Dealing With Breast Cancer Reconstruction Can Be Perplexing
I would like to share an interesting story with you which has a touch of humor, written by my guest today who clearly has a zest for life, and offers support and help to women also suffering the angst of breast cancer. Perhaps you or someone you know are also dealing with past or future reconstruction of their breasts as well.
The article is wonderful and I enjoyed reading it, so I very much hope that her personal experiences can assist other women going forward.
Teri Pearman, Founder of Infusion Breast Care Botanicals is also a breast cancer survivor and firmly believes in what she offers to her ladies and without a doubt has created some delightful formulas combined with aromatherapy to provide the ultimate in a calming and soothing experience. Essential oil components are fantastic for creating a sense of well being... something so many women of today can certainly appreciate and need as life takes us on different journey's. I wish everyone happiness and well being in that journey.
One Thing Your Breast Reconstruction Surgeon May Not Tell You: Objects in Overhead Compartments May Shift During Flight
I initially posted this blog entry in August 2013 and I have since learned a little more that I wanted to share. I am a couple of years out from my final breast reconstruction surgery. I had a double mastectomy with skin expanders which were replaced with silicone implants. Thanks to Infusion Breast Care Botanicals products my scars are barely visible and my breast skin is healthy. However, I do have one breast that is slightly lower than the other. Of course even my pre-cancer breast were not a perfect match so I am okay with it. And I did have to get a ruler out to prove to my husband that I was right, so it must not be that bad. By the way, this caused some laughing as I stepped in front of the TV with my ruler and chest bared to prove my point.
Laughing is good!
I did also recently learn that if your breast reconstruction included fat transferred from another part of your body, there is a chance that you may experience ” graph volume loss” which means exactly what you think it means.
Even the most experienced breast surgeons can not predict with 100% certainty the exact outcome of your breast reconstruction surgery. Unlike a master sculpture they are not dealing with marble which once completed stays the same for ever. Flesh stretches, moves and is often unpredictable. Other challenges come into play including; is your surgeon trying to match an unaffected breast, did you have radiation, were your nipples spared, are your breast large, small, etc.
Talk with your surgeon about what you can reasonably expect. He or she can help you manage your expectations early on and help you select the reconstructive surgery best for your situation and which will give you the best outcome.
After surgery It can take several weeks for inconsistencies to show themselves. It’s not uncommon for one breast to be higher (or lower depending upon your perspective). Nature herself does not create everything with complete symmetry so most “normal” breast are often different sizes, but if you did have an outcome that you are not happy with don’t be shy about expressing your concern. Many surgeons say to give your reconstructed breast three to six months to settle in. Swelling will reduce and scars will soften giving the surgeon a better idea how to correct the asymmetry and making a minor adjustment is usually an outpatient procedure.
A friend of mine was very unhappy with her lack of symmetry after her breast reconstruction surgery. Her surgeon was trying to match her reconstructed breast with her unaffected breast which I imagine is a little more tricky than when reconstructing both breast at the same time. After struggling with the emotions that came up, like “now I’m just being vain, “I’m alive so stop complaining”, “I can’t take another surgery” etc…, she finally went back to her surgeon for an adjustment. I won’t say it was minor surgery, because no surgery is minor, but comparatively speaking she was in and out of the out patient surgery fairly quickly and she is happier with her results.
If you are not happy with your outcome and your physician is not offering solutions, consult another surgeon. The 1998 Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) helps protect many women with breast cancer who choose to have their breasts reconstructed after a mastectomy. This federal law requires most group insurance plans that cover mastectomies to also cover breast reconstruction. Under the WHCRA, mastectomy benefits must cover reconstruction of the breast that was removed by mastectomy and surgery and reconstruction of the other breast to make the breasts look symmetrical or balanced after mastectomy.
Founder of Infusion Breast Care Botanicals, LLC
My sincerest thanks to Teri for pursuing her passion and exemplifying courage, and for offering some very good advice and being open about her personal experience. Sharing of information is vital and provides a sense of community where women will know they are not alone in their struggles.