Implants vs. DIEP surgery with ReSensation
In honor of National BRA Day (Breast Reconstruction Awareness) I wanted to talk about two different options when it comes to reconstruction - implants vs DIEP (aka using your own tissue to create breasts)
When I was making my reconstruction decisions there were a lot of things I didn’t know. I was just beginning my BRCA journey and I didn’t have this amazing community of Breasties helping me navigate. I am SO Thankful this community now exists!!
My PS recommended I go with the implants/expanders route. Basically, during your double mastectomy you plastic surgeon places expanders in - temporary implants that will be filled over time. This allows your skin to stretch and gets your body ready for the implants. Though I am happy with my results and I am learning to love my foobs - I wish I had known about the DIEP surgery BEFORE making my decision. I mainly wish I had realized that I would be losing full sensation in my breasts. I literally have almost zero feeling now - I am not going to lie - it does bother me sometimes. My breasts (and nipples) were such a huge part of my sex life. I didn't realize how much losing all feeling would affect me (and my sex life) until AFTER my surgery was already over. IF I had known, I think I would have researched other options.
According to my PS I wasn’t actually a candidate for the DIEP surgery - especially because I ended up going a little bit bigger with my implants than my OB’s were. Thankfully Justin and I have found our new normal and I am thankful our sex life is even better than it was before my surgery! (More on that soon!)
I have since met a ton of Breasties who decided to have the DIEP surgery done - for those who aren’t familiar with it, this type of reconstruction surgery uses the patient’s own tissue with the goal of providing size, shape, symmetry and softness to the newly restored breast. It is pretty incredible how realistic the results from the DIEP surgery can be. There has also recently been an advancement in breast reconstruction designed to restore sensation after a mastectomy - which is amazing!
To break it down.... during a mastectomy, nerves that provide sensation to the breast are cut when breast tissue is removed. This usually leads to numbness and loss of sensation in the breast. With the new technology called ReSensation, surgeons have the ability to connect the nerves that were cut to nerves in the patient’s newly restored breast, allowing the nerves to potentially regenerate over time. WHICH IS FREAKING AMAZING.
If you’re undergoing a mastectomy and considering your breast reconstruction options, or
considering a revision to your implant reconstruction, ask your breast surgeon if ReSensation can help restore sensation for you. You can learn more about ReSensation and find a ReSensation surgeon in your area using their super convenient doctor finding tool at www.ReSensation.com
Every Breasties experience is different, and unique to her — just because something worked for me doesn't necessarily mean its the right path for you. It is important to remember that your breast reconstruction decisions are yours alone. Whatever path you choose, it should be about your quality of life and the choice that’s right for you. In the end, being brave is what makes you beautiful.
Love you and here for you!!!
*This post was created in partnership with ReSensation*