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Reconstruction after lumpectomy
SarahS
5 Posts
I've been doing a bit of reading and haven't found much information about it. I was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer in March 2021. I'm one treatment away from finishing chemo and will be starting radiation mid-December. I had a lumpectomy with sentinel node biopsy in April. I live on Vancouver Island and am interested in finding out if reconstruction is a possibility for those of us who didn't get a mastectomy. While I definitely don't look terrible after my surgery, it would go a long way towards a better feeling of self image if I was able to fix the scar and even out my breasts after I'm through treatment. Does anyone know if this is possible in BC?
7 Replies
DMT
186 Posts

Hi @SarahS

I am also on Vancouver Island. The only time reconstruction was mentioned to me was at decision time as to what surgery I was going to have. The question came from my surgeon. I had a mastectomy with no reconstruction so I can’t answer your question directly. I know someone who lives in Victoria who had an autologous reconstruction and a reduction on the opposite breast. I would imagine it would be a plastic surgeon that would do what you are wanting. I would ask at your final treatment if anyone there knows or ask your surgeon.

SarahS
5 Posts

Thanks! I'm thinking I'll mention it when I see my oncologist in Victoria in December as she might have an idea. I know it's definitely not something to do until after radiation as there could be more damage yet.

CaffeineX
15 Posts

@SarahS Hi Sarah, I am also in Victoria. When I was given my initial appointment with my surgeon before my lumpectomy, she offered to refer me to a plastic surgeon for any possible reconstruction. She warned me it could take a year or more for this appointment. My radiation oncologist also referenced this referral. I am now 10 months post surgery and 5 months post radiation. I have had my follow up with the original surgeon and my radiologist and with them have decided I am satisfied with how things are looking, no reconstruction required. So in answer to your question, yes you can be referred for reconstruction, this journey is about you and what makes you feel better. The appointment may take a while but knowing it’s an option is a comfort. Good luck!

SarahS
5 Posts

Thank you so much! I'm actually up Island (Port Alberni) but my main oncologist and radiation oncologist are in Victoria as that is where the big cancer center is. I'm currently doing chemo in Nanaimo. My surgeon had only mentioned that if I'd wanted a mastectomy that I would have to wait for surgery if I'd wanted to do reconstruction immediately. I hadn't thought to ask her otherwise as things were such a whirlwind at the beginning. Thanks again, that really helps.

Hi @SarahS , Yes this surgery is possible in BC. I had the same breast cancer as you and had a lumpectomy done, 4 years ago. At the time, I had discussed having a breast reduction done at the same time as my lumpectomy. Unfortunately my surgeon and plastic surgeon couldn't coordinate their schedules so the reduction was put on hold until after my chemo/radiation treatments were done. However, by the time my radiation was finished, I'd had enough so ended up cancelling my reduction. My lumpectomy went really well and the scars healed very nicely. I sometimes regret not having the reduction, but other than a little bit smaller on my left side (lumpectomy) I look pretty normal. I have gained some weight while on Letrozole but I try to keep as active as possible. I understand how you feel, but it's a personal decision that you will have to make. Ask your plastic surgeon about healing and possible problems as that was the main concern with my plastic surgeon. Good luck.

SarahS
5 Posts

Thank you! As an update, when I spoke with my oncologist on the 13th she put in a referral for me with a plastic surgeon closer to home and let me know there wasn't anything I could do until a few months had passed after my radiation. I'm glad that at least the ball is rolling. I've got 7 radiation appointments left, I started Zoladex a week ago and exemestane starts next month. I've still got herceptin till August but I'm starting to feel like I'm getting somewhere close to a somewhat end of this.

@SarahS - happy to hear the ball is rolling with the plastic surgeon and that you are starting to feel better. Good luck with your remaining rad treatments!

Take care

Lianne

PS - if you want to respond directly to a member, as I have done here with your name, type the @ sign then immediately start typing their username. Select it from the list and it will turn blue and notify them that they were mentioned :)

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