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My Experience with Breast Expanders

As a woman who desired smaller breasts, I chose to undergo a mastectomy with breast expanders. Despite the pain, discomfort, and setbacks, I was excited about my decision. However, my journey took a turn when I found out that I wasn't a candidate for a deep flap reconstruction.

Not a Candidate for a Deep Flap

What is a Deip Flap?

A deip flap is a type of breast reconstruction that involves using tissues from the lower belly to create a new breast. It is a complex surgery that requires expertise and careful planning.

Why I wasn't a candidate

Due to previous abdominal surgeries, my vascular anatomy isn't suitable for a deep flap reconstruction. This left me with limited options for breast reconstruction and made the situation more challenging.

Exploring Other Options

Although it was a disappointing setback, I consulted with my surgeon to explore other reconstruction options. We ultimately decided on a different approach that still utilized breast expanders but gave me the more natural look I desired.

My Aversion to Implants

I had an extreme aversion to implants, especially with the risk of capsular contraction and implant rejection. The thought of having foreign objects in my body is unsettling, but I was able to find alternatives that felt more comfortable for me.

Comparing it to Cancer

Undergoing a mastectomy and breast reconstruction is no easy feat. The emotional and physical toll that it takes on a person can be likened to coping with cancer. It's a deeply personal and challenging experience that demands courage, strength, and endurance.

Feeling Like Something Has Been Taken Away from Me

The Initial Loss

When I first had the mastectomy, I felt like a part of me was missing. Despite my desire to have smaller breasts, the sudden absence was jarring, and I had to come to terms with a new reality.

The Unforeseen Challenges

After the setback with deep flap reconstruction, I felt like something had been taken away from me even more. It made me realize that the losses that come with illness, surgeries, and other life changes can take an enormous toll on a person's psyche.

Desire for Surgery But Unable to Get What I Want

The Goal

My ultimate goal was to have smaller, more natural-looking breasts. However, my circumstances made this difficult to achieve. Despite this setback, I continued to explore different options and found solace in knowing that I was doing what was best for my body.

Other Alternatives

When I realized that breast reconstruction wasn't suitable for me, I explored other options like breast reduction surgery. This allowed me to still achieve the smaller breast size I desired while avoiding implants and further reconstructions.

Conflicted Feelings About Wanting Breasts But Wanting to Be Flat

Wanting Breasts

As someone who had always been self-conscious about having larger breasts, I was initially excited about the idea of having smaller, more manageable ones. I looked forward to being able to wear clothes that fit me better and feeling more comfortable in my own skin.

Wanting to Be Flat

However, after the setbacks and challenges of breast reconstruction, I found myself conflicted. I began to wonder if it would be better to be completely flat and not have to deal with the challenges that came with breast reconstruction at all.


written by - Alley McCauley 

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