This week, Dr. James Craigie of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your questions.
Q: I had a right mastectomy in May 1995 with 12 nodes removed at age 42. Then I received chemo for 3 months. Can I still have a reconstruction done at this point? How long is the recovery time? I work as a nurse on a cruise ship and am often 3-4 months away from home with varying times home (anywhere from 10 days to 3 months).
A: Thank you for your question. There is no time limit for breast reconstruction after having a mastectomy. The recovery depends in general on what type of reconstruction you had. If you did not have radiation you may have the option of implant reconstruction or reconstruction with your own tissue. Recovery from using your own tissue in general in longer and for our patients 8 weeks after stage one is typical. With more info I could be more specific. Let us know we could contact you for more details.
Q: I had a flap with reconstruction about 17 years ago. The right side is smaller than the left, and I would like to get them back to the same size, as well as get my nipple finished on the reconstruction. Is this still possible?
A: You can always have your reconstruction completed. There is no time limit in general. In order to proceed, we need to know what type of breast reconstruction you received 17 years ago (for instance, implant or using your own tissue). If you contact our office with more details, but we’re happy to discuss your options. Thanks for your question!
Dr. James Craigie
Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction
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