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General Breast Reconstruction If you're having breast reconstruction, please post your questions and experiences in this forum.


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comparing augmentation to reconstruction?

Old 07-10-2014, 09:56 AM
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comparing augmentation to reconstruction?

I know this is a super-difficult question to answer, but if anyone could answer it--she'd be on this site! I've had a double mastectomy, and I'm taking this chance to go larger. I figure this will be the silver lining, right? I love reading this site because it makes me feel excited and optimistic. Anyway, as I compare CCs in women who've had augmentations to my measurements, how do I compensate for my total loss of breast tissue? Let's say I find another woman here who has my height/weight and rib cage measurement, and she says she's starting out as a "A" or "AA." I'm still "flatter" because I lost a lot of tissue, right? So if it takes her a 300cc implant to get to a particular size, would I need a 400cc? Does that make any sense?
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:53 AM
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I would say that if she's a AA she probably doesn't have any tissue either. There are women on here who have started out totally flat. However, I can't say that it would be the same as idk if your tissue will stretch the same. Very good question and and I hope some other ladies will chime in to help you out. Good luck!
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:07 AM
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i can tell you for sure that between having zero tissue and having just a little bit, there's a lot of difference. i have so little tissue that it barely made my concave ribs flat before my augmentations! when i was looking at before and afters back then, i thought i could compare, more or less, to girls starting out with very little, but my whole journey has proven me otherwise. in my case, i look very different than girls who started with even just a tiny bit of tissue and/or stretch. everything is always smaller and more difficult for me. it's not impossible, but it takes more cc's and more time, and possibly more money, and a very good surgeon. i've come to the conclusion that my case was pretty much a reconstruction for the surgeon. he had to literally "build" my boobs!

i had my first surgery, a revision to go bigger, had complications and then repairs, and i'm now close to 5 months post-op from that last one. i'm 800cc now and comparing to the average results in here with girls who started with about an A cup or less, i look like i have 400~500cc max. so between having zero and a little, in my case, it makes a few hundred cc's difference.

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Old 07-10-2014, 11:19 AM
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Thanks, mom*wife* nurse!

Wow, princess_daphie, you've been through a lot. I'm sorry you've had such a tough time! I just spent some time gathering photos from "loveyourlook" to show my surgeon in the hopes that he can help me get the right size. I am doing a standard reconstruction with "tissue expanders." (They're obnoxious hard plastic things that get inflated a little more every other week to stretch out the skin and upper pec muscles.) I'm hoping that over time I'll grow enough skin to end up with a C-cup look. (The look I liked on loveyourlook has consistently been actually a "D," but the plastic surgeon doesn't seem into going for more than a "C," so we'll go for "look of C"!) I'll be expanded up to 450cc, and then the surgeon chooses the implant that fits best in the pocket made by the expander--somewhere between 300-400. I'm going to push for the largest!!

thanks for the responses!

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Old 07-10-2014, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by no_more_cancer View Post
I know this is a super-difficult question to answer, but if anyone could answer it--she'd be on this site! I've had a double mastectomy, and I'm taking this chance to go larger. I figure this will be the silver lining, right? I love reading this site because it makes me feel excited and optimistic. Anyway, as I compare CCs in women who've had augmentations to my measurements, how do I compensate for my total loss of breast tissue? Let's say I find another woman here who has my height/weight and rib cage measurement, and she says she's starting out as a "A" or "AA." I'm still "flatter" because I lost a lot of tissue, right? So if it takes her a 300cc implant to get to a particular size, would I need a 400cc? Does that make any sense?
I think there is a HUGE difference between augmentation and reconstruction. For a regular BA there are a million PS's that can do that. For reconstruction I would ONLY go to someone who specializes in that! I have many friends who have had reconstruction due to BC or other reasons and they all went with a reconstruction PS not a "regular" PS. They all have beautiful results. I would probably get opinions from several doctors to find the right fit for you.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:30 PM
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I'm so glad to hear that your friends had good results! Don't worry, I am using a PS who only does reconstruction. But thanks for warning me! I just like hanging out here more than the forums that talk about cancer! : )
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:58 PM
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You should be able to find comparable stats w/ women who are a AA, b/c that does mean they don't have any breast tissue. A lot of us start out that way pre BA. I was a AA/A at my consult, I literally had zero breast tissue. I was starting out w/ just glands and loose skin, so now my breasts are all implant.

And I'm glad that you've chosen a Reconstructive PS : ) That's what I did too b/c the regular PS didn't know how to deal w/ my chest wall issues, lol ; ) I think having a Reconstructive PS makes all the difference.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TexasHulaGirl View Post
You should be able to find comparable stats w/ women who are a AA, b/c that does mean they don't have any breast tissue. A lot of us start out that way pre BA. I was a AA/A at my consult, I literally had zero breast tissue. I was starting out w/ just glands and loose skin, so now my breasts are all implant.

And I'm glad that you've chosen a Reconstructive PS : ) That's what I did too b/c the regular PS didn't know how to deal w/ my chest wall issues, lol ; ) I think having a Reconstructive PS makes all the difference.
seriously, i WISH i had known that my chest pectux excavatum and asymmetry and lack of tissue, altogether was enough to warrant seeing a reconstructive surgeon! i mean after 3 surgeries i'm finally with breasts that look fine and amazing, but the three surgeries were like trial and error and repairing in order to get what i should've gotten the first time around, and the reason is i was not a common case! so yeah, you're doing very good OP in seeing a good reconstructive surgeon!!!

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Old 07-11-2014, 08:19 AM
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I am glad I have a surgeon who is very experienced, but here's the downside: I'm feeling like the results are totally out of my hands. When I first met with him, he told me that he doesn't show patients pictures because he thinks it gives them an unrealistic idea of what they'd look like. I've told him that I feel kind of nervous placing this blind trust in him--how does he know what I like? Maybe I want a really high round "fake" look or maybe I want more of a natural slope. Maybe I want really awesome cleavage or maybe that doesn't matter to me. I've learned a lot from reading here, and I'm seeing that there are choices and options (high profile? moderate?). He's said that it's not really all his choice--it's about the pocket that the tissue expander makes and what fits best. He's pretty opinionated--I know he doesn't use saline at all, and I wouldn't be surprised if he only uses a certain type of implant. I suppose I do have more of an idea of the results because I have these tissue expanders. They're at about 300cc now, and I can see what 350, 400 and 450 look like because we'll go through those stages. These expanders can't be filled past 450, and he overfills to get enough extra skin--meaning that the ultimate implants can't be bigger than 400.

I have picked out a few photos that show the look I like, and a few that show the sort I'd like to avoid. I'm hoping I can get him to discuss that with me at the next appointment, but I'm afraid he'll say it's out of his hands and it's all about how the pocket turns out. I want the look of a C, and I'm not sure he approves (that's bigger than I was before). The nurse who does all the actual expanding (and has tons of experience) says that she thinks that's absolutely fine and that it would look good on me. She sees all of the surgeon's results and says they look great. (She'd choose him herself if she were ever in that situation.)

I sort of feel like I should be grateful for any nice result since I did have cancer and should just be happy that it's gone. It is amazing that they can rebuild decent-looking boobs from nothing!

Sorry for the long rant--I'm just trying to figure out how much to pressure the surgeon to talk to me about results. Thanks for "listening"!

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Old 07-11-2014, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by TexasHulaGirl View Post
You should be able to find comparable stats w/ women who are a AA, b/c that does mean they don't have any breast tissue. A lot of us start out that way pre BA. I was a AA/A at my consult, I literally had zero breast tissue. I was starting out w/ just glands and loose skin, so now my breasts are all implant.

And I'm glad that you've chosen a Reconstructive PS : ) That's what I did too b/c the regular PS didn't know how to deal w/ my chest wall issues, lol ; ) I think having a Reconstructive PS makes all the difference.
TexasHulaGirl, did you do a single surgery or did you have tissue expanders? I'm worried that I can't go bigger than 400cc, but maybe that'll be ok. (I'm 5'4 and between 115-120 with a 32 A/B pre-surgery.) I saw your measurements--what size would you say you have the look of? I hope you're happy with everything now!
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by princess_daphie View Post
seriously, i WISH i had known that my chest pectux excavatum and asymmetry and lack of tissue, altogether was enough to warrant seeing a reconstructive surgeon! i mean after 3 surgeries i'm finally with breasts that look fine and amazing, but the three surgeries were like trial and error and repairing in order to get what i should've gotten the first time around, and the reason is i was not a common case! so yeah, you're doing very good OP in seeing a good reconstructive surgeon!!!
I'm sorry it's been this tough for you! It sounds like you're still not 100% happy with your size and still want to go larger. Can you do it? I hope you can get what you want!
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by no_more_cancer View Post
TexasHulaGirl, did you do a single surgery or did you have tissue expanders? I'm worried that I can't go bigger than 400cc, but maybe that'll be ok. (I'm 5'4 and between 115-120 with a 32 A/B pre-surgery.) I saw your measurements--what size would you say you have the look of? I hope you're happy with everything now!
I was able to do a single surgery. I had a lot of loose skin left over from breastfeeding (the skin never shrunk back down). Now post BA everyone thinks I look like a DD. And thankfully I'm thrilled w/ my results : ) My PS had to do a lot of work on my pec muscles, and I got a lot of permanent internal sutures, but he was able to disguise my chest wall problems : )

Maybe you should try to show your PS some 'boobie idol' pics so he has an idea of what type of result you would like if at all possible. But I personally didn't show my PS any pics of my preferred look (I couldn't find any that started w/ my chest wall problems), but he did show me lots of examples of his work (he had photo albums in his office) and he was also able to show me some pictures of his work that he had done the same week as my appt (they were still on his phone). Seeing that his work was consistently excellent and came out looking great all the time really helped to reassure me.
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:13 PM
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Wondering the same thing........

Hi Had my single mast this year February and now FINALLY getting the expander out on 9-24 & getting implants for both sides. Having had tissue removed down to the chest wall, I'm wondering where a 650CC implant is going to put me at as far as size? I have an awesome Dr. (Shehadi) who everyone I've spoken to raves about. He'll go in through my "crease" on both sides, but I do already have the lollipop scar on the other side. Good grief, I've even got pit scars from biopsies Life is good 'tho and this is one of the last steps
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:10 PM
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I just sent you a private message--I hope! Let me know if you don't see it!
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