced she was doing the reconstruction. So she might change her mind when things calm down. She might not, which is fine.

(My sister said the biggest plus is getting rid of the mastectomy swimsuits)

My right breast was removed and reconstructed due to cancer. One thing I’ve experienced that no one ever mentions is that my left breast continues to change size relative to my weight while the reconstruction remains static. So sometimes I match and sometimes I don’t. My reconstruction is behind the muscle and is very firm (reminds me of a tenniis ball). Overall, I’m glad I had the reconstruction done. I often wish I’d had them both done because wearing a bra is often uncomfortable on the reconstructed side (I think due to there being no fat to cushion teh strap), and if both were done there’d be no need at all to wear a bra.