This week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.
Question: Due to a family history of breast cancer I had a bi-lateral subcutaneous mastectomy with saline implants, all in one surgery. The result was not good. My chest muscles did not stretch/relax, the implants did not drop. Not only are they misshaped they are painful, in that my chest feels tight. My surgeon went into my arm pits and cut the muscles in several places to relieve some of the restriction. There was no relief.
I have indentions in my breasts from that procedure. Using my arms, lifting, vacuuming, etc. is sure to produce more discomfort. I have gained some weight, and wonder if I could use my own fat, including implants to relieve this discomfort and regain some measure of self confidence. In thinking back, I have missed so many things because of the discomfort as well as feeling like a freak, I have absolutely been depressed.
I was widowed in my 30’s,and had this surgery shortly after my husband suddenly died from a MI. I had two young children to take care of and had this surgery as a prevention. My result was so poor…I have never accepted a date. Your opinion will be appreciated. Thank you.
Answer: Thank you for your question. I’m sorry you are having problems with your breast reconstruction. Specifically regarding your question there are possible options that could help. It is possible that using your own fat and moving your implant from below the chest muscle to above the chest muscle could help improve your result.
One drawback to implants over time is that your body can develop more scar as time goes by. This scar can make the new breasts hard and cause tightness. Some people will not do well with implants because they make more scar than normal. In that case it may be better to rebuild both breasts without implants. This procedure is more complex but includes removing the implants repairing the chest muscle and rebuilding the new breast with fatty tissue from another part of the body that has extra fat.
I cannot tell you what option is best for you without more specifics about your medical history and previous surgeries. If you would like more information let me know my staff would need to contact you for the details.
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