Breast Reconstruction: Now or Later?
You have time to deliberate, unless you want to get your reconstruction over with.(ISTOCKPHOTO)Many women who've had a mastectomy will also have breast reconstruction, whether immediately (your breast surgeon literally hands you off to your plastic surgeon in the operating room) or at some point later on, maybe after you've finished radiation treatment.
Women weigh the physical and psychological effects of getting the process started versus taking their time to make a decision—and often come to very different conclusions:
Georgette Williams, 44, of Elysburg, Pa., wasn't ready to decide about the future appearance of her breasts right in the middle of dealing with the cancer itself—and still hasn't made that decision. "Maybe down the road; I'm not sure," she said.
"There are a lot of times when I think, yes, I think I will have that. One minute I mourn for my breast and then I'm like, what's wrong with you—all it is is fat, you'll be fine. I'll have to see what it's like to be without it, if it changes how I feel about me, my looks, sexuality."
More about breast reconstruction
On the other hand, there was no doubt at all in the mind of Twilah Richardson, 51, that she wanted immediate reconstruction, she just didn't know right away which kind: "I did a ton of research trying to figure out what I wanted to do," says Richardson, of Allentown, Pa., who eventually decided to follow her bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction with silicone implants.