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Concerns about reconstruction and ability to play guitar
Ripley
2 Posts
Hello,
I am 56, was diagnosed in January with DCIS in one breast ffrom my annual screening mammogram. The area was very small, so treatment was supposed to be lumptectomy + radiation, but pathology from the lumpectomy showed an area of DCIS larger than 5cms, so treatment was changed to mastectomy. Given family history of breast cancer, I have opted for a bilateral mastectomy.

I am struggling with the decision to have reconstruction or not. The only option offered locally is implants, and I'll meet with the plastic surgeon in about a week. I play classical guitar and piano - these are hobbies/passions, not my livelihood - nevertheless, I am very worried about the affect on the pectoral muscle as well as the practice of some PSs to sever the nerve to that muscle, and my ability to play. I've read some accounts of women who can no longer do push-ups or use hedge loppers after implants, but I just can't find any accounts of the impact of implants on playing guitar in particular.

Is there anyone here that has experience with implants and playing guitar (or violin) in particular?

Thanks very much for any advice
5 Replies
elle29
166 Posts
Dear Klay or another member from same hospital Oakville ON ?
Hezz
86 Posts
Hi Ripley‍ ...
I'm in a slightly different situation.
I had implants before BC and I had no issue with guitar, violin, drums or piano. I was a music teacher and played weekend gigs, so not in an intense situation like an orchestra every day.
Post bilateral mastectomy and partial pectoral muscle removal in April 2020, I waited about 2 months to start drumming and playing piano. About 6 months for guitar and 8 months for violin. By 10 months I can play guitar for hours on Saturday and Sunday with no issues.
I haven't gotten my reconstruction yet though. I will be getting a LD flap of muscle from my back and implants in May. I'm not concerned about the implants. It'll just be giving time for healing and then easing back in.
Wishing you well!!!
Hezz 😁
klay
56 Posts
elle29
My surgeries and cancers were all‍ abdominal but yes I struggled playing a full size guitar so I bought a 3/4 Martin and I found it much more comfortable to play. I haven't played though since my last surgery a couple of weeks ago.
Ripley‍ I hope that you can still play your‍ instruments and from the reply from Hezz‍ I think you just will need to give it time. I had to wait about 8 months to play again but if I got the smaller guitar sooner I would have lessened that time
Wishing you luck and love
Karen ❤
Hezz
86 Posts
klay‍ makes a good point...I play a 3/4 as well, not a full size guitar or violin.
Ripley
2 Posts
Thank you Hezzklay‍ and elle29‍ for your quick replies, it's all very helpful. A 3/4 guitar is not ideal for classical playing, but may be an interim solution. There is so much to consider, and I'm inspired by all of you here and what you've been through. Thanks again and sending best wishes.
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