Prophylactic mastectomy: breasts amputation and their reconstruction is NOT a boob job!

Like I said before my mastectomy is scheduled for January 25. I’m getting more and more impatient and I need to get ready for everything. I want to buy a few things that I’ll need for sure (I’ll tell you more about it later), think about how to do stuff and where I’ll sleep (because I won’t be able to sleep lying down for a while), we need to find a babysitter and more… Everything seems very complicated and I feel overwhelmed. But today I’m here with a very important post that will hopefully make things clear.

Mastectomy and reconstruction have nothing to do with a breast augmentation! 

Breast augmentation is a breast correction in order to have them bigger and/or to change their shape. To do that surgeons use implants or fat from a woman’s body. Recovery is relatively short, complications don’t happen often. Although this surgery is done for aesthetic I’m not saying that reasons for this isn’t good enough and that everything is very easy.

Mastectomy is a surgery to amputate one or two breasts. There are three types of it: simple mastectomy (removal of the whole breast without removing lymph nodes), modified radical mastectomy (removal of the whole breast and lymph nodes) and radical mastectomy (removal of the whole breast and a chest muscle).

Reconstruction is a surgery performed after mastectomy. In most cases expanders are used, they’re placed in breasts and within a few weeks/months they keep getting filled with a saline to stretch skin and muscles. After this, if everything is fine, a woman undergoes one more surgery – exchanging expanders into implants. Often there are more surgeries necessary because implants can move and change their positions, there might be infections or other.
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Both mastectomy and reconstruction are usually performed during the same surgery unless there are some contraindications. The recovery time is around 6 weeks. At the beginning a woman isn’t able to raise her arms above her head and after several days only she can start raising her hands kind of walking with her fingers on the wall.  While drains are in (tubes sticking out on both sides to drain blood and other liquids) it’s not a good idea to sleep on the back, it’s better to stay in a 45 degree position without moving too much. For a while there’s no way to brush hair and everything is too weak to even open a car door, not mentioning driving it. After removing drains a woman can go back to a light works like folding shirts but for example wiping a table will still be impossible. For around 6 weeks (or what a doctor says) there’s a weight restriction of 5 lbs and even this is way too heavy at the beginning. Filling the expanders is usually painless but it depends on one’s physique and the amount of fat because expanders sometimes push on ribs so much that it’s hard to handle the pain. While expanders are in, breasts look totally different, they don’t look anything like before at all and it’s sometimes hard to handle as well. The second surgery is done around 3 months after the last fill and the recovery time after this is much easier but still not easy, and I won’t be able to pick up April then either. Women often have to undergo more than two surgeries because of all kinds of complications like something that doesn’t happen that often but does happen – nipple necrosis. After all that most or even the whole feeling in breasts don’t come back so often women don’t feel much while hugging their babies. Most women do the reconstruction but not all of them are qualified to it. Some don’t even want to. Others want to keep their nipples but they can’t and later they have them tattooed.
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And yes, you can chose what size you’ll have but I really don’t like comments I read online saying that mastectomy and reconstructions are “free boob jobs” because it’s terribly unfair and show such an ignorance. Okay, if it comes to money it is a free surgery but women pay for that with stress, time, being out of life for a long time. And it’s all for a very good reason – because they want to live.
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If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
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Talk to you next time,

Aga
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*I talked here about general information and there are exceptions to everything. I’ll be talking about more details later. 
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glosowanie

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